I love to go visit classrooms and see what teachers are doing. Just before Spring Break I was in Lindsay Guza’s grade 7 classroom. I loved the message on the door. Her philosophy was very evident to everyone. You are EXPLORERS! That paints a picture of what learning will be like when I enter here! You are respected, important and a role model, inquisitive, valued... and you matter. And the last sentence… You are the reason we are here!
Knowing how much it matters that students know their teachers like them, value them and have confidence in them, makes this door a very important message.
There were other things in the room that struck me. Lindsay shared some of the things she is doing that are hands-on and thoughtful. She is trying to make learning more interesting and connected with kids lives. Here is an activity that she described:
"I gave kids sticky notes and they had to write down information they knew about current electricity, static electricity, and atoms of electricity in general. Then I asked them to come up and place them in the Venn diagram where they thought they went. If they weren’t sure they placed them on the outside of the Venn diagram. Then as a class we went through all the ones on the outside and tried to see if they were in fact part of electricity and needed to be in the Venn diagram or if they could stay on the outside.
I also went around with pink sticky notes as the kids were working. I gave them to a few of the kids who I thought needed more challenge; these sticky notes had words that I thought were more difficult to place on the Venn diagram." She described the activity as a great way to review the concepts, check for understanding and challenge thinking.
blog posted by Judith King with permission from Lindsay Guza