So much capacity exists in young learners to carry them through to succeed at college and their chosen paths, especially when there is emphasis on the building positive character traits for personal achievement, which includes collaboration. When learners are young often it’s not a matter of desire, but a matter of realizing the character traits that they need to develop - confidence, resilience, creativity and perseverance - and providing them with the means opportunity to develop those traits for themselves.
Look! It's Me is purposely similar to the Go Me! Time contribution I submitted in Collaboration 4. A few reasons,
- my passion is to be a spokesman for having learners maintain and sustain ownership of their learning - the ownership they had when they began their lives.
- there is a need for providing educators and young learners with resources that help young learners recognize for themselves HOW to achieve their personal best.
- It seems we are still only at the starting gate when it comes to having young learners keep track of their personal achievements via a portfolio.
- Go Me! Time was one of 49 Final Ideas. It was exciting to collaborate with many forward thinking educators and Teachers Guild coaches who found the idea interesting and valuable for students.
We cannot infuse character traits, but we can set the stage for learners to become mindful of them, to recognize what they need to think, say or do to develop them. The best possible scenario is when a young learner is able to tell us the character traits they have used to work through struggles and achieve - AND, when young learners choose for themselves how to act. Their actions demonstrate that they are taking ownership of a character trait. I believe this can begin as young as 4yrs old, perhaps younger for some.
Look! It's Me! would help Pre-K learner's express and store "proud of" learning experiences. They would preserve personally meaningful experiences for a child, a way for the learner to think about, (meta-cognition) and develop character traits that we know to be necessary for a productive, happy life.
Most educators recognize that at times more emphasis may be needed on character learning than on content achievement, either for a specific student, a group or an entire class. Look! It's Me! would help support those teachers.
Look! It's Me! is character learning via time set aside for early childhood learners to:
- develop a character traits vocabulary - ( using resources such as Character Lab);
- to reflect and speak about their "Me Power" - character traits they have used/ will use with a particular learning challenge;
- recognize and validate another for the character trait they used or are learning to use.
Infused into daily work and activities, Look! It's Me! time could be a 10 second validation of a character trait demonstrated, or an entire day dedicated to character learning. As many experiences, conversations, actions would be documented by the child and incorporated into their own Look! It's Me! portfolio, one that can be shared with parents or caregivers.To do:
Create a Look! It's me!, Get-Started On-line Guide including a well-organized Character Trait reference and examples of Look! It's Me! conversations/ portfolio entries.
Create a Look! It's me! on-line portfolio. Students can circle, highlight character traits used with a particular challenge, eg, writing the letter"G". Pictures, audio recordings of student's talking about their experience could be added.
I welcome your thoughts and look forward to collaborating!!