Believing in and teaching the transformative power of yet is perhaps my favorite of all moves and its power with struggling learners especially important. Life, learning, progress, and success is always about yet. What you can’t do now is not what you can’t do, but what you can’t do yet.
Wrapping your mind around yet is not always easy. “It’s about learning to fly. If you can’t fly, run. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, crawl. Wherever you are is where you are. You will get there. Embrace where you are and believe that you will learn to fly.” These words are exactly the kinds of words we need to say to our students.
Begin by acknowledging that students are where they are. Embrace that, and believe that they will learn how to fly. Truly. Believing in the power of yet is not some touchy-feely ideology but is grounded in the belief that when we have a mindset that trusts that all students can grow, we can move our students to a place of great joy and success.
I have been thinking of writing about struggling learners for many years and for many reasons. I’m sure a tiny seed was planted even when I was a young child, and that seed began to grow as soon as I started working with children and young adults. We will (unfortunately) always have students in our classrooms who struggle. They struggle in many different ways—different in both the reasons why and the ways in which they struggle. Since each and every classroom will have struggling learners, it is helpful to define the kinds of struggling learners we might encounter in our classrooms and then plan moves to support them.
Welcome back to the Heinemann PD Professional Learning Community Series! This month we celebrate new beginnings for teachers and learners across the country.
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What do you see when you look at student writing?
In this clip from a recent webinar, author and educator Lisa Eickholdt nudges us to think carefully about how we initially respond to student writing. It is so easy to see errors, messy handwriting, and misspellings that we often miss the beauty and potential that lies beneath.
Today is “Digital Learning Day” a day focused on utilizing technology to help a student learn. You can learn more about Digital Learning Day from their site here: http://www.digitallearningday.org/
Lisa Eickholdt, author of Learning from Classmates, together with Patty Vitale-Reilly, author of Engaging Every Learner, are strong advocates for engaging students through voice and choice. From using students as writing mentors to advocating for student choice in using technology tools that engage them, Lisa and Patty enthusiastically share strategies to engage elementary student readers and writers in the classroom.