Sunday, May 13, 2007

Flexible thinkers

One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how easily my third graders can use a tool, especially a new one, to solve a problem.

We're in the middle of writing these books for our annual Young Author's Conference, and of course not everybody is right on schedule... just like grown ups and deadlines. On Friday when I reminded them that their writing was supposed to be DONE by now (and perfect), there were a few gasps. Not that this deadline should have been news, but, well anyway.... So somebody raises her hand and asks if there is a way they can take their books home for the weekend to work on. All their writing is saved in Word on our local server, and they know they can't get there from home. Well, I was about to answer, but...

A few hands shot up, and somebody explained to her that she could just copy/paste to her blog, save it (and not "request publishing"). Then she could log in from home, and copy/paste from her blog into Word, upload the new version to her blog, you get the idea.

We have never talked about this. They came up with it on their own. Several knew this was the answer the moment the question came up. As a matter of fact, a couple of them said they had done this two months ago when they were collaborating on their Science Fair Project presentation.

Teacher nods his head, gives kudos all around for being creative thinkers, and wishes them good luck on their books. And has a flashback to a similar incident a year ago...

How can we possibly question giving them these new tools?


Tom Hoffman said...

We can question why our IT staff can't give us a reasonable way to perform such a common task. This shouldn't require a creative work-around (although it is great that your kids came up with one).

Anonymous said...

I have been subscribing to the feed for your blog and it's really inspiring. I have recently joined the blogging world, and I am hoping that I can get other teachers to read it. I am looking to connect with teachers on the subject of fiction writing in particular. Could you please check it out and pass the word along to fellow elementary teachers?


Lenva said...

Isn't it great how our younger students can problem solve so naturally.
I am also a teacher, but in New Zealand. I would be really interested in reading some of your students' blogs.
Are there any you can share?