Aug 30, 2015
Classroom Ninja Training: Strategic
Our firsties have been learning our behavior expectations through their ninja training: bravery (taking risks), perseverance, curiosity, responsibility, and respect. The activities that we have completed and lessons that have been taught are not that different from years past. But after our math PD this summer, we realized that some skills needed to be added. Taking risks (for example: sharing an answer that may be different from others) and perseverance (not giving up even when it is hard) were two important ones because they impact the participation and engagement of students. Strategic behavior is another important skill for a productive classroom.
So our ninja training continues with strategic behavior!
The second thing that comes to mind is everyday problems. Students need to be strategic about how to solve their problems. They are getting older and have to start taking on that responsibility of not always relying on an adult. For example, when I hear "my pencil is broke" I remind them that there is a way to solve that problem that we have practiced. But it is the responsibility of the student to solve that problem on their own.
Maria started this lesson with the book "There's an Alligator Under My Bed" by Mercer Mayer.
Oh my goodness!! What a perfect book for strategic problem solving!
To follow up on this book, Maria created a problem/solution chart. We first saw this over at "My Silly Firsties." The idea works perfectly for this day of ninja training! This is just the beginning of our chart. Ummm...the paper towel issue is a real one for our school!
Then it was time to test our their strategic skills. All the first graders headed outside to an obstacle course.
As our year continues, we will revisit this word OFTEN. It is so important that they be strategic and think carefully about the strategies that they use.
Do you have any lessons that you love to help your students be strategic problem solvers?