Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The Ultimate Goal of Planning {Slice of Life}


"So, you're a teacher?"

"Yes, I am."

"Good for you," with a pat to my knee.

I shared I'm currently teaching second grade and the conversation went back and forth a bit in a predictable pattern of how cute the students are and interested in learning.  Then this dear, kind, older gentleman went on to tell me how much he liked learning math, especially geometry.  His teacher gave them an assignment one time to prepare a lesson to teach others.  He had fun doing this assignment and always thought fourth grade would be a fun age to teach.  

This past weekend at NCTE, Ernest Morrell encouraged a packed house to think about our planning. "Have you created that unit, where they will tell their grandkids."  He calls this the grandchildren test.  Maybe we should name it something more global.  I had a gentleman in his eighties tell a complete stranger about a math project from his own school days.  Not a story from one of his five children that are grown adults but from his own experience.  

Here are some ideas to ponder as we plan units...
Have you created that unit, the stranger test?
Have you created that unit, the airplane neighbor test?
Have you created that unit, that will make someone sixty years later smile and tell their story?  


Thank you to the Two Writing Teachers group for hosting our writing community and you can enjoy other slices from today by stopping by the link provided.  Thank you for stopping by.


6 comments :

  1. What a great reminder, Mandy! To plan with the learner in mind, and envisioning that the learner will remember 'THE' learning experience in a special manner. Interesting how we sit as a team to 'plan' taking into account standards and assessments to 'measure' learning. When did we make that shift? In my own experience as a student, growing up in Ecuador, I don't know if I have a story like the gentleman's in your story. Thanks for this so needed reminder.

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  2. Beautiful post Mandy. Ernest Morrell is something else. He cuts to what matters.
    -- Julieanne
    PS So enjoyed meeting you at the SOL dinner!

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  3. This is a great reminder. But it's also intimidating. I do my best and hope that one day one of my students will thank me on Fresh Air. Ha! Great to meet you and chat over dinner at NCTE16. Can we go back tomorrow?

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  4. Great reminders for all of us, Mandy!

    "Here are some ideas to ponder as we plan units...
    Have you created that unit, the stranger test?
    Have you created that unit, the airplane neighbor test?
    Have you created that unit, that will make someone sixty years later smile and tell their story?"

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  5. What a powerful message you share! It makes me think back to my own schooling, what lessons stayed with me? Very few, indeed!

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  6. Love to read you slice today!!! This is such an important reminder ... enduring understandings go well beyond standards. You have suggested some powerful essential questions - we plan to share them widely. Thank you for sharing your story!
    Clare

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