Wednesday, July 29, 2015

With a Piece of Chalk

I am planning on using this video as a springboard for discussion with students this fall.  What are your thoughts? How could it set the stage for a conversation with students?


  1. I have tears in my eyes! This could be such a great conversation starter because there is so much to "infer" ... What were his parents fighting about? Are they angry with him? Is he a good student? Who wrote the note? Who would you be in this video? What is the message?

    Plus, I think it would naturally lead to a discussion about bullying and valuing individual strengths. One of my professional goals this year is to focus on the emotional environment of my classroom and I think I can use this video. THANKS FOR SHARING!!

  2. Laura,
    This is an excellent video! Thank you for sharing!
    Last year I was fortunate to have been able to attend CCIRA where I sat in our Laura Robb's presentation. (I've never felt so inspired by a teacher - I can't even imagine getting to be her student EVERY day!)
    One takeaway that I think could be applicable to begin generating ideas for discussion and writing is:
    1) Students start by individually thinking of FIVE words that come to mind after watching this video.
    2) Share their words in a small group and then the group will build a class list of words.
    3) Demonstrate how a key word can be turned into a "discussion" question. For example: INDIVIDUALITY - Is individuality oftentimes misunderstood? Well, that's not the best example, to be honest, the kids come up with much, much better questions.
    4) The students then individually chose one or sometimes two of their key words and created questions.
    5) Then as a group, they chose which question they wanted to prepare for a Socratic discussion the next day. (They ended up always editing the questions to make them better, knowing that the better the question, the better the discussion.)
    6) They held their discussion and we shared out reflections at the end.
    7) As a group, students then converted the question into a statement - THESIS, and wrote a multi-paragraph response which was for me a picture into their deeper understanding and connection to their shared and individual learning.

    We followed this process ALL the time - even in math. KEY WORD, QUESTION, DISCUSSION, STATEMENT, REFLECTION...The students decided that it was the most powerful evolution of their student questioning all year.

    I will post about our journey, which was my Standard C teaching goal last year, and continuing n this year. Please visit my Standard C cohort blog as an incredible example of our journey together, growing ideas, sharing, questioning, and supporting one another, as Laura Rink is so aptly getting going for us here!