Another article I read today is called “Four Skills to Teach Students in the First Five Days of School”. It lists 4 things we should teach our students in the first week of school to set them up for the year and for their lives in the future. This list is by Alan November and he has some interesting ideas!
1. Power Researching
November says that students do not know how to research properly and how to use Google well. I don’t think I even know how to use Google well! But he has a good point. We need to teach our kids to be able to research properly so that they can use the internet to its potential.
2. Meaningful Contributions
Everyone, no matter how old they are or what they know, can make a difference. As November says, “A global audience can be more motivating than a teacher in the classroom.” And this is so true! When you have a global audience, or at least an audience bigger than your classroom, students will be more motivated and put in much more effort to impress their audience. I think it is a great way to encourage motivation and make a project as close to real life as possible.
3. Ask Them About Their Passions
Novembers example is a big project he allows his students to do. There is no rubric and no real criteria of what it must be, just something they want to do and that they are passionate about. This allows students to use their creativity. Yes it may be hard for students to create something with no teacher input but it is a great way to see their passions and let them be intrinsically motivated to complete their work to the best of their ability.
4. Build a Learning Ecology
November says that teachers should show their students how they learn. Show them the blogs they follow or the articles they read or the way they collate it all online (through Diigo for example). It is a great way to prove that learning is a lifelong thing and that it can be fun and also very beneficial to learn. I think this can also mean making global connections to other classrooms around the world. This could be through a class blog or even a Twitter account. If students are able to meet other students from around the world who are learning the same types of things and help each other, it can really motivate and encourage students to learn.
I thought this article was really great and I would recommend it to anyone wanting some new and different ideas on how to go about their first week of school ever!