Saturday, April 24, 2010

Model a Love for Learning: Try Something New!

Yesterday I decided to take a risk in my classroom. Ok, I can hear you now thinking, "What does she mean, take a risk?" "Don't I have enough to do already?" Don't worry, I also have many things to do and lots of pressure to get my students ready for first grade in these last 7 weeks of school. With all that in mind, I  decided to try something new by experimenting with GarageBand, an application on this Mac laptop so graciously loaned to me by my school district.  In honor of Earth Day this week, I wanted to record my students talking about how they plan to take care of the Earth. It sounded like a good idea, right?  I have only played around at home on Garageband and have never tried recording voices or making any kind of podcast.  On top of that lack of experience, I am always a bit apprehensive about using new technology with my students out of fear something won't work; I am also worried about their short supply of patience. The truth is: when an adult models working hard at learning something new, kids are very helpful and patient!  Not only did I manage to record the kids voices, I also recorded Miss Harrington and I talking about the interviews (during our lunchtime, of course!) I edited for about 3 hours last night (because I am still learning!) and also added the kids responses to a fun site, Wallwisher, where I posted our class wallwisher . On my class website, in the weekly blog I invited parents to chime in on how they will help the Earth by adding a note to the wallwisher. I also posted the recording of the kids answering the question: "What will you do to help the Earth?"
So, after all that rambling, what's the point of this post? In case you missed it, here it is! Kids need to see adults learning new things, experimenting, and taking risks to create something new. If we want to develop kids who are willing to think critically and work hard, then we must model these behaviors ourselves so that we can facilitate a love for learning.
How do you show kids that you are open and committed to learning new things? Please chime in and share!

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