Let me just get this off my chest first - I’m a Pinterest lover and have been since I got my account in 2011. There is just something about scrolling through hundreds of pictures, finding the picture you like and then pinning it – it just gets me all excited. Do you know the feeling I’m talking about?
I’m always pinning things and recently I found an activity that I couldn’t wait to try. It was building a roller coaster. I’ve been waiting months to do this activity and I finally decided today was the day. We have been working on STEM for a while and they have been doing well with the Design Process. So I figured, let’s give it a try.
Life was great...until about 20 minutes into the project. When I was knee-deep in the project with them, trying to figure out why I had thought this was a good idea in the first place. Honestly, it was probably one of the most challenging projects I have ever tackled with kids. Let me tell you, I was frustrated. But then I got to thinking. If I was frustrated, how were they feeling?
So I was honest with them and told them how I was feeling. I told them I was feeling frustrated and that I was not sure what we should do next. They said they were feeling the same way too. So we talked and decided we needed to be persistent and change our mindset. When we did that, everything changed. We took another approach, researched some more, went back to the design and tried again.
On my way home I was thinking about how it went and I realized something. I realized I was a co-learner with my students. And by being a co-learner, I was able to see their point of view. They were able to see that things don’t always go smoothly. That sometimes you need to rework things. They learned how to talk out problems and find solutions.
Innovation, creating, designing – it’s putting yourself out there and being willing to make mistakes along the way. It’s totally ok to make a mistake — you just have to jump back in and try again. It’s through that process that you learn. And you know what, we were successful today. Even though we had some challenges, and I use that term lightly, our roller coaster worked in the end and it felt so good to accomplish it.
My point is, don't be afraid to be innovative. Don't be afraid to take risks in the classroom. In the end, it will be worth every emotion and every obstacle. Remember, just jump back in and try again....YOU GOT THIS!
Until next time,
P.S. - The real moment you've all been waiting for - our roller coaster. Documentation thanks to Seesaw!
PS- Don't mind our mess, we were learning!