Today, to be honest, I should not be blogging. I should be finishing my grades for quarter 3, which are due any day now. (Like tomorrow, but I am having a hard time admitting that!)
After a month of blogging daily in March, I am relieved and excited to join the only-once-a-week Tuesday Slice of Life Story Challenge. I’m looking forward to spending a bit of time on Tuesdays with my new Slice of Life writing tribe, for I know they will help me kickstart my neglected blogging habit. Thank God no one grades me on my blog posts. Instead, encouragement from this group helps me practice and learn, so I can grow as a writer.
On a loosely related topic, at school today my small group built.
This quarter, each teacher was assigned eight students for group work, and with them we were to choose and study a tribe of people from anywhere in the world. We chose the Nez Perce in North America because our supervisor is from the Nez Perce tribe. She has lots of amazing relics, so we were able to learn from her and see first hand some of the valuable art and artifacts from this group of Native American people.
Today my group built a tipi.
It was great, and it was better than thinking about blogging.
It was most certainly better than thinking about and / or recording and finishing grades.
It was exciting.
It was real.
It was math.
It was problem solving.
It was critical thinking.
It was dangerous.
It was kinesthetic.
It was making.
It wasn’t a number on a report card, and it never will be.
It’s like life. We do things, like blogging and baking, but we don’t get graded on them. My students would be shocked and appalled if I tried to assign them a grade for their work on the tipi. It just would be a distraction and a disappointment, no matter what grades were “given” or “earned.”
It’s not that we didn’t do our best. As in life, there are always consequences for what we do. Did we do a good job? Did we figure out what we have to do to make it easier and better next time?
If we didn’t, our next attempt may result in the same mistakes. If we did really learn something from today’s activity, then we’ll be even more successful when we build it again for our presentation.
Can’t we do more authentic activities?
Can’t we do real-life work that doesn’t require grades?