Students know more than they give themselves credit for. Whenever I ask a question during class that asks them to recall information, the students are only able to remember a few things. Most of the time, the questions I ask are broad enough that there isn’t one right answer nor only one answer. The question I asked today was to come up with twenty different items traded on each trade route in the 1200-1450s.
At first, as a table of four, the students only put four to five items. I walked around getting them to list a few more. Then as a class, we came together and were able to list over forty items. As we started to share as a class, the students kept saying things like, “I know that!.” And they do; however, they freeze when it’s a prompt and more formal. They don’t give themselves the chance. They think their answers are wrong.
One of my responsibilities is to build their confidence. I feel that during the year, they gain the ability to trust themselves in what they can do. I see it year after year, they are intimidated — rightly so — by the AP class. As they navigate the course, most start to release that they know an incredible amount and that they can do it.
Awesome post! Keep up the great work! 🙂