Author: Elaine Menardi

Heading off on a new adventure! I solve problems and make ideas happen.
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#GeniusHour

Great Idea

Genius Hour is taking hold in the innovative corners of education-world. Seems like it’s more popular in elementary classrooms where students spend a good chunk of time in the same space versus high school rooms where students typically travel six or seven times a day. Genius hour fits easier into the extended block of learning time rather than into a core class which focuses on about an hour of same-subject instruction.

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Education Is Not About Answers

Questions and Answers

In the grand scheme of education, the focus is almost exclusively on answers. Teachers teach students how to get answers. Students repeat those answers on homework and tests and more tests. Report card grades and test scores provide reassurance that the proper answers have been received and tallied.

This is the natural flow of education and has been for over 300 years since the first public school appeared in the United States. Whether the innate desire for correct answers originated with the advent of public education or was the result of the evolution of American culture is more of a chicken-and-egg question. No doubt that the need to have answers and to have the right answers is part-and-parcel of daily life anymore.

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Kids with Digital DNA

What do you know about Generation Z?

These are the kids who are in currently in elementary and middle school. Gen Z is uniquely different than any previous generation and the advances in technology have a large part to do with that. We call them ‘digital natives’. They have never known a world without computers or internet. That alone is a mind-blowing-crazy-idea for anyone over 25.

How do analog parents cope with digital kids?
How do veteran teachers handle the lightning-fast learning needs of this new generation of student?

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#DragonSlayer

Growth Mindset

All year in MindWorks, we have been focused on growing our intelligence. Our two big themes have been grit and curiosity. We have learned about brain development and knowledge acquisition, determination and believing in yourself, fixed and growth mindset. All of these ideas are so valuable to young adolescent students as they grow into the future.

There exist some classic one-liners we all say at one time or another that show us we are in fixed-mindset-mode… at least temporarily. So we made a bulletin board for our classroom… growth mindset reminders radiating outward from the middle.

D stands for Design

Like a Splinter in Your Mind

Everyday, we see things differently than the day before. With fresh eyes and insight, the world presents new questions seeking answers… new situations to be encountered… new problems requiring solutions.

When we choose to make positive change in the world, we open ourselves up to discovering unique gifts and talents within and we become designers. People who want to move mountains to make impossibilities become possible.

To design is to create adventure!