Saturday, August 5, 2017

Sunday Funday Goals



This post is part of a weekly blogging challenge #SundayFunday hosted by Julie. She provides the topic, you provide the fun! Please join us!

This week's topic is goals. I love the summer! Not just for the sunshine but for the time to {stay} in the rabbit hole of Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest! I can read books and peruse the internet at leisure or on the beach!



Building a community and student relationships in my classroom have always been my top priority along with engagement. The later is easier once students know they matter to you. I feel like I have student engagement down with flexible seating, interactive notebooks, crazy activities, and keeping up with all the things they are into. But with all of that, it is still about me. How I set up the lesson, activity, or notebook. How I want to assess them and what I want a finished product to look like. I knew there was more I could do to give my students a voice and I found it in this book. I want to EMPOWER my students! I want my students to be driven by a sense of purpose and meaning. To create curiosity so they want to learn.



Space Camp was an amazing experience for me this summer. Doing missions and creating a team badge were a couple of the things that got my head swirling with ideas of how I wanted this school year to look. Speakers at Space Camp said many times that the students coming into our middle school classrooms this year are the students that are going to Mars! I have always felt the enormous task of having the future in our classrooms...but they are GOING TO MARS! They will have jobs that require them to be self-directed, innovative, and creative. Even if they are not entrepreneurs, they will have to think like one. I want to EMPOWER them.



I want to empower my students to be self-starters. Last year, when I was video-ing and writing for National Board, they were vested in the whole process. They wanted to know what I wrote and were a big part of the planning. They were showing signs of being self-starters as they prepared the class to video, did the video, and wanted to reflect after. The process was for me but it empowered them. I had a true student entrepreneur who refinished and sold spool tables after being inspired by the one in our classroom. He was empowered.



I have never been scared to experiment or take creative risks. I watched my daddy do just that with each house he built. He was innovative and took creative risks like with the underground house he designed and built for us. I saw this article where the owner of Big A Fans discussed how "when you hire bright, entrepreneurial-minded employees who take initiative, and add to the equation people with the natural inclinations toward curiosity, transparency, and being contrarian, you've got the makings of a great workforce." The article's author described contrarians as "people that push against the status quo by doing, thinking, and behaving in unconventional ways, at the speed of innovation." After reading the article I labeled my daddy a contrarian and I want to be a contrarian in the classroom! I want to empower my students to be contrarians too, ready for the workforce!



So I am giving up a lot of control and giving {my} classroom to them. I want them to have real and meaningful math problems and true collaboration. I am also going to use classroom jobs. I think this will be a great way for them to start taking ownership of the class. Some of the jobs will be collaborative and some will be for managers or support personnel. One of the jobs will be a collaborative team that runs our classroom Google site. It will have information about the class, calendar, surveys, whatever else mathy-y they put on it, and a section for a family newsletter. Students will run the site and write the newsletter. I am super excited and super nervous about this! But I know that it will be awesome to empower these young people, who are going to Mars, to blaze a path of innovation and have a mindset of an entrepreneur.

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