Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Parenting and Praise

I've been trying to remember to praise students for effort -- for figuring stuff out -- for hard work and perseverance -- but it is really hard to do and somewhat counter-cultural.  It's worth working at, though.  That's one of the lessons I learned in my Quality Instructional Training class last year.  A friend of mine just sent me this article from the Atlantic on "How to Land Your Kid in Therapy" that makes very interesting reading.  How to Land Your Kid in Therapy

I did  tell all my intermediate (4th - 6th grade) students that research shows the key difference in your grades is the effort you put into your work, and about half of them remembered that when I asked about in our end of the project reflections. . .

It needs to become a part of our mindset to the point where we don't think about it -- and, as this article points out, it has to be part of the parents' mindset as well.

I wonder how ready all of us are for the project based, student centered learning we're supposed to be creating, where teachers function as coaches and students solve their own problems.  Can we let them fail in order to learn? 

How do we teach them to be creative -- to see things that are not there?  Or have never existed before?

 The Milwaukee Art Museum -- with the "sails" open, with the "sails" closed, and from inside the museum.  All views look East, toward Lake Michigan.  They have very nice art, but the building itself is the most amazing part of the visit.  Weather permitting, they open the sails in the morning, close them at night, and open and close them at noon.  We saw the noon "show" and it was awe inspiring.

Fortune Cookie

Information is not knowledge.
Knowledge is not wisdom.
Wisdom is not truth.
Truth is not beauty.
Beauty is not love.
Love is not music.
Music is the best.
Frank Zappa