If you are reading this, it is because we have survived the first week of the 2014-2015 school year. Not only that, but our amazing parents navigated news cameras, and car lines with grace. Our administration fearlessly lead us through schedule changes, and making sure all students are where they need to be. And, most of all, our students brought questions and excitement to learn. We did more than just make it through the first week, we set the year up to be, quite possibly, the best one yet!
This week, in our Gifted and Advanced class, we did an activity where our students drew their brains. That was all the instruction they were given. Complete with a blank piece of paper, and coloring supplies, their assignment was to look inside and see how they learn and examine what they think about. This was the first time I have done this activity with a group of students, and I was curious to see the results. Our first session, with just lasted about 30 minutes. The students sat in the empty cafeteria engaged and introspective. When we had to return to the classroom, there were many sighs of disappointment that they couldn’t spend more time finishing their project. After our second session, which was another 30 minutes, we had complete pictures.They really did spend a lot of time thinking about what they were putting on the paper. They were taking ownership of their drawings, and interpreting their meaning. One young lady asked, “Can I just write questions? That’s how my brain works.” A young man, a quite literal thinker, wanted to be reassured he could truly draw a brain and section of portions of the brain to show which percent dwells on what. Some creative minds didn’t draw a brain, or ask questions, but their pages were filled with wonderful doodles of both the real and the whimsy.
One of my goals as a teacher is to help our students understand how their brain thinks. Each one of us is wired differently, and we all have strengths we can use to do much good in the world. We also all have weaknesses, that once recognized, we can apply effort to and become proficient in those areas.
If you get the chance, I’d encourage you to ask your student what they drew on their page. Or perhaps, take a few minutes to draw your own interpretation of how your brain works and share it with your student. They might enjoy seeing what you’ve come up with.
Looking ahead, we have a very exciting project on the horizon. More details to come after the big reveal to the students!
Thanks for reading.