As I get further and further into The Innovator’s Mindset book, I’m able to understand and put into words things that I’ve subconsciously known for a while. I am so fortunate to have learned so many incredible things from forward thinking educators that have shaped me, and continue to shape me, into the teacher that I am today. Now I’m clearly seeing all of these pieces come together perfectly and it’s a beautiful thing. Every page that I turn in this amazing book helps me to reflect on my practices and push me to take more risks, make changes, and be an innovator in my classroom.
Now that my mind is filled with ways of doing things in a new and different way, I need a space to write them down so that I’ll be able to reference them later. I know myself well, and I know that I can’t do everything that I want to do all at once. It’s too overwhelming and when I get overwhelmed, nothing gets done. So, here I go, writing my ideas so that I can build on them and refine them as I slowly incorporate them into my teaching, one step at a time…
- What if… after teaching my students how to properly form a letter or number, they get to decide how they will practice this new skill, instead of having to do so on the Handwriting Without Tears black boards. They could use a paper and a marker, a white board, an iPad… or anything else! I’m sure they’ll have fantastic ideas!
- What if… instead of ME teaching the class how to properly form a letter or number, I were to teach this skill to one student the day before and this student would then lead the lesson the next day. The students could then prepare little videos that demonstrate how to properly form all of the letters and numbers (mini you tube tutorials!!)
- What if… after learning a new letter and finding words that start with this letter, the students could make videos to demonstrate their learning instead of simply writing and drawing these new words in their booklets. Then, the students would be able to reference these videos if they needed a refresher on the sounds that certain letters make!
- What if… I took the time to teach some of the students how to use Seesaw independently and that afterwards, these students could teach the rest of their classmates. This could then become their responsibility instead of it always being mine.
- What if… I started coding in class. It would be such a fun new way to explore many math concepts (and other subject areas too!)
- What if… I kept one student in for one recess every day (or go outside to play with him or her!) with the only goal of spending quality one on one time with each student to build on our relationships together. I’m sure this could lead to amazing passion time projects and it would help me tailor my teaching to each and every individual student.
- What if… I got rid of my math booklets (worksheets) altogether and moved towards more open ended and big questions with more hands on problem finding and problem solving.
- What if… I introduced a health unit like George Couros did by giving the students the outcomes, in simplified terminology, and having them figuring out a way that we will learn these. I bet even my first graders could come up with something amazing!
- What if… I started a class Twitter account and the students were responsible for tweeting once a day (to start) about what we are up to in class.
- What if… I used Skype to connect with other classes and experts.
- What if… I introduced flex seating.
- What if… students didn’t have to raise their hand before speaking.
- What if… I continued to add to my student led classroom.
- What if… I kept adding to this blog post every time that I had a new idea (good or bad).
Please, if you have any constructive criticism or can help me build on my what ifs, I would be more than grateful for your feedback! 🙂