I made it through the first week! And the chairs never had to get unstuck from the floor!
I did so much more metacognitive work this week than I’ve ever done before. Every day we did a say-do-mean summary at the end (My notes say... This enables me to... This means that...). Every day I tied our essential question to our work and to our metacognitive goals. And every day I used 10-2 processing to keep the pace up and get kids collaborating instead of relying on me. For every ten minutes of notes, I gave two minutes of processing time to catch up and collaborate on making their notes accurate. When my Geometry students asked what the terms were going to be on Friday’s vocabulary quiz, I didn’t answer that question. Instead, I instructed them to take two minutes to compare notes at their tables. See if anybody caught something you missed. Make sure everybody has everything they should have in their notes.
And they did it.
This was a powerful learning for me.
Until now, I used to answer those questions.
Now I am encouraging self-reliance and resourcefulness and a thinking classroom instead. I am doing this every place I can.
It’s a small instructional shift towards resourcefulness, but it feels seismic. I definitely want persistence, but not thoughtless persistance. I want to cultivate thoughtful persistence and resourceful persistance. You have super-smart classmates. Use them as an additional resource. Use them as a primary resource.
I felt so proud of my kids this week, it gave me energy. Even though I was exhausted, it gave me energy.
Now I am sitting in my favorite place in the world with my sofa and my fireplace and my music and my dog. The sun is burning away at the fog. The beginnings of a good new year.