Sunday, August 27, 2017

Teach Students These 4 Skills to Start #1st5days of The Year Off Right

Check out #1st5Days on Twitter
to see how others start their school year.
While some schools have been in session since early August, teachers in my district, New York City, are just gearing up for the start of the year. They are eager to put into place ideas to start the year off right. Ed tech leader Alan November, suggests setting the tone for powerful, engaging, and self-directed learning during the first five days of school.  


To do this he recommends educators help students develop four skills as shared in Mindshift:

  1. Power Researching:
    “My job used to be to give you the information, now my job is to teach you how to find the information.” -- Alan November
  2. Meaningful Contributions:
    Ensure students know they can make meaningful contributions to the world. When they have opportunities to make such contributions, they are motivated and work hard. An example of this happens in Eric Marcos’s class where students make math videos to help their peers in their class and around the world understand concepts.
  3. Let Students Work On Something They’re Passionate About
    Let kids determine a project they are passionate about without a teacher’s parameters and assessment that will be presented at the end of the year. Thrively is a great tool to help students identify passions and help them start thinking about projects that align to those passions.
  4. Show Students How You Learn
    “Before the internet there were two important things to teach: content and skills, like writing. Now there’s a third skill which is to build out your network to the world.” -- Alan November
    To help them learn this, show students how you as a teacher learn and what your sources are.  Do you belong to an online learning network? Do you use a bookmarking site? Do you follow a hashtag? Do you have a core group of people you message about certain topics? Show your students and help them figure out ways they can build their own network.  

There are a few places you can go to discover more great ideas.

  • Follow the hashtag
    Follow the hashtag #1st5days to see what others are doing to start off their year.
  • Listen to others
    Alan November captured on video ways educators across the globe plan to launch their first five days.
  • Check out the guide
    Adrienne DeWolfe created a First Five Days of School Quick Start Guide with ideas for the first hours, days, and week of school.  
  • Visit the Livebinder
    Joy Kirr (@JoyKirr) collected several resources for starting the year off right in this First Five Days LiveBinder.  

So what do you think? Which ideas stand out to you? Which might you try in your classroom?

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