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Friday, August 29, 2014

What New Learning Path Will You Take?

As I reviewed the learning path lesson for students, I thought about the new learning path I would take to learn something new and to also model my learning for students.

When students see their teacher embarking on a new learning path, it gives them the courage and enthusiasm to start their own path.

At first, I couldn't think of a path. I had a few in the works, but they weren't paths I wanted to share with children. Then I received an invitation to participate in an online, free Stanford course.  I looked over the offerings and found a super match: Introduction to Mathematical Thinking. I had hoped to read a book about this topic over the summer, but I didn't. Then I signed up for a summer course which gave me a glimpse of this topic.  This course, according to the course description, seems like a perfect course for me--a course that will answer many questions that I have about mathematical thinking.

Also, this is the perfect journey to share with students for the following reasons:
  • This will offer me a challenge. I'll struggle; I'll make mistakes; I'll need to persevere and reach beyond my comfort zone; and I'll need their support. 
  • The topic will help me to help them as I want to impart a mathematical mindset to my students, and I find that taking higher level information and perspectives down to my fifth graders to be a terrific way to teach and inspire.
When students begin to choose their independent learning paths, I'll give them the time they need to choose a good topic. It took me a week to choose this topic. We'll also carve out the time to support our individual projects and coach one another towards success. 

What new learning path will you embark on this year?  How will you share that path with your students?  What do you hope to achieve?

Would you like to join me on this path? If so, let me know and we can touch base with one another as we learn. 

Note: Here's a copy of my learning path plan: