Monday, June 17, 2013

Chapter 1: Nurturing Genius

It seems that in order to have a conversation about teaching our students about habitudes, we first need to understand them. Review the questions at the end of the chapter and share how the habitudes fit into your life and classroom. How do you see the habitudes helping your students become 21st century learners? If you are unsure, share that and get some ideas from the other participants. (By the way, how many of you raised your mental hand when she asked if you were a genius? I admit, I did not! But I love the idea that we are all geniuses sometimes.)

50 comments:

  1. As I look at the habitudes, I see three of them that I probably work the hardest at modeling and promoting to my students--curiosity, perseverance, and adaptability. I love to learn and have even told my students at times that at the end of the day I feel "as though there is so much going on in my head that it feels like it will explode." Trying to make sense of all that information, ideas, etc involves all of the aforementioned habitudes. I try to move kids away from their comfort zones and to think/talk/write about issues they do not "know"...in doing so, I want to promote the "it's okay not to know, yet" approach to learning. Then, we start to work on figuring it out by being curious (and I guess using our imaginations to be inventive about pursuing possible answers, etc) and then persevering through how many attempts it might take. And, when we struggle, I like to step back and think/talk about what might we do differently to go in a new direction...not sure that all makes sense, but that is how I try to keep learning moving.
    I am lucky enough to have a computer lab in my English classroom, so access to technology is fairly seamless. In that vein, I am constantly searching for 21st century tools to help students create meaning to their learning. IN using those tools, sometimes I may not be very adept at using them, so the students and I figure them out together. I am lucky to have tech support that will open up sites/tools for me to experiment with in this way. Additionally, I promote the visual nature of the Web in our work, but also with posters ranging from drama and poetry to film around my room. I use many of these visual representations to provide clues and promote relevance to whatever issue/subject we might be studying. The one habitude that I want to work on in this coming year is helping students develop self-awareness in their learning...I see this as linked to maturity, so in teaching seniors, I want to move them toward a better understanding of this and what to do as a result...not just throw your hands up in the air and say, "I don't get it..."

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    1. Yes, I think too often students are quick to throw their hands up in the air and say they don't get it, before stopping to try to think it through or even re-read the question! That drives me nuts! I like that you said you were going to try linking the self-awareness habitude to that - that might be something I might try, too.

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    2. I was hoping that students grew out of the "I don't get it" as they got older! I teach fourth graders and get that a lot. It's always interesting when I have conferences with students and they do seem to have some sort of self-awareness because they can tell me if they put forth as much effort as they should have. I think it's hard to some kids to have to stop and think because they are used to everything coming so quickly.

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    3. I work with Work-Based Learning students and AVID (college readiness system) students and I am continually amazed at how many students at the junior and senior level who throw their hands up in the air and say "I don't get it" or "I don't know what to do." I refuse to give them answers for things that I know they can think through and they get so angry. I try to explain each time that I am helping them to develop their problem-solving skills.

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  2. The Habitude of being curious goes along with my research-based classroom. We work in a laboratory where ideas are generated and real life projects are developed and carried through. It gives us a purpose for our work and the self-awareness of what we currently can do and where we want to go.

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  3. Of the seven habitudes, I especially see that Imagination, Passion, and Self-awareness fit into my K-6 Technology classroom. For the definition of the 21st Century Learner, I find that the emphasis is on Learner.
    “In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” –Eric Hoffer

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  4. The questions at the end of the chapter forced me to look at my classroom setting again and what my students will notice and remember. My take-away is fostering an environment where I have more student responsibility and honest conversations about learning and the topic at hand. My classes are very active and sometimes in the rush of the activity, we forget to stop and recognize/discuss what we are doing. I see all of the habitudes in my band classes, but passion, courage, and adaptability are the ones that stand out for me on a regular basis. I see the habitudes encouraging students to recognize school as more than a place to learn random bits of information. They should make the experience much more relevant and personal.

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    1. I agree with fostering responsibility. As I look back I don't know how many times I have told students that they need to be more responsible for their learning. After reading the first chapter, I am not sure I have done enough for them to truly grasp what responsibility is.

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    2. I post on my front door: Take responsibility for yourself and do not blame others...I do not say anything about it, but every year during the first week a student will ask about it. Then we talk about it...great community building activity.

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    3. Ted, I like that idea; may I borrow it for use in my classroom this year?

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    4. I agree with Julie. I think the responsibility and ownership pieces are lacking in the middle school and high school students I have taught. I don't think a lot of them understand the concepts.

      Recently we were just having a conversation at a class I was taking through ISU about perseverance. We felt that this and stamina needs to be built for these kids and that we need to provide opportunities to do so.

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    5. I feel that students realize that by the time that they get to high school, if they say that they don't understand or won't persevere, they do this because it is much easier for them to do so. As teachers, we wait 5 seconds and then give the kids the answer. They've learned that if they just wait, the teacher will explain exactly what they want.

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  5. I think the ideal classroom would be set up like the Indianapolis Children's Museum, where the kids are exploring, experimenting, and immersed in their learning. This type of environment would foster the habitudes of imagination, curiosity, and passion. Depending on what you had the students doing, it could also encompass the other habitudes. While it's not practical to make my classroom like the Children's Museum, I can always strive in that direction.

    I like the lessons and materials that shared in this chapter. I'm wondering if anyone has taken the activities and worksheets and adapted them to be developmentally appropriate for lower elementary children. It would be hard for most young children to read them as they are currently written. Is anyone else teaching lower elementary? What are your thoughts?

    I have one comment to share from the introduction to the book. I really liked the statement that said success in the 21st century requires the ability to "Stand out, stand up, and stand beside, knowing when each is required."

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    1. I, too, focused on the quote from the introduction "Stand out, stand up, and stand beside, knowing when each is required." Each year I have students who excel at one of these (standing out, for example) but lack the understanding of when it is appropriate to choose a different course of action (stand beside). I am hopeful explicit instruction of the habitudes will guide my students in the journey to life-long learning.

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  6. As I look back on 37 years of teaching, I am proud to realize that I have become an expert in each of these habitudes. All of these are necessary to becoming an effective, dynamic classroom teacher. As I developed these characteristics (by necessity), I now realize that I began encouraging (demanding?) my students do the same. I used to tell my AP Eng/Lang students (juniors) that I expected them to take risks with rhetoric in their writing. As we studied rhetorical strategies through models of good writers, I expected them to experiment in their own writing. They knew that those who took risks (even if an elaborate metaphor failed) earned better grades from me than those who played it safe and fell back into their 10th grade "safe" (and boring) zones. Teaching these habitudes requires establishing a classroom environment of safety and trust. Adaptability probably took me the longest to achieve, because I have always been a person who resisted change. And, boy, was there ever change in those 37 years! Having just started a new career as a secondary literacy specialist at IDOE, I'm finding these "habitudes" are serving me well. My learning curve has been pretty steep, but my "habitudes" are enabling me to adjust pretty quickly. Only because I'm passionate about education was I willing to come out of a brief retirement and take on this new challenge.

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    1. Jill, I felt the same way when I read about the habitudes- though by no means do I consider myself a genius. I'm an overachiever, and without trying my parents instilled these habitudes in me- I always just thought it was a drive for excellence but now I see what they were up to instinctively. So I asked my 13 year old son (who is a gifted/advanced student) if he was a genius- and he told me "of course" without blinking. Apparently I've taught him these habitudes without realizing it. Now to get my students to "buy in"...

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  7. As a teacher that services intense/severe students with both cognitive and physical difficulties, my approach to digesting this book's material will probably be different. As I read the introduction, Angela Maiers's definitions of curiosity, self-awareness, adaptability, and perseverance gave me new insight to those exact words so often used in preparing my student's Individual Education Plans and their ISTAR Assessments. It proves interesting that these same words so often used with special need's students are the same words and concepts that the author suggests for students entering the 21st century world.

    I reread Chapter One trying to figure out how the "genius" concept could be effectively used with my students. I ended up getting on the author's blog site and was immediately attracted to her approach on "You Matter". I use the endearing phrase, "You matter to me" with my students. They now know and recognize that phrase. I'm not going to let this "genius" concept go. My grandson and granddaughter spend Monday's and Wednesday's with me during the summer. Maybe tomorrow instead of a reading break, we'll discuss this idea of instilling genius in their repertoire of who they think they are.

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    1. Kerri, I think it is exciting that you are thinking about this genius concept for your particular students. If your students know they matter, or can think of themselves as some kind of genius, imagine the difference it can make for them. Plus, I bet the genius conversation with the grand kids was fun! They will undoubtedly want to know what you are a genius at? Be fair to yourself when you answer!

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    2. I've been noticing more and more that a lot of the students that present classroom management issues have their own particular genius areas. Trying to find a way to connect with their particular genius makes a real difference in their behavior and hopefully in their self-esteem.

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  8. Reading about the "genius" in kids always reminds me of the Sir Ken Robinson clip when just about all of the kindergartners raise their hands when asked if they are a genius. As age increases, the number of hands up seems to go down. Why?

    Thinking about my "classroom" in relation to the book reinforces how fortunate I feel to be a media specialist. A library media center had better be a place for imagination and curiosity! One of our functions is still to support students through selecting materials to read, whether for pleasure reading or for research, but increasingly we assist with technology in a variety of ways. When assisting a teacher, class, small group, or individual, we all need to have some adaptability and perseverance ("Okay, this isn't working, now what?"), and it make take some courage for all of us to try something new.

    The nature of a media center gives us so many opportunities to interact with students on an individual basis. Some times we get to know them in different ways than a classroom teacher would. On a narrower bases, I enjoy the idea of the Dream Team people. Often we do get to work with students who are researching a famous person who might illustrate some of the habitudes. I often learn as much about the person as the student. I realize that the purpose of assembling the dream team might not be to incorporate only famous people, but I really enjoy it when the student researches someone who overcame tremendous obstacles.

    Depending on the schedule for the day, there's no limit to the possibilities to apply the habitudes. For the coming year, we will have four different areas/labs in the media center. It could literally be a four-ring circus, with some individuals or groups thrown in on the side.

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    1. I love any circus...are you the ringleader? That will take adaptability...

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  9. The one thing I plan on implementing the very first day is to find out what each student thinks their genius is. My choral students for the most part are bright, energetic and fun loving. They will handle it well. I believe they will let me know where their genius is. It is my learning lab and my general music students who come to me deflated and do not value their self worth. Genius will be be covered among the first few days and continued with reminders throughout the year. This goes along with their self-awareness.

    Although there was a lot to cover in that first chapter I do believe that by the end of the year my students have awakened their imaginations, especially in the 8th grade. We work on Perseverance, Courage, Adaptability and Passion all year long. We just don't label it as such. This year we will add the habitudes to our vocabulary.

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    1. I agree with adding the habitudes to their vocabulary. Like you, I think many teachers work on these things but haven't taken the time to actually "name it" explicitly.

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  10. I really like Barb's comment about having the Indianapolis Children's Museum as the model for our classrooms. I feel really constrained in the library, only getting to see each class for 30-45 minutes a week, but I am pushing myself to find a more creative/hand's on approach to the time I spend with them, in somewhat limited space.. The three habitudes I identify the most with are Curiosity, Adaptability & Perseverance. I've used the YouTube video, Did You Know?, with Jr. High students to give them some perspective on how fast our world is changing. Being a lifelong learner is not going to be optional in their futures and I hope I model that as well. I've been lucky that my two big loves, libraries and technology, have become so closely inter-related. I see the Habitudes of adaptability and perseverance being really necessary to encourage. Already in Jr. High I find that many students quit if they don't succeed the first time they try to find something. They are already getting "locked in" to only looking one place for information (Google ;p)and if they don't find their answer almost verbatim, they're done looking! Due to scheduling issues, I am not going to see our 8th grade classes on a regular schedule. To try to keep from losing them I'm working on a plan to offer some mini "Makerspace" activities that I hope will encourage many of these habitudes.

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  11. Being a middle school media specialist, I really like the idea of "You are a genius, and the world needs your contribution." Middle school is really a time of students growing up and into their own person. If they were inspired by that statement at this important time of change in their life, imagine what it could bring them as they enter high school and college? I think that it is very important that each student know that they each have an inner genius. I've heard too many say that they just aren't smart enough for this or that... now I have a great quote to respond with! I truly do feel that each student has his or her own strengths, and imagination, curiosity, courage, passion, and perseverance (along with some confidence) are all they need to succeed.

    To repeat what I responded in Ted's post, I get quite frustrated with students who are quick to give up in searching for an answer. Many just don't want to TRY. Perhaps the concept of self-awareness will give them the boost they need to give pause before immediately asking for help before thinking the question through.

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    1. I really like the "You are a genius, and the world needs your contribution" too. I plan to post this in my libraries. Many of students feel they have nothing to contribute and are discouraged. I know personally when I read this at 42 years old it made me feel better. I can only imagine how that would have made me feel at 12, 13, or 14 years old!

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    2. I agree, Laura- kids are put down and feel worthless (it seems like we have more kids "cutting" to release the pain and give themselves control each year) but I love the idea of "the world needs your contribution too"- not just their existence or survival matters, but what they can ADD to our world- we all can add something!

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    3. I think this is a really important concept as well. I'm already thinking of a theme with yellow caution tape and "Genius at Work" signs in the library! I've been following a lot of discussions on "Makerspaces" and "Genius Hour" in education and they seem to be a perfect fit for the Habitudes.

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  12. One of the first questions asked at the end of this chapter was, "Who am I teaching?". I have been teaching for twenty-five years, and as I see my past students out in the "real world", who I am teaching becomes very clear. What I look at these young adults I always wonder what I may have done to help them to see who they could become. Sometimes students are very good about thanking teachers, specifically, for ways we directed them along the way. I judge the success of my teaching when these kids graduate and become successful adults.

    My job as high ability math teacher was a new position in our school this year. I had one class of students who had a great chemistry with each other as the year progressed. Their enthusiasm, along with mine, created a momentum that carried on daily from lesson to lesson. They were excited each day to come to class, and I was excited to have them. The result: these student have developed a real passion for math, and for working hard to understand it! I learned from them that there is absolutely no limit to what they are capable of learning!

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  13. I have a unique opportunity this year to "reinvent" myself. I'm going to just be teaching 6th grade social studies for the first time (I've always taught multiple levels during the day) all day long, starting with the "advanced" kids first period. So I think I'm going to try a different approach as our "get to know you" back-to-school week and work on these habitudes. We also get a brief return to period 1 homeroom at the end of the day- 3 days a week we read but I'll have 2 days that I can incorporate the lessons suggested in Chapter 1. I am very goal oriented with my kids, going over growth each 9 weeks with them based on their grading period tests. BUT it always puzzles me when kids don't reach their academic goals or show improvement, term after term. And they seem to just accept that it's normal to not grow. I had a huge "aha" moment while reading- they don't have these habitudes. They have no expectations for themselves. They don't think they have any genius at all. SO I'm going to take a totally new approach, try to mention a habitude daily as part of my lesson (not just the hard academic skills and knowledge, but the "soft skills" too), and see what happens. I'm hoping it totally changes me as a teacher- and my students as learners- and the experiment that I try with my advanced class may just spill over into all of my classes before the year is out. Kids today seem so hopeless about their future- they don't see themselves in better world or life than their parents have- but maybe these habitudes can be a paradigm shift for us all. I'm excited to discuss this with all of you- like the poster above said, together our learning (and our students' learning too) can be limitless!

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  14. Wow! This book is not what I expected. I had to go back and read the little blurb on Amazon again. I’ve never heard of ‘habitudes’ before. Wow again! As I’m reading, I’m putting myself in the classroom and visualizing how this is going to work. I teach third grade, and in our building third grade is on the ‘other’ side of the building. I really play that up during the first part of the year so the kids will get a sense of responsibility. But I can see how to put the habitudes to work better than just talking about responsibility. Like most other schools we have high stakes testing. As we prepare for these tests, I try to pump them up to let them know they can do it! Third graders (at least in our school), are just understanding that they can become an important piece of their learning. Every year I ask the kids ‘who’s in charge of your learning?’ they always point to me! Until they get the idea that their finger should point to them!
    The questions at the end of the chapter are questions that should be looked at many times throughout the year, at least for me. Personally, I get so caught up in teaching the curriculum, making sure I get through it, that sometimes the kids don’t get that ‘you matter’ effect. (Angela Maiers has a video where she talks about those two words . . . try to watch it!) That’s what I really need to work on and using these nurturing techniques can only bring about a great year for them and me.

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    1. I really agree with you when you said that the questions should be looked at many times throughout the year. I am thinking about putting it on my calendar for each nine weeks to review and reassess personally how I am doing with the students in regards to those questions. It seems like a great way to keep perspective and focus throughout the hustle of the year.

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    2. We too spend a lot of the beginning of the year talking about responsibility, and I think I often expect the students to either have the habitudes already or not. It never seemed like there was time to "teach" these things and that students should already have been taught them at home. I know that is not true, and I am excited for the ideas and instructional plan on how to incorporate habitude learning in my classroom. The classroom seems like a wonderful atmosphere to instill the habitudes in students. They will have so many opportunities to practice them!

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  15. I was surprised when I read Ted’s post because he picked the same three habitudes that I did for my students. I feel curiosity, perseverance, and adaptability are the most important. Our world is constantly changing and there are new advances daily. Our students have to be open and curious about these advances and want to learn about them. I believe perseverance is so important because there are going to be many challenges in every child’s life and they have to decide to perseverance through these. Finally, because we live in an ever changing world and students have to be able to adapt.

    I also agree with Barb who was curious about adapting these to lower elementary grades. As the school counselor I work with students in K-5 and I was also wondering how to make these lessons more appropriate for the lower elementary grade levels. I think it is important for them to be aware of the habitudes but also need to find a way to do this that will help them understand them.

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  16. This book has really opened my eyes so far. I had never really thought of "genius" in this way or of teaching students these skills. As I look at my own life I have always loved school, from elementary to post-graduate work, and I never thought of why. Now I can see the curiosity in my own self, and I thought "well, duh!” I had never really thought about what makes someone love to learn and others dread it. In the classroom I have fell victim to just expecting that I would have some high achieving students, some average, and some low. I can see now how flawed that thinking was. I am so hoping to be able to motivate students and get them to see (and me!) that they can all be high achievers. As far as being a 21st Century student, I can see where we as educators need to continue to "raise the bar" and push our students to think deeper. We have already seen a shift from state tests that are multiple choice to the applied skills. While the multiple choice are less stressful for the students, the applied skills are what they would encounter in real life. For me I think it’s about teaching students to see how learning and life are inseparable.

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  17. This first chapter was just what I needed to get started for the new school year! With this first chapter fresh on my mind, my kids and I went to see Monsters University at the movie theater today. The "Dream Team" really hit me as I watched all these characters realize they had a genius in each of them! It was a great connection to this beginning chapter. I, too, feel that I haven't raised the bar and expected more from my students sometimes. I can't wait to get this new mindset started day 1!

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    1. I saw that movie last night as well and had the same connection :) I think that could easily tie in with self-awareness, getting kids to recognize what their strengths are.

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    2. I saw Monsters University last night and also had the same connection. I loved how Mike showed courage, imagination,determination, and adaptability through out the movie. I also liked how each of the members of his team came to see their genius. We all have strengths. We need to find those and make the most of those strengths!

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  18. I teach an exploratory class, Preparing for College and Careers for 9th graders; ICE which is a Work-Based Learning Program where my 12th graders are in a class with me and work at a job outside of the school; and AVID 11 and 12 which is a college readiness system. All of these habitudes are stressed in each of my classes every year. Even for my 9th graders I like to think I set the bar high and expect them to perform as high schoolers. However, I tend to find that all of the students (9-12) need hand holding more than I like to give them which sometimes blows my mind. We work on responsibility and problem solving a lot in my classroom!

    As one individual responded above, I think my parents instilled all of the habitudes (they just called them something else) in me and my brother with no questions asked; it was expected that we "get it."

    As for being a genius, I don't think I am; more of an over-achiever and perfectionist is how I describe myself. If I asked my students if they were geniuses I don't think any of them would raise their hands. It has always amazed me that elementary students are so excited to go to school (most days), so what happens to them as they grow older and enter middle and high school? Why do they lose that "genius" attitude? Is it because of teachers that they lose their "genius" attitude? How do I help them find it again?

    Can't wait to see what the rest of the chapters hold for me to learn.

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  19. I am so rejuvenated already! I love the idea of sharing the habitudes with our students and touching on them throughout the year. We have discussed ways to help our students with study skills and reading strategies, but what a great way to look at the bigger picture! I can see using the habitudes with our homeroom classes to build relationships and support student learning throughout the building. The Dream Team was an "Aha!" moment for me. Sharing the group of who you look up do and hope to model in your actions and life is a great way to build relationships beyond basic information. Also a great way to help students connect what those role-models did that they can tie back to their own practices.

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  20. Curiosity, imagination and perseverance are the habitudes I see most often in the library and that I feel so many students need my help with on a daily basis. Students need that imagination when coming up with project ideas and it doesn't come easy for some. Curiosity sometimes is lost when students decide on topics that are easy to research or when they aren't given the opportunity to choose their own topics. Perseverance is never seen enough and is especially needed by students that find too much standing in their way of academic success. I love the final thought of the chapter "You are a genius and the world needs your contribution." (Seth Godin, Linchpin). The library can be the place for those students who don't always fit in, for those students who feel that they are "less than", and for those students that are ridiculed or ostracized for having imagination and/or curiosity. How might they feel if I welcomed them to the library by saying this mantra to them daily? I wonder sometimes how I can make a difference in my school to the students I see so sporadically. I might just have found my way. :) I am so looking forward to reading more of this book and your discussion/thoughts/inspirations. I'm feeling inspired already!

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    1. Yes, Michelle! I was thinking the same thing for my library!

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  21. The question I focused on was "How do classroom design and atmosphere affect learning?". I visit as many rooms as I can in my building and I always notice how seats are arranged, whats on the boards, etc. Some rooms are so messy and cluttered I wonder how students can think and work in there. Other rooms seem to be almost sterile and uninteresting. Classroom design and atmosphere has to be addressed to affect a positive learning environment.

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  22. The question I focused on is What is Education? I'm inspired by the habitudes personally and professionally. They become the expectations in the classroom. I loved listening to Angela Maiers on edutalk blogtalkradio talking about this book. She explained habitudes help facilitate the overall expectation in the classroom of commitment and accountability. ”The contributions that are made daily in the classroom don’t just impact you and your learning. They will impact the rooms’ ability to achieve and proceed.” That statement really brought the whole reality of what education should be. How do we align these expectations to facilitate student learning and also meet expectations of our standards? I’m inspired to try it and set these expectations in my classroom. It is exciting to think about setting aside a little time to achieve a genius hour (well maybe not hour but we could start with a little time) with my students to see what inspires them and see what habitudes are already inside of them that need awakened!

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  23. This book was just what I needed to inspire my teaching in the coming school year. My challenge for myself is to integrate explicit instruction of the habitudes throughout the school year. I agree with others who have mentioned how essential it is for students to completely understand the meaning of each of the habitudes before they can fully discuss and implement them in their own lives. My fourth grade students are at that key age in which some of them make the decision to just slide by doing the bare minimum. Exploring the genius in each student could be the necessary inspiration to keep some of my students on the path to greatness.

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  24. Admittedly, I did not raise my hand at the initial "genius" question as well. It's obvious that most of us have a blurred interpretation of "genius."
    * What is education and why are we here?
    It's refreshing to know that teaching habits of the heart and mind are valued, and that success in school is measured in other ways besides standardized test scores. As I read this chapter, I couldn't help but reflect on the school year and ponder the question, "What will my students remember most about this year and me?" It's that revelation, which forces me to question whether I am truly clearing the path of discovery for all students as they realize their individual "geniuses".
    * How do classroom atmosphere and design affect learning?
    "You are a genius, and the world needs your contribution!" I'm writing this on my board, class website, and every visible source possible next year. I truly believe that building a class community founded on trust will enable students to interact and embrace the culture of "habitudes" in the classroom.
    * How does my teaching affect my students?
    These are four great questions that could be great blog reflections for myself and for students. Modeling is always the best teacher. It would be interesting to compare my initial thoughts each week with those of the students. Was the outcome the same for all participants?
    Great first chapter....I found myself pausing and thinking about this past year- and already formulating new ideas for next year.

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  25. The first question, "What is Education? Why are we here?" is a question I need to ask myself daily. I think reading about the importance of the habitudes is a great reminder that I am not an educator to teach students how to pass a test, but that I am an educator to find the best or the "genius" in my students. I think the instruction described to teach the habitudes will assist in remembering some of the importance of education that is sometimes forgotten.
    This past week, I have spent a lot of time thinking about how I want to set up my classroom. When asked the question "How do classroom design and atmosphere affect learning?" I realized that now have a new challenge of incorporating the habitudes in my plan. I think it would be great to display our class Dream Team as a reminder of our role models and that each of us is a genius. I also love the idea of many other to post "You are a genius, and the world needs your contribution". What a great reminder to all students that they do have something to contribute.
    The final question, "How does my teaching affect my students?" will need to be asked many times during the year. I will need to refer back and remind myself to continue to incorporate habitudes in my instruction.

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  26. I love the concept of students having different levels/areas of genius and for teachers realizing that and promoting it within their classrooms. Too often we listen to others badmouth students and we have expectations of them before they even enter the classroom.

    I love the questions at the end of the chapter -- How will I judge the success of my teaching? What will students remember most about their time in my classroom and with me? What legacy do I wish to leave? I feel that these really get to the heart of what good teaching can be.

    This chapter also makes me realize that teachers often kill curiosity. We ask questions to which we already know the answer and if a student response doesn't fit within our neat idea, we say that it is wrong. Why can't we have imagination, curiosity, perseverance, courage, or passion as we teach? We don't always have to know the answers, but can learn along with our students. I also loved the question: What was the greatest lesson I learned from my students? I think that is great!

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  27. Sorry that I'm late to the party...sometimes I need to be ready to learn (just like our students) and it took me until now to be ready. Since I start school in 2 weeks -- it's a great time to focus on the habitudes and how they can ready me for the new year. I'm also in charge of a new teacher orientation at my school and I've already pose several questions to the new teachers based upon what I've read.

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  28. I am late too. I enjoyed reading the first chapter. It also reminds me that will all have different gifts and abilities. Just like we enjoy working with students, but others do not. And they may enjoy working with something that we do not. It is nurturing the genius in our students that they can be successfu. It does not have to be in everything. Sometimes it does take perseverance to work through something.Some students give up to easily. I see that with some of the students that I work with and they get upset when you don't give them the answer right away. Sometimes time is needed to allow are minds to come up with solutions to what we are working on. Teaching students the different habitudes will help students see that learning is not just doing the assignment or being able to do math or read, but using the different habitudes.

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