Today, I’m thinking about September. In the last two weeks, I was fortunate enough to get to visit two non-traditional schools Four Rivers Charter School in Greenfield, MA and the MET School in Providence, RI. Both schools are more student-centered and seem to do extensive work on social-emotional, scholar skills with students so that their community is calm, safe, and welcoming – qualities that are important in every school but even more important when asking students to constantly share their thinking.
I am wondering what social-emotional or scholar skills do I need to teach? How do I teach them genuinely? How do I balance the building of those skills/classroom community with doing math? I’ve done this before, but never so intentionally, and I never felt like we had the time. Throwing everything out the window means that I’m going to grant myself and the classroom community the time.
The social-emotional, scholar skills I am currently thinking about include …
– Working in groups
– Working alone
– Holding a math discussion
– Respecting the people and the space
– Peer review/feedback
– Revision of work
– Self-awareness around strengths and weaknesses
– Making good choices within more freedom
While it is challenging to pinpoint all the SE/Scholar skills, the how is even harder, at least for me. My main ideas for the how right now include …
– Student generated anchor-charts with norms
– Self-reflection (but how to make meaningful?)
– Community meetings
– Anonymous suggestion/feedback box
So, brilliant readers, what ideas do you have for me? What books should I be reading about this? I know there are teachers who are way smarter than I am in general and particularly about this.