The first day we passed out books, the students held them in their hands like treasures. They touched them, turned them, read the cover, the back and flipped pages. Their precious iPads had nothing on those books. Emily and I smiled, and smiled. Nothing better.
I am so fortunate to work with a teaching partner who is beyond tech savvy. It is her gift, her passion. We work together to make our big ideas come to fruition...in immediate real time. Technology is giving us the ability to give our students the world. It is allowing students to fully explore their interests and passions, and they are gobbling up all of the opportunities.
That said, there is nothing that can compare to the feel of holding a book. It is a different window to the entire world. We're reading together, holding books and eager to know more, to live more, to feel more.
We're using a google app to have students create mind-maps to connect all that is going on in the book. I've never seen mind-maps so intricate. When I first learned about mind-maps, I was so excited, but it was so limiting to do on paper. Almost impossible to truly map the mind. Not so now.
I've said this before, and I'll say it again. I've never been so excited to be a teacher. I've never felt the degree in authenticity and differentiation that is now possible.
I also know how lucky I am. How lucky I have been my entire teaching career, to be surrounded by people who love teaching and learning, and who are flexible. Teaching middle school requires huge flexibility. What is best for students is not one thing, once class, one experience. What is best for students is an atmosphere of trust, challenge and safety.
So, I have, from the start, trusted my students to engage appropriately, in time and content, and now, in modality. I'm seeing beautiful things.
goals: get way better at managing my own technology
gratitude: my teaching cohort who pushes me beyond what I think I can do and my grade level team for being flexible, creative and willing to always do what is best for kids.