Let’s ask the kids…

painting_kid

I read a great post by George Couros this week about a school and parent committee that, after deliberation, decided to ban the use of mobile devices by students.

Couros pointed out the fact that kids weren’t apart of the decision-making process, adding irony to the phrase “do what’s best for kids” (It reminded me of a quote I heard over the summer that I love and is helpful to me as a leader: “Don’t do anything for us without us”).

When I think back to being in the classroom, I can remember the countless number of times when I was just plain stuck about what to do next, be it during a unit of learning or even how to organize the class library.  It was always frustrating and I would rack my brain trying to make a decision — It seems so silly now how much time I spent being “stuck”.

What I eventually learned to do is what should have done and what should be apart of each classroom community on Day 1 — I should have asked the kids.

Those of us who have spent more than 1o minutes in a room of 30 kids ages 5 to 11 know that there is never a moment when someone doesn’t have an opinion on something!  And that wealth of opinion and thinking from kids should be treated as a strength.  

Asking students what they think or even giving them control over a small project has an amazing effect.  It’s empowering and is, in my opinion, one of the easiest and most effective ways to build a sense of belongingness and raise the level of engagement within the learning environment.  In fact, it’s just plain respectful because it honors the thoughts of our kids.

So as we gear up for the school year, I hope that you continue to look at how the year will unfold through the lens of student voice.  Reflect on the learning experiences you create or plan to create and think about where students are in the learning.  Think about what you do through the lens of the Continuum of Voice as well as where opportunities for raising engagement and belongingness might exist within the learning experience you help create with your kids.

continuum-voice-web

From http://www.personalizelearning.com/2016/01/continuum-of-voice-what-it-means-for.html

Articles That Got Me Thinking —
Nuts&Bolts:
— New Staff T-Shirts are in mailboxes…
— Monday:
  • Convocation begins at 8:30AM at DAVIDSON HS.
  • District PD begins at 12:30PM in the ADE Media Center hosted by your pals, Herb and Kelly Riley.
  • Meet the Teacher is 5:00-6:00PM; Ice Cream Social lasts until 6:30PM
— Tuesday:
  • Building PD begins at 8:30AM — BREAKFAST PROVIDED by Herb.  PreSchool Staff will be joining us for Dr. John’s portion of the Meeting.
  • The morning will last until about 11:30 and then the rest of the time is for you to work in the building.
Upcoming Dates —

August

15 – Convocation (8:30AM) / District PD (Starting at 12:30PM in ADE Media Center)

15 – Meet the Teacher Night – 5-6PM; Ice Cream Social 5-6:30PM

16 – Building PD (8:30AM w/Dr. John) / Work Afternoon (PM)

17 – First Day of 2016-17 School Year!

jimmy-fallon-and-elmo-dancing

25 – Community-Wide Meeting at ADE (Finances/Levy), 7PM

 

September

7 – Curriculum Night, 6-7PM

12 – PTO Meeting, 7PM

30 – Building Advisory

 

October

1 – Community Cardboard Challenge

7 – Building Tours by Board of Education

17-20 – Fall Conference Week; Late Night is Weds, Oct 19.

21 – Central Ohio In-Service Day, No Students

24 – State of Schools (Darby), 6-9PM

25 – State of Schools (Davidson, 6-9PM

26 – State of Schools (Bradley), 6-9PM

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