CRUSHING GOALS has become our daily mantra in The Ingenious Lab. When you walk in on any given day you will here the sounds of…
“YES, I did it!”
“Ahhhh, sooooo close”
“Look Mrs. Nan, I made it to the next level!”
“Can I have just another minute… I know I can do it?!”.
This is incredibly rewarding for me, but it didn’t happen over night. These are the same students who despised math fluency in August and barely completed a set amount of math facts in under an hour. These are the same students who found little to no value in the NWEA assessment and whizzed through it just to put their heads down. These are the students who groaned at working on phonics when they felt they were past that skill even with gaps in their foundation. They honed in on what came easy for them and snubbed the challenge of other skills and subjects.
Does this sound familiar? Do you find that children have already predetermined what they are good at or not before you even get the chance to show them otherwise? Do they simply push aside areas that require critical thinking, perseverance, or maybe a fresh mindset?
My students needed a fire lit under them and I was determined to do it! They needed a purpose to tie into their learning. They needed to be passionate about their learning. They needed to take pride in their work and the journey they would go on to achieve success. I was committed to making that happen and you can too!
Ways To Make Goal Crushing Achievement Happen:
- Kids need to have fun… it makes them tick! Find their joy and tie it in to the purpose of what they need to learn. For my students their joy stemmed around creating and making, spending time with friends, and having options to choose from that would fit into their current world of interests.
- Find out what they want to be or what they enjoy outside of school that could connect to a profession. They are never too young to visualize their future. This may be a moment of hope for a child. Hope that they can be what they want through determination and hard work. That their future does not have to be defined by their current situation. This is about building a relationship with them beyond the skill, yet listening to their passions to bring relevance to what they are learning.
- Give options for seating. How they learn is a major factor in how much they learn. Flexible seating has been at the forefront of education for a few years and we as educators owe it to every child to jump on board. No two students are alike and we need to help them learn their strengths and weaknesses and then empower them to know what they need to succeed. Do they need to stand? Do they need an outlet for their fidgeting? Do they need to bounce? Do they need to stretch out and put on music? Most do not know. Most students have been told how to learn and now they simply want to sit by a friend to get through the day. Is this really how we want to define learning for them?
- Celebrate their successes… you may be the only one who does! No “buts” involved. They don’t need to hear “you did great, but…” what they did wrong or that they could have done even better. They need to wrap themselves in that moment and celebrate! HUG them, high-five them, do a dance, shout it from the desktop, just make that child relish the moment of success. Believe it or not once they become self-motivated they will no longer hinge their successes on your personal feelings, but instead on their own!
- Have student conferences! These can be as little as 2-3 minutes in length. You must take the time to speak with love and care for their well-being and growth. They are not able to create goals if they do not know where they are at in their learning. They need concrete examples and then an opportunity to create a plan with you. Make this happen for every child!
Be a GOAL CRUSHER for and with every child! Their learning depends on it!