We celebrate Thanksgiving with my husband's family on Thanksgiving Eve. It is a fabulous time with his mom, sister and family, and friends. We are not a family only kind of crew, and often we collect very interesting attendees, but this year it was a small intimate gathering of family and friends, food, traditions, and connections. We loaded up the counter to serve dinner buffet style. Everyone prepped the food they brought, nibbled as we set up the appetizers, carved the turkey, visited, laughed, and enjoyed the pandemonium as Grandma's beautiful pair of half grown Great Danes rushed into the house every time a child inadvertently let them.
Social Emotional Learning (SEL), or teaching the whole child is beginning to gain a more prominent foothold in education. Starting it in your classroom may seem daunting, even though you understand the value and research behind it. It was for me, but as I begin to see benefits, sometimes immediately, then as I do with anything, I dive right in with both feet. What does SEL look like in the kindergarten classroom? In 8th grade? What about at the high school level?
Games are fun. They add excitement, engagement, and some friendly competition. Building your games around a theme takes your gamification to a whole other level. Here is a guide for getting started.
I recently had a conversation with a first year teacher that caused me to reflect on the value of struggle in learning. It isn't a new concept, but the balance of making a learning activity challenging but still attainable is a tricky slope. Some educators fall down the slope, trying so hard to make students struggle that they get caught up in trying to be the tough teacher, and then forget that it isn't about us. If an entire class does poorly on a test, that isn't a valuable struggle. It's poor test writing, didn't assess what was taught, or a combination of both. That slope is a tough one to master, but just like that gritty Russian grizzly cub in the YouTube video that went viral, we have to keep climbing.
In the spirit of #GratitudeSnaps, the #4OCFpln Voxer group decided to do a joint blog post about all the things we are thankful for now that Halloween is in the rear view, and Thanksgiving is just a couple curves away. Our individual author information is listed prior to each post. I'll kick it off on my site with my post, so grab a snack or refreshment, get comfy, and enjoy the reflections of our group.