Thoroughly Modern Millie

Today I have a guest post from Millie Pike.  Millie teaches 2nd grade at an International Baccalaureate Candidate school here in New Hampshire. Millie is also an emerging member of the Critical Skills leadership community.  Thanks Millie!

As a second grade teacher I always want to be helping my students the best way that I know how and that includes staying current in best practices. Our world is forever changing and so is the future that we are preparing our children for.  With that in mind, we must be teaching our children 21st Century Skills.  But, what exactly are those 21st Century Skills?

These skills have been described as “Learning to collaborate with others and connect through technology are essential skills in a knowledge-based economy.” ATCS –21st Century Skills

Among the best practices for teaching these skill sets are a number of experiential learning models; Project-Based, Problem-Based, Place-Based, and Service Learning.  I have been exploring each of these within my classroom and working to build a deeper understanding for myself.

As part of my exploration and the effort to boost the use of technology, I have been blogging some of the learning that has been happening in my classroom at Teaching and Learning.  My students have also been blogging their about their learning experiences to meet the rigorous requirements of the CCSS.

We’re learning a lot together.  Not just about the content, but about how to learn, think, and collaborate better.  For example, we read The Terrible Things by Eve Bunting and discussed what was fair and what our responsibilities are when there is conflict and unfairness around us.  After some discussion, students used a reflection tool called “Chalk Talk.” Students used markers and paper rather than chalk to write down their ideas and thoughts about the book and our central idea.  They were not allowed to talk, just write.  Students practiced all of the 12 IB attitudes during this activity: appreciation, independence, integrity, commitment, curiosity, cooperation, confidence, empathy, enthusiasm, respect, and tolerance. This activity took about 10-15 minutes.

Click here to see are some pictures of the activity and the final outcomes from our fabulous group of second graders.

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