The kids in principal Matt Renwick’s afterschool computer club love the time they spend creating (and destroying) things in the virtual world of Minecraft. Can these experiences help students develop a “growth mindset” and essential lifelong skills like effort, persistence, and positive attitude? Renwick is beginning to think so.
After several weeks of trying out a variety of web tools and games, principal Matt Renwick and his teaching partner decide the afterschool enrichment club may need a little more focus. They propose that students learn screencasting by developing short presentations with the general theme “How to Do One Thing Really Well.” Matt highlights three students’ experiences.
Inspired by the flipped classroom model, school-based coach Jennifer Carey is flipping her tech-related professional development to provide faculty more flexible learning opportunities and just-in-time support.
Setting boundaries & limiting choices can push students to think more deeply and become more creative, says principal Matt Renwick in his 3rd report on an afterschool enrichment club. Provided, of course, the constraints don’t actually stifle creativity.
We need to get happiness back into kids’ lives, says retired principal and school culture consultant Sue Stephenson. “In our 21st century world, media, particularly social media, guarantee that today’s children are bombarded with serious and even frightening issues.” In this excerpt from her book Kidding Around, Stephenson highlights ideas and resources to help students achieve a positive outlook and more success.
When principal Matt Renwick mentioned “Minecraft” in a flyer about an afterschool computer club, 30 percent of his elementary students showed up. In his second reflection on passion-based learning, Matt digs deeper into what educators mean when they talk about passion – and what needs to happen when frustration raises its predictable head.