Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Mind in the Making: Seven Essential Life Skills

Skill Seven: Self-Directed, Engaged Learning

There's probably a while before I need to worry about this with Baby Nam, but as a teacher this is a good skill for me to keep in mind since it's a big part of what I'm trying to teach my 6th graders.

Principles that help children to be passionate about learning:
1.  Establish a trustworthy relationship with them
     - babies learn from imitating those they trust
     - learning can't happen unless they feel safe and secure
     - structure and routine are also important to help them in the learning process
2.  Help them set and work toward their own goals
     - encourage their desire to explore
     - help them learn to plan
3.  Involve children socially, emotionally, and intellectually
    - give them direct experiences
    - multiple experience help them remember what they've learned
    - verbal cues and visual prompts help them
    - give them meaningful and purposeful experiences
    - learning can't take place unless they are taken care of physically
4.  Elaborate and extend their learning
     - ask open-ended questions
5.  Help them practice,synthesize, and generalize
     - encourage their curiosity
     - have them explain what they're learning - this makes the learning explicit, helps them focus on the principles they are learning so they can apply them to new situations
     - expect them to strive for their best
     - BOTH direct instruction and discovery are important
6.  Help them to become accountable
     - make expectations for success clear
     - catch them doing something positive
     - praise effort rather than intelligence
7.  Create a community of learners
     - we teach best when we're learning

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