Summer started and the next morn
my very first grandchild was born.
It’s my first summer after teaching retirement–
now Grammy-school is where my time is spent.
What a wondrous gift from God–
This new child has me awed.
I appreciate the beautiful photos Margaret shares–sometimes her own and something from friends with beautiful Instagram accounts to follow. I had never noticed elderflowers before, even though I grew up in southern California, where I read that they grow. Margaret’s poem taught about the medicinal value of the elderflower. I went to do a little more research on these beautiful flowers. I learned that Meghan and Harry had a lemon and elderflower wedding cake. I tried a dodoitsu, which is a four-line poem, no meter or rhyme constraints, with a syllable count of 7-7-7-5, and the poem can be about love or work with a comical twist. (Oops, I hope you don’t think my last line is funny.)
Elderflowers like snowflakes
What will each bud grow to be?
Spirits for a new pastry?
Stem to grace a grave?
How can I empower students to own their own learning?
Carol called questions like this burning questions. This is a burning question in my professional life. I’ve been saying it and trying it since 2011, when I first learned about Alan November’s book called, Who Owns the Learning? I struggle in my current situation because teaching and learning are much more traditional and academic than what I’ve been used to. I sometimes feel I am going uphill in a rowboat.
I don’t ever want to give up, but sometimes I struggle passing the learning torch on to my students.
I am trying to help students own learning, but to tell the truth I’m a little discouraged now. Here, perhaps as a reminder to myself, are some things I’m attempting:
Self-assessment checklists of learning
Tests can be retaken after students master the material
Student learning presentations to parents by students instead of parent teacher conferences
Students have a safe place to own their strengths and weaknesses, where they don’t have to pretend to be something they aren’t
Authentic audiences for student work–pen pals, a global audience through global projects, Twitter, and our class and individual blogs
Less emphasis on grades
Figuring out problems instead of easy answers
Student classroom jobs
Students believe: “All are students, all are learners”
I would appreciate any advice. What am I missing that I need to try or renew?
Here are a couple of images that inspired me today: