(But do them anyway!)
Not entirely, obviously. But relax a little. Give your students some choice in what they do, how they do it, when they do it and with whom they will work. Try having students design the way in which they will demonstrate their understanding. Or if you’re feeling very brave, have your students design the questions they have to explore. Now more than ever we need people who can ask the right questions.
Google Project Based Learning or check out Design Thinking to get your creative juices flowing…
Grading kids’ work destroys their innate desire to learn for the sake of learning. It eats away at their ability to think creatively or critically for fear of getting it ‘wrong.’ Stop it. Most guidelines tell us we need to report to parents via a grade twice A YEAR – not twice a day.
For more of my thoughts on grades, check this out.
I’m fed up with adults hammering kids for ‘inappropriate’ use of technology and in particular – social media. Teachers can’t teach it (literally – social media is banned in far too many schools) and parents won’t talk about it – they plead ignorance. So how is it fair that we then berate our kids when they inevitably stuff up?
Not only should we be teaching kids about how to use social media appropriately, but by creatively incorporating it into our teaching, we can show them why it isn’t just for posting nude pics, or disparaging comments.
Learning about Antartica? Skype with a scientist in Antartica.
Encourage social action by building a webpage or social media campaign.
I call this Pedagogy with Purpose.
The basis for these ideas come from self determination theory that says that for kids to be genuinely engaged they need to be intrinsically motivated – and for this to be the case, kids need a sense of autonomy (stop planning), mastery (stop grading) & purpose (chatting online to strangers).