Kid’s Master Class - “Go me!” Time - updated 3/21/16
The Original Discovery Phase Post: A 2 Year Old’s Mindset
Watching preschoolers play and learn I am inspired by their mindset. They demonstrate the character traits that are the foundation for a lifetime of learning: curiosity, confidence, resilience and determination. However those traits get extinguished easily, most times before learners get to Kindergarten, yet they are the essential traits necessary for college and a lifetime of learning.
It is not what has to be learned(content) but the approach to learning, that is the fundamental challenge for students, and for teachers and parents to convey. The earlier this is addressed, the better it is for learners.
Kid’s Master Class - “Go me!” Time - The SELECT PHASE
Early grade teachers set aside a portion of a day, week or month for young learners (ages 5-8) to have “Go me!” Time. Students recount “proud of” achievements, learning experiences that they are clearly proud of. Through these “proud of” achievements teachers would teach and/or validate the actions of the learner, label the strategies the learner used, and reinforce the character traits that were demonstrated through their experience.
As we look at ways to help students attend and achieve in college we cannot ignore the benefits of helping them build a strong foundation of learning character traits at an early age.
Watch young children play, they demonstrate the character traits that are the foundation for a lifetime of learning: curiosity, confidence, resilience and determination. Somehow these traits get extinguished.
“Go me!” Time would create opportunity for young learners to talk about the things they are proud of and how they continued past any obstacles.
Through "Go me!" Time teachers validate and label learner character traits, for example,
RESILIENCE: "You didn't get upset by that mistake, you tried again". You were "resilient"!
Educators would put emphasis on the process of learning, so as learners mature they learn that the process is as important and essential to the outcome. Educators would help preserve the traits that will carry learners through their years, so they will succeed at college and their chosen careers.
Potential For Impact:
- “Go me!” Time provides the opportunity for learners, teachers, parents to connect and communicate and follow the development of a child’s character traits for learning.
- Record - Recall - Share: A learner’s “proud of” experiences can be recorded and become an essential part of a young learner's portfolio. They would preserve experiences, complete with obstacles, failures and strategies. Students can write, talk about, draw, etc to describe their own “proud of” experiences and use them to recall and self-assess, self-motivate and to share with others. The resource used could be designed to run on any platform, computer, tablet or smartphone. See "Go Me!" prototype AND "Go Me!" Prototype 2 (added 3/29/30)
- A child’s “proud of” story might be helpful to inspire other students who might be struggling.
(Please scroll to the bottom to add your support for this idea.)
How to get this idea off the ground?
A prototype “Go Me!” TEACHER'S GUIDE has been created. It includes:
- An Introduction - why a Kid’s Master Class and “Go me!” Time? How to get started.
- Suggested prompts/questions to encourage students to reflect on their experiences and the character traits they demonstrated/are learning.
- How to continue the support. Includes a suggested on-line resource for supporting character trait development: https://characterlab.org/resources
- A prototype assessment tool.
Begin with a few prototype Kid’s Master Class -“Go me!” Time opportunities. Seek out school administrators and/or pre-k -grade 3 teachers willing to try the Kid’s Master Class - “Go me!” Time. Seek permission to videotape a Kid’s Master Class following the guidelines created.
We have a video of a Kindergarten teacher who tried “Go me!” Time with some of her kindergarten students. It has provided us with some preliminary information and we are excited to keep improving the questioning, prompting and responses to students.
Educators who try the Kid’s Master Class can be asked to provide feedback via an online survey. Assess what worked, what to improve on.
- Note: See comments by Cindy Charles below. She conducted an impromptu “Go me!” session with her former struggling Kindergarten student, now in 9th grade, and prompted the student to speak about his “proud of” learning experiences. Her comments and the feedback she received show the potential for significant positive outcomes, based on the student’s comments.
It’s very exciting to be putting an idea into action, to follow through on the ideas and suggestions offered by our mentor from Google, Andy Ng as well as those from the inspiring Teacher Guild Coaches. I have been personally inspired by and have learned from Cindy Charles, Edwin Lagos and Ela Ben-Ur , passionate educators and design-thinkers. Thank you.
Comments from Cindy Charles in regards to a prototype interview opportunity.
Note: character trait labels/comments added (in parenthesis) by Angelo Truglio.
February 17, 2016: I had a wonderful experience Monday interviewing a former Kindergarten therapy student who is now a college bound freshmen in high school. He was shadowing me to investigate Occupational Therapy as a career. I decided to “wing it” and do a prototyping video session with this 9th grader just out of curiosity. I loved what he had to say! He clearly remembers his Kindergarten experience.
He remembers not having many friends and frequently not understanding what he was asked to do or how to do it. He often felt misunderstood. (Mindfulness)
He is super proud that, in spite of his obstacles in Kindergarten, he was an honor roll student by third grade. He is also super proud of being a star soccer player today with many friends. (His “Go me!” proud learning experience.)
He said he overcame his obstacles by trusting in himself and his parents. (Self-confidence/trust)
He became aware that he learns best physically by moving and doing. (Mindfulness/self-awareness)
His advice to teachers is to have a positive relationship with each child and to get to know how each student learns best. He said when he was in fear of the teacher he couldn't learn and only wanted to go home. He also feels teachers need to be relevant and students need to teach each other more. (Another beneficial outcome– encouraging student voice in how they learn best)
I was blown away by the insight of this young teenage boy! He was so shy as a Kindergarten student. He sparkled with confidence in his video interview! (Speaking about "proud of" experiences can help reinforce self-efficacy - “I am capable” “I matter!”)
This process is as powerful for the interviewer as it is for the student sharing their story. Wouldn't it be cool feedback for early grade teachers to hear what their students reflect upon later in their school journey?I can't wait to compare Jacob's insights to current early grade learners. I wonder if self-awareness comes before success or as a result of it?
Feb. 23rd 2016: Interview Update: Angelo, I love Edwin's idea of the digital portfolio! The opportunity would exist to be reminded in times of doubt or struggle of how far you have come or to be reminded of the character strengths you possess that you may have forgotten along your education journey. The parents of the high school student that I just interviewed as a prototype "Master Class" contacted me following his visit and said he is "on fire" with a new sense of passion and enthusiasm for school after his recent shadow day! I think his opportunity to be interviewed and reflect on past struggles and accomplishments reminded him of what character traits he used to persevere in the past and now he realizes he can use them in high school Spanish class as well!
March 21st: Reflections from the Kindergarten teacher who prototyped “Go me!” Time:
It was so special to have time to reflect one on one with a student to hear what they perceive as "proud of moments". As a classroom teacher we never get the opportunity and group reflections are never to intimate. Most of the time all students will repeat what they have heard their classmates say they are proud of. We have class celebrations each quarter, but the one on one spontaneous reflection in a video portfolio is priceless tool to share with family members, the student can review it later and it is a great portfolio for teachers to reflect on their success as a teacher. The digital portfolio would also be great for receiving teachers to hear and learn about each student they are receiving the following year. Often times the communication about students coming into the next grade level is minimal and mostly linear information regarding grades. ~Kindergarten teacher, South Carolina This teacher has told us she would love to be the year long prototype teacher for the implementation of this project next year.