Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Not Your Average 12 Step Program...

Hello. My name is Kelly Sigler and I have an addiction. (Besides randomly talking out loud to Angela Maiers, who isn't actually near me at the time.)

I am ADDICTED to genius! Holy awesome, Batman. If you've been following my journey, you know that just a few short days ago, I decided to start speaking to my First Grade students differently. They are Readers and Writers, not "boys and girls". And if you ask any one of those kids how their teacher feels about them, they will promptly (and loudly) declare "We're geniuses!!!" We conducted collaborative research and found 12 words that describe who and what a genius is. This list is on our markerboard, front and center, and I refer to it daily. For example - "Wow, Bobby! I love the detail in this picture. I can see your genius through your creativity today!" or "Susie, I can see how you might be curious about how you'd look with a new haircut, but I really need for you to Put. The scissors. DOWN."

I just so happen to have 12 days with my munchkins before I take my maternity leave, so I've decided to dedicate each day to a cross-curricular study of one of the traits of genius. Yesterday's blog was about our creativity lesson... Today was all about curiosity. We discussed and practiced a variety of questioning techniques throughout our subject areas, and culminated with a little project. I told the students that I had noticed 4 boys made paper airplanes during our creativity "Genius Time" (I actually write that as part of our schedule now!) and that I was curious about which one might fly furthest and WHY. We started to talk about all kinds of variables that could affect flight, and we watched a few youtube videos showing us how to make a paper airplane. Then I gave the kids several choices of paper, a stapler, some tape, craft sticks and paper clips (You just never know...) and let them design and build their own planes based on their hypothesis of what makes an excellent aircraft. The 4 boys I mentioned earlier became our resident "experts" in case anyone needed help, and I've never seen chests puffed up quite that big! It was even more amazing because some of these boys had been kind of on the fringes of our classroom community until these airplanes came along. They are now in very high social demand. :)

Tomorrow's genius trait is Playfulness and our plan is to head to the gym at the end of the day and let the flight simulation begin! We'll keep some data for you about what makes paper airplanes float through the air like a ray of sunshine... and what causes them to keel over and die with no thought to the feelings of our poor engineers. Maybe we can even get curious about programs that can help us organize all of this info for posterity! Wish us luck!

Truly, if this is an addiction worthy of a 12 step program, sign me up. I'm hooked.

1 comment:

  1. I've been sharing with my freshmen about your class's genius while they were working. They think it's pretty neat that we are all geniuses, but want to know what one is! :) I showed them your blog, they were amazed, and said keep up the good work guys!