Monday, April 11, 2011

Class Update Four - One to One is the Best Way

First of all, this is a picture I took this afternoon in my backyard. My sons were coloring the bricks on our patio and this is what they produced. This is veeeery loosely connected in that this was some one on one (two) time with my sons this afternoon.


This is my latest update from my Language Arts class that has become completely student driven as of late. I have learned another lesson in my experiences with my students in the past few days. This seemingly simple and yet often over looked lesson is,

one to one is always the best way to teach.
In this day in age when people are pushing bigger class sizes to offset budget cuts, it makes no sense to me. The other day my students were working on the various learning standards and activities. One student was doing a research paper on Bee Keeping, which is a topic that I have absolutely no knowledge of whatsoever. This particular student’s go to resource was the encyclopedia, which is typically the starting point for most students. I then worked with her as we checked out some online journals which yielded little for her topic. We then took it to the next step and checked out some bee keepers blogs which is eye opening for both of us. It was great to see this student’s face when she realized people actually wrote on blogs about their jobs. As we looked at one of the blogs, she noticed there was a phone number on the blog to contact the “hive”. I asked her if she wanted to call the hive and talk to someone there. Her initial response was, “Can, I?” She was blown away by the idea that she would be able to find a real person and then be able to call them. I set her up with a phone and she called the beekeeper and interviewed them as a primary source for her research.

This was a great day for me because as I looked up at the clock, I had spent nearly the entire class period with one student. The rest of the students were engaged in their work while I was able to focus strictly on one student’s needs. By far this was one of the most productive days as a teacher because of the amount of individual progress I was able to make with one student. If it is at all possible, I suggest you seek out those opportunities to have those one on one conversations with your students and engage in their work with them. Both of you will learn more and be better for it.

For me, one to one is not a technology relationship, but a personal relationship.
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