“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”
This quote popped into my head recently in reference to my expectations of my students. I worry and plan for ISTEP, our state’s standardized assessment, but I struggle to still teach the individual, whole child as a result. Students, like us adults, are layers…cells…constellations. They are all growing and learning unevenly both within themselves and in comparison to their peers.
So what do we do? I don’t have any concrete answers for this, but this is one example that I think technology allows me to address the issue. By occasionally creating individualized lessons and sharing them through our LMS, I free myself up to work together with a particular student so I can engage them in the content through their personal interests.
EXAMPLE: River Valley Civilizations aren’t the most interesting topic in the world. I think they’re awesome, but you get my point… So I gave students options, and what happened blew me away! A student chose to create his own online game using the HopScotch app to show his understanding of the lesson; one student created their own civilization in Minecraft; another student went home and examined arrowheads to better understand the Stone Age. Bangarang!
I may want each and every student to develop a passion for history and geography, but the reality of the situation is that my real objective and deepest wish is that I empower students to do whatever they’re called to do–Shake up the world!