It has been another exciting week for me at Hilburn. I am enjoying watching all of our students work on their STEAM Expo projects for Friday's Expo, and in general, our students are actively engaged in their studies doing everything from making applesauce to building lighthouses, creating unique narratives, and developing commercials and production lines for original candies.
The 4 Cs: Our Wake County Strategic Plan focuses on the 4 Cs: Collaboration, Critical Thinking, Creative Thinking and Communication. Over the next four weeks, I will be articulating these Cs so that all of us can understand what our 21st Century Learners should be doing in the classroom.
Collaboration means our students work effectively in teams to share ideas, share responsibilities, and consider multiple perspectives in order to achieve goals; specifically, it means our students should be able to do the following:
- Use appropriate tools for clearly expressing thoughts, asking probing questions, reflecting for clarification, and citing evidence when appropriate
- Make agreements about how the team will work together, including roles, division of tasks, schedules, and how to proceed when agreements are broken
- Seek out various viewpoints, respectfully listen to and consider the ideas of others, and provide and use constructive feedback to improve the work
There are ways you can support our students’ development of collaborative skills at home:
- Ideas: Ask our students Why? and How do you know?; ask them to use evidence; ask them what explicit point(s) they would defend; and facilitate inquiry by responding to questions with questions
- Responsibilities: Talk with our students about what it means to be a good team player; establish chores; play games; coach students to set short-term and long-term goals; help students use an agenda; and look at “to-do” lists with students and help them prioritize
- Viewpoints: Ask our students if other perspectives exist and how those perspectives could alter their thinking; share alternative viewpoints; show our students how alternative viewpoints present in the media; and create opportunities for our students to give you constructive feedback so they can practice.
I look forward to seeing all of you this Friday at Fall Carnival.