Saturday, March 10, 2012

Week 2 MAC Comments to Stephanie's Blog

Put on your thinking cap and share your thoughts and ideas.

Stephanie's original post:

MAC Week 2: Reading Post

I am responding to The Art of Possibility.  This is quite possibly the most intriguing book that I've read in a while.  Usually, when I am told I HAVE to read a book, I dread the task.  I'll act like my daughter and put it off until the very last minute!  I dove into this book and read the first 4 chapters like I would one of my fictional "fun" reads.  I didn't want to put it down.
First of all, just turning your attitude around to give a completely new outlook, which is invented!  Trying to think about everything being invented is a hard concept.  I liked the practice with the dots.  I never could do that problem.  I pride myself on being a rule-follower.  So I know that I impose "rules" on myself that aren't really there.  It is a hard thing to change.
The other thing that really opened my eyes were the stories that are presented in the text.  Especially in the Giving an A chapter.  I had tears in my eyes when I read the story about the Taiwanese student and his realization that he was happier with his new thought of being an A instead of number 68.  I immediately thought about what possibilities my students would have if they were given an A at the beginning of the year.  What inhibitions would they let go of and participate in the activities that we do in class.  What possibilities would a school district accomplish if students were so concerned about the expectations but instead the possibilities that could arise!
Today, I was sitting in a grade level meeting and our reading coach was discussing adding yet another reading passage that would add more rigor to our curriculum and give us a better idea of our students skills.  I thought about how my students have done so far with these passages and saw them be squashed again by another poor grade.  Another measure of how horrible they are at this reading strategy, as many of my students are struggling with their reading strategies.  I could actually see their little sad faces in my head.  It made me ache.

How can I apply this book to my classroom without going against school district policies?

My Response to Her Post:
I know it is difficult when we are constantly given more tasks to give our students for MORE data. We are constantly looking for MORE data. It is nice to be able to say, "I have enough data. I just need the time to help the student to improve." This book allows us to set aside the negativity of the testing. Give them two grades one from the testing and one from you. Give them the A and empower their thoughts and self confidence. Ask them to write down their reading strengths. Remember, our thoughts are invented. I challenge you to give the students the power of positive thought. You are a very creative person and rule followers can think outside of the box. I enjoyed reading your blog. As always, keep smiling!

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