Wow, I certainly fell off the bandwagon with my LLAP posts.
But! I have a REEALLYY good excuse!
I was so focused on getting prepared and ready for my big trip that I ran out of time to write down my thoughts from this awesome chapter on giving classroom responsibilities to your students.
But before I get too far down that rabbit hole, I do need to give Paul Solarz a HUGE shout-out for answering my questions from my chapter 4 post. Thanks so much for adding some thoughts on how I could change from grade focus to improvement focus in a culture that places a large emphasis on the bottom line (alphabetic or numerical grades).
Ok, back to chapter 5...
I think chapter 5 starts off with a great quote
"Students must have initiative; they should not be mere imitators. They must learn to think and act for themselves-and be free." - Cesar Chavez
That's a statement I can get behind!
I want my kiddos to be independent-thinkers and problem-solvers, not robots that require direction from me in every situation or scenario. There are times and places where those littles can step up and figure out what needs to be done and how to do it.
Here's the catch: I don't think they need to get a parade every time they take initiative to do something that needs to be done. Put away the ticker-tape and let's teach them that pitching-in is part of being a member of a larger community. A community that needs everyone to participate in order for the classroom to be successful.
And get this! Students WANT to feel like their role is important! They want to feel needed and relied upon...you know it's true!
I love how Paul lays out how he structures his classroom, so that students CAN have responsibility. Everything from cleaning up materials to time-keepers. He details what jobs are assigned and which are left to collaborative responsibilities - everyone has the opportunity to step-up to do what needs to be done and remind others to pitch-in. He helps them to see when those chances for participation are missed, how to share the responsibility (not hogging the duties), and when a better way would be appropriate. Paul doesn't leave his classroom up to chance, he teaches his students how to help ensure that the environment is fully functional, so he can be the best teacher and they can be the best students possible.
What I truly LOVE about this concept is that it transfers far beyond the classroom. Teaching students to be active participants in the daily running of classroom will only help them become better citizens in the greater community.
I can't wait to catch up to chapter 6 on Active Learning.