Exploding Gummy Bears.

So much in my head right now from Educon this weekend. Only 6 conversations and I’m in overload. I feel like an exploding gummy bear.

Did you know that gummy bears can explode? I learned that yesterday. No I did not make one explode. But yesterday I was in last session, I was tired, my brain hurt, and my lack of caffeine was kicking in. The session was about this great idea but I could tell the others in the room were low on steam as well. I looked like my 7th period usually does. When asked if anyone had comments this sweet SLA student spoke up (I never include the name of kids in my post).

He started talking about the importance of how people learn. We all know this, but it’s refreshing hearing it come from this high school student. He said that it was stupid for teachers to think that everyone is headed to one answer, one way. It is important to have the one answer, but he asked why can’t we take different paths to get there. He said it like telling someone you are football player. He said there is a difference between being a football player and a linebacker. If someone says they are a football player you can’t tell them how to play the game. If you are a linebacker you know their position and their job. (Y’all know I love football analogies!!)

He went on to tell us about his favorite lessons this year, he said in one class they made gummy bears explode. He said that he did not know they exploded but now he know why.

He then went from talking about his experiences to what made a good teacher. Good teachers develop their curriculum to meet their students. He reminded me (this was something I needed reminding about) that each class period is different. You can’t teach the same lesson every period, it’s not fair because lesson with one class may not work with another.

Last reminder was that we needed to ask questions. Ask more questions. Ask questions yet never tell the answer.

This is stuff we (and I) as educators know. It’s the same stuff I remember learning first semester in education school (I went to a college that had a PBL focus so this was everyday) but I have to sit and ask myself do I always do this? No. I do not ask enough questions. I do not vary my lessons enough for each class.

I do not always recognize the linebacker from the quarterback, often I teach them the same thing I am teaching a kicker. With that we would be the one major college in Alabama not to win a BCS title.
Cory Plough reminded me last week “if you go to work each day just to teach you will just be paying your dues.” We need to blow up more gummy bears and we need to remember not to focus on teaching your center to catch the ball.

3 thoughts on “Exploding Gummy Bears.

  1. I agree wholeheartedly with asking questions and then more
    questions of our kids. It makes them think. Every year I get a new
    set of 3rd graders who have to learn that I am going to ask
    questions that are “not in the book” or part of the assignment. As
    we go through the lesson and I muse out loud, I am modeling the
    questioning that they should be doing as learners. I love the point
    of the year when THEY start asking the questions! Some of my best
    lessons are not planned but based on a question that is asked in
    class.

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