Saturday, September 23, 2017

Geniushour & Mattering Matters

There are people still ask me why I am so passionate about #geniushour. There are people who don't understand why the roll out of it and its implementation is vital to the heart of the child. Why is the investment of class time in something that develops the curiosity of a child more important than testing, not just when the child is with you in the elementary years but onward into middle school and high school? 

A child needs to know that they matter and if they don't feel like they matter at home and they don't feel like they matter at school, then they are lost in this world. 

Geniushour speaks over that void, that dark abyss that some students carry with them. Geniushour speaks into the heart of mattering. Making mattering the agenda, year after year grows strong children both at home and at school. It is putting their needs first. 

School cannot fix the entire void, it can't speak into the depths of despair that some children's hearts are at, but geniushour can in many ways, tap into to the fight that is in their minds of negative self talk and say, someone thought I mattered, it might be the one thing that saves them. 

It might not. A child may have been told that they are a genius and that the whole blessed Earth is worthy of them, but the all the chaos and noise from other places takes over their minds. 

That is when sadness falls like a heavy dark blanket. 

Tonight I and my former staff from School for All Seasons mourn the death of our past student, when he turned off his own light to his life. Life and thoughts caught up to him in a deep overwhelming wave. 

We don't know. We just don't. So, speak life through #geniushour again and again. 

We must make mattering the agenda. Love, Kimberly

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Bringing Back #Stu2StuChat 2017-2018

It was a few years ago when I was teaching fifth grade that my dear friend Sandy Otto thought of putting together a chat.  You can read her blog post about it here.

I loved helping my students participate in the #stu2stuchat.  The students were about 1:1 that year if you include the devices that they brought with them. They logged into Twitter and into my class account @bluejacketway . Everyone had the password as I kept it on the board. That helped them learn social media in a safe way. I also had three students who were our key Tweeters for the day, but all could tweet if they were logged in.

Here is what we learned:

  1. Digital citizenship skills in real life.
  2. How to have conversations with people their age in other places.
  3. How to develop conversations about core subjects
  4. How to develop conversations about interests
  5. How to develop conversations that help us see society through their eyes.
Most of all we HAD FUN.

Was it risky? YES! But it was a great safe space to be a digital citizen and the students and families knew that. I did not get any pushback.

This year, I would like to bring back the chat, "The little chat that could," as Sandy says. It would be once a week at 12:55-1:25 (give or take in that time frame) PM CST and geared toward 5-8th graders. We will have a question and answer format but keep the questions to three and a CTA, Call To Action.

So, what to you think? Would you like to join in the conversation with your class? Here is a form to fill out so that we can get this up and rolling!