Sometimes it is the little things that you forget

Yesterday I had the opportunity to be observed. Some really good feedback that reminded me that I can’t use the excuse of it only being the first few weeks of school anymore. We are almost done a month of school and students need to be aware of what they are learning and why they are learning it. I have decided to start building into my plans my 3 favourite questions from last year:

  • What are you learning?
  • Why are you learning it?
  • How do you know you are doing good work?

I also realized that I need a bit more structure to the day so thanks to the advice of some veteran teachers, I am taking my plans and lessons digital – making a daily notebook for my SMARTboard. I already put the I Can statements on the board so I can just blend them in. Students willingly accept that they are required to do a task but this was the push I needed to remember that the need to understand the why as well.

Being a second year teacher is actually harder than being a first year teacher in some ways because despite the experience, you have to rely on remembering all the best practices.

Here are the observation notes – September 23 Observation

Challenging Assumptions

My class and I have been looking at assumptions we have about people, places and things. The students have defined assumptions as  thoughts we believe to be true without question. 

Our next step is to challenge our assumptions. We are going to use the following questions from Flipside Thinker to see if our assumptions hold up.

1. What evidence exists to prove your assumption is true?

Is this something that has always been done or believed with no real evidence to validate or support it? Is there any real data behind the thought or idea?

2. What if the opposite was true?

If this assumption were flipped on its head, how would that impact your problem or opportunity? Would it make it worse or better? What would it take to reverse it?

3. What if your assumption was amplified ten-fold?

If this assumption was true, but was magnified 10 times (or 100 or 1000 times), how would it impact your problem or opportunity? Would it make it better or worse? What would it take to magnify it?

4. What if this did not exist or was not a possibility?

If this assumption or a part of it never existed, how would it change your problem or opportunity? Imagine no solution could have anything to do with it. What direction would you go?

5. Where would your assumption lead you in 3, 6, or 12 months?

Follow this assumption to its natural conclusion in terms of your problem or opportunity. What does the future look like in 3, 6 and 12 months? Good or bad? Does it create new problems? Does it present new opportunities?

6. How would a Grade 1 student view this?

Think with the wide-eyed innocence of a child, as if you know nothing about this subject. How would you explain it to a child? What are the most basic parts and are they valid?

I am looking forward to having the conversations with my students about how assumptions change our way of looking at things and how they change when we are provided more evidence or experience things in a different way.