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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Education and "Elf." What will your students build this week?

While watching and laughing at "Elf" with my daughters over break, the teacher in me saw an edu-theme in this clip.

This 2 minute scene, while funny in the movie, is the reality of our school 'system' for kids--adult centered and adult focused. Content focused. It's not a fun world for kids. It's not a world where kids actually learn a whole lot. View it from a learner's perspective.

Buddy (student), jumping up with much enthusiasm"Sooo, what are we going to build?"
Dad (adult) at desk with stern tone: "We don't do that kind of work here, pal."
Dad (adult) at desk with no smile"Please don't touch anything."

Buddy (student) was full of smiles, enthusiasm, and compliments (purpley dress, fun name to say, and pretty face.)  Positivity and eagerness.

Dad (adult) was full of frowns, grumpiness, and the need for quiet. "No."

If kids could BUILD/MAKE/DO things each day at school (and it wasn't scripted for a narrow learning goal), they'd be happy campers. #makerspaces #pbl They'd be aggressive learners in charge of their learning instead of passive learners in an adult system.  (Hopefully not passive-aggressive learners. LOL)

Does your classroom belong more to you or more to the kids?

I proudly and happily use my Twitter PLN for ideas, resources, and inspiration when building my unit/theme activities for my students. The next step for me is to include the KIDS (duh) in that planning process up front; ask them what they think/what they want to learn/how to learn it/ ideas they have. That starts Thursday!

Happy New Year to all my fellow educators, and to anyone named Francisco. That's fun to say, after all.


  1. Laura,
    I love the way that you are challenging your students and how you learn from them on a regular basis! Here is a video about student centered learning that might be helpful as you include students in the planning process. Can't wait to see what your classroom looks, sounds, and feels like as all of this takes place!

    Jamie Neibling

  2. Thank you, Mr. Storm. Will check out your blog!