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Why Do You Ask?

From asking questions that require an answer To asking questions that require a conversation.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

World Map Puzzle

My classes put together a 94-piece rubbery, oversize jigsaw puzzle today.

 It taught me several things.

 First, who the natural leaders of the classes are. Each student had about 4 pieces of the puzzle. They were to contribute to the construction of the puzzle. The only directions were to start with edge pieces.

 Many students simply gave their pieces to others who were already in the floor. Others "grabbed" pieces to put in place.

 They are leaders either by personality or by deference.

 Second, my students need a leader - that's me. Now, that may sound like a "duh" statement, but what I mean is that they are active but not necessarily focused on what the activity is designed to do.

 Collaborative work cannot be done when students are un able or unwilling to stay focused on the task at hand.

 Third, on a couple of occasions, students were easily frustrated by not finding where the pieces were to go or by classmates "taking over." I like that. It shows me that they want to achieve the goal, and they were willing to go so far as to be frustrated (angry?) that they were not achieving the goal.

 Remember, emotion is a necessary component of "engagement" (that word I hate using). They can love it or hate it. That's okay with me. I can use it. It's apathy that prevents learning from happening.

 It was a good and productive day. Good jobs kids!

 From R. Murry

Posted via email from rrmurry's posterous


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