Thursday, October 19, 2017

Just #LetStudentsMake

I was going over some old lessons and student work and I was hit with something that I just blurted out, "Just let the student make!"

I'm so lucky to be at a school that allows students the creative flexibility to explore learning in a ways that are meaningful to them. The students can express their understanding in a variety of ways and I get to see students engaged in learning. It is hard for me to believe that there are teachers that do not trust that letting students make is a positive force in the classroom. It has been a while since I've tried to get a hashtag up an running, but I thought this is worth it. 

I would love it if everyone could share student work on Twitter with the tag #LetStudentsMake. I want to everyone to see the great things that can happen when we get out of the way and let students show us the amazing things they can do to demonstrate their understanding of a variety of things. 

Here is one of my all-time favorite student projects. It makes me smile every time I see it. I asked students to show me that they could identify connections between The Catcher in the Rye and other books read over the course of the year. I had joked for years that I've really wanted to see students do an interpretive dance. These two amazing students granted that wish and blew me, and everyone in class, away. Enjoy.


Please share student work over the next few days and show educators everywhere to just #LetStudentsMake!

Hugs and High Fives,

NP

2 comments:

  1. What I love about your post is that you bring this same creativity to the classic “literary analysis essay.” I’ll keep this notion with me as I move into my own role as a teacher, so thanks for planting the seed. I also hope you’ll tell those two students in the video that I loved their dance. They are so talented and expressive! To compare four characters over two books, using four songs and multiple props, all while creating and dancing in a beautiful pas de deux is a masterful feat and beautiful display. Brava to them! With their permission, I would love to save this for years to come as an example to future students of how to blend imagination and creativity with literary analysis.

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  2. Nick - I am in the process of getting my Masters in Teaching at University of Michigan and came across your blog as part of one of my assignments. I'm so glad I did. I love this post and wanted to thank you for it! As a teacher-to-be, I'm learning a lot about how to engage students, and from my observations in my field placement, nothing works better than this idea of "Letting Students Make." I'm fortunate to be observing an English teacher this school year who embraces this concept. He leaves time in class about once a week to let the students create stories, however they like to do so. He sets it up by telling students this is a chance to be themselves, without any rubric to limit them. They’ll get full credit just for participating in the creative act. Students can deliver podcasts, write fiction or personal narratives, experiment with lyrics or poetry, or whatever else they see fit. It’s early in the new trimester, so students are so far sticking to pen and paper, but I’m hopeful that they’ll move into new zones soon.

    What I love about your post is that you bring this same creativity to the classic “literary analysis essay.” I’ll keep this notion with me as I move into my own role as a teacher, so thanks for planting the seed. I also hope you’ll tell those two students in the video that I loved their dance. They are so talented and expressive! To compare four characters over two books, using four songs and multiple props, all while creating and dancing in a beautiful pas de deux is a masterful feat and beautiful display. Brava to them! With their permission, I would love to save this for years to come as an example to future students of how to blend imagination with literary analysis.

    ReplyDelete

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