Monday, May 4, 2015

Let's start a RAVE.

 It's officially May.  This morning I realized that after today, there are only three Mondays left in the school year with kids.  Seriously.  Where did this year go?   May is clearly a crazy month for me.  National History Day State competition is next week, and we hope that we're talking about national level competition by the end of that week.  AP Exams start, Keystone exams are on the horizon, and the junior high and elementary school kiddos are enjoying the wonders of PSSAs.  End of the year surveys are starting to fill my mailbox, as various programs are being evaluated for effectiveness, with the hope to improve or eliminate things to make things run more smoothly.

So I celebrate, once again, the genius inspiration from the folks at Te@chthought, who have made May a bit more manageable for me by providing blog prompts in the form of RAVING.

Let's Rave About...

My favorite writing activity or strategy
What? So What? Now What?

My gifted learners seem to be working under pressure -- mostly self-imposed pressure -- all the time. When prompted to stop and reflect, sometimes they just stop. 

Don't we all understand that mentality? How often do I walk into the living room looking for something, and wind up sitting down and surfing the web instead?

Last month, I asked my students to write a reflection, using the filters of What? So What? Now What? and apply the questions very specifically to their independent projects. The responses were amazing, as kids were forced to stretch beyond regurgitating information about the progress of their projects, when they were forced to face the "So What?" They're filled with facts and figures, but they're often struggling to explain why anyone should care.

So when they figure out the "So What?" they realize they aren't finished. But they've told me why I should care.

Dum, Dum, Dum........

And now they must declare what happens next in their plan for world domination. (Or whatever their plan was, is, or has become.)