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Getting out of your (curriculum) box
I am a rule follower. I don't like to stir the pot and I am always trying to make sure I am doing the right thing, crossing my t's and dotting my i's. So I try to follow the curriculum to the best of my ability, but sometimes staying in the box... can be a little... *ahem* stifling.
As I am embarking on an overhaul of my technology use within my classroom, I am noticing that I am more willing to peek outside my box a little more. So when I came up on a quiz in my curriculum that I wasn't vibing with, I decided it was time to toss it and rely on my superpower - the power of teaching and the discernment of what is best for my kids. Enter: Stop Motion.
I quickly set up my iPad and showcased how to make a quick step-by-step movie using Stop Motion Studio to show someone how to solve a multi-digit multiplication problem. After all, the objective of the work sample I was due to give that day was asking for the same, but why stay in the lines? (Bonus: I could share an unfamiliar strategy with parents!)
And what happened? Magic. Learning. Collaboration. Smiles. And real conversations about math and strategies in play within our classroom. I could see the students' thought processes and catch errors where present. I was able to connect in the moment and talk about their thinking in a way that I never could in a pen-and-paper test.
As we continue in our year, let us remember that we are teachers given a curriculum as a tool. But where the real magic happens is with us. We are the reasons kids learn, not the script.
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