We have been really enjoying our ‘BUILDING THEME’ and the special ‘building’ focus each month. During November, we have concentrated on “Building Stamina”.
Everything we do is affected by stamina.
A student’s ability to do anything for a long period of time affects what they are able to learn. It is unfair to expect students to do something that they have not been taught, seen modeled, and practiced. Practice builds stamina.
During practice, it is important to set realistic goals. If the goal is to read independently for thirty minutes by the end of the year, it is okay to begin with a shorter goal, adding a few minutes a week. It may not seem like much, but it is building a foundation for success.
It is much like a marathon.
When a person starts training for a marathon, they would probably not force themselves to go the entire distance on the first run. (This is purely a hunch…not from experience!!) A fellow educator wrote, “The greatest gift we can give students is TIME. Time to learn, to process, and most importantly, to GROW. You can’t make a child do what they are not ready to do.”
It is important to monitor and celebrate PROGRESS.
Developing a growth mindset helps students to feel successful while they are building stamina and skills. It is important not to measure success by completion or product but rather, by growth. As long as we are moving forward, we are moving in the right direction. Each student learns at a different pace, therefore, individual goals need to be set for each student to help them build on the foundation that they have when they walk into the Grade 3 classroom.
Consistency is key
Let’s think about running a marathon again. If a person only runs once a week, they may not be ready to run a marathon. (Again, this is only a hunch!) The same idea applies when learning in the classroom. In order to build stamina, there must be consistent structure, practice and expectations. Healthy encouragement to develop skills is good for students. They need to know that they can be successful, one minute at a time!
Celebration is empowering.
This week, our first report cards will go home. Along with them we will have student-led conferences where the each student will show off their learning. It is a time for celebration as the students share their growth. Feeling good about their progress empowers students to regularly “go for another run”. We are looking forward to celebrating together!