Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Green Eggs and Ham is about...

Green Eggs. Ham?
So we progress through this quarter and things seem better in many regards.  Dr Seuss claims deliberate and intentional relationships are the best way top make an impact on the lives of others.  In green eggs and ham, Sam must intentionally and deliberately build a bridge through connections and shared activities with the grouchy guy.  This is especially challenging since we already know the grouchy guy does not like Sam.  In fact, the first thing he says is "That Sam-I-Am, I do not like that Sam I Am."  Then, after all those adventures, none of which brought any harm, the two developed an authentic relationship based on shared activities.  This is the effective model of influence and teaching children.  
Why would students  actually go to school?  Being made to go.  Forced to go?  Maybe they want to go!?  At our school,  the teachers make class so fun that students want to come to class.  They don't want to miss anything.  Their teachers have made their classrooms safe for educational risks, like Sam.
Students are focused on what they are supposed to know. By using standards based grading, teachers measure what the students know and not all the extra things like tissue or extra credit.  Grades reflect learning and actual understanding.  Like Sam asking his buddy to try green eggs, our teachers ask students to take an educational risk instead of a culinary chance.
Behavior is surprisingly subjective and measuring attitudes in the classroom is not a simple tally.  It's done by counting write ups and how many students miss class time.  Missing class time can add up quickly when students are out of class for extended periods.  Having fewer incidents means students are in learning opportunities more often and the with opportunities like SBG, success is more likely!  Like Sam gathers allies to help convince his crony to play along, teachers collaborate to help students achieve as well as behave.
Finally, the staff works as a team, all with the same vision of student success, cooperating together. We saw Sam had gathered folks from the train, the fox, and all the other adventures.  Sam assembled this team to assure the grouch it would be ok to take a risk.  Similarly,  all the adults in the building strive to find student success.

These are some of my favorite Dr Seuss lessons:
Relationships, intentional and deliberate connection building and how to face somebody that says "no."


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