The quote above is from Deepika Padukone. Today was one of those wonderful days that I could see the great work being done at Eminence Community Schools in the faces of our students. In class after class I visited, I saw students working hard. In one class, four young men collaborated around a computer screen for 10 minutes trying solution after solution to get an element for a computer program the way they wanted it. The teacher didn’t order them to get that picture of a banana to have a transparent background, but the student using the picture wanted it to look the best it could, and by golly, he and his peers were going to work hard and get it right. In two other classes, the teachers gave the students work to complete that was beyond what those students could do – but the teachers had created cultures where students could try out solutions, help one another, take their time and work hard; to think hard. And they got it. They got it by growing smarter and growing stronger.
The students are learning the same thing in the weight room with Mr. Burelison. He showed me the video below, both proud of the young ladies that have doubled their maxes from 9 weeks ago, but he was also proud of the peers behind them cheering them on. Mrs. Wilcoxen said even after they left the weightroom the students were excited and talking about what they had accomplished.
Here is a link to a quick video one of our pre-algebra students made using Flipgrid to show how to calculate the price of a car that had a percentage discount. https://flipgrid.com/s/6f51f9f266e1
The students were able to choose different cars, they had different discounts, and they approached their Flipgrid videos differently. When students didn’t know how to do the calculation, the teacher asked them prompting questions, but sometimes she let the kids try approaches that wouldn’t work. Students got wrong answers, and the teacher asked them if their answers made sense, and if they didn’t they went back to the drawing board. More than once I saw students that were PUMPED UP to figure it out. Kids normally don’t get pumped up when we show them exactly how to do something, but when they feel that struggle; when they hit that wall; and they eventually burst through – well that’s the sweetest fruit.