Wednesday, December 6, 2017

How the Baseball Card Collectors Club Introduced Me to the Deeper Learning Competencies

I've been thinking a lot about what deeper learning means in today's classrooms and the many ways it might look. Some may think that deeper learning is a new concept or just the latest buzzword, but it certainly isn't. I was able to identify an example of a time that I experienced deeper learning as a student. It happened nearly 35 years ago and it helped me get through middle school during a time when I was struggling both academically and socially. The interesting thing is that the experience had nothing to do with an academics (or technology) but had everything to do with me becoming a better, more confident learner, thanks to a science teacher who had a passion for collecting baseball cards and started a club.

Baseball Cards and Deeper Learning
How the Baseball Card Collectors Club Introduced Me to the Deeper Learning Competencies

Content mastery- I loved the back of the baseball cards even more than the front because that's where the numbers were. Despite struggling in math class, I had no problem calculating batting averages in my head. I used division with ease to figure out how the result of a batter's plate appearance would impact his overall average .

Effective communication- The room we met in after school once a week was often filled with lively debates about who the best players of the day were and the advisor was very much a part of the discussion. One game we invented to rank players was called "Hall of Fame or Hall of Shame".

Critical thinking/Problem solving- Any card collector knows that trades are a great way to enhance your collection, the conundrum was always whether to consider a trade based on value or simply because you liked a certain team or player. A great deal of thought was put in before parting with any card.

Collaboration- As a group we made decisions about what to do at our meetings and came up with ways ways to make our hobby even more enjoyable. I remember working together as a group with our advisor to draft a letter to administration requesting a television so that we could watch a game in school on opening day.

Learning ho to learn- I did not enjoy reading at all as a youngster but I begged my parents to subscribe to the Providence Journal, not for the articles but because I absolutely HAD to have access to the box scores. I would read them, cut them out, sort, and memorize them like flash cards, a skill that would benefit me years later.

Academic mindset- My perception of the the other students in the club was that they were academically superior to me and I felt intimidated by them. Nevertheless, when it came to baseball knowledge I had a certain confidence. That confidence eventually transferred into other areas of my life in and out of school.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

10 Simple things you can do that will help you have a great day

  • Greet students at the door with a smile
  • Pack yourself a healthy snack and lunch
  • Remind yourself that you will make a positive impact on the lives of your students today
  • Set a personal and professional goal
  • Connect with a colleague
  • Organize your work space
  • Thank a staff member for their hard work
  • Be sure every child leaves with a smile on their face and looking forward to the next day
  • Take a moment to reflect on all that you accomplished