Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Challenges… something we all face every day. Some of us face difficult obstacles head on, while some of us run and hide when life becomes difficult. Sixth graders face many challenges throughout their busy day; academically, amongst peers, with family members at home, and with adults. How they overcome these challenges now will help them in the future when they need to face even more difficult tasks.
Being comfortable with yourself and having the confidence to have others hear and value your voice  is important for all of us, especially a sixth grader. We encourage students to embrace the many challenges they face in the classroom through a variety of learning experiences and try to improve themselves, both academically and emotionally. One way we try to build confidence and diverse thinking in the class is by offering students the opportunity to work together to complete various tasks. Students often enjoy collaborating with their classmates to tackle these challenges. As their teacher, my hope is that they transfer the confidence and learning to other challenges that come their way.
To add to the relationship building that occurs in our class, I often share my own challenges I've faced and the ways I've worked to overcome them. After teaching fourth grade for many years, it was frightening to begin this phase of my career as a sixth grade teacher. Students recognize that even adults get nervous and apprehensive when faced with new tasks, but with determination, we all can work through that difficult time and feel successful in the end.
By setting goals, working with others, and focusing on the end product, students learn to stay with a task even when “the going gets tough”! The accomplishment and success they feel makes them stronger individuals. They recognize that even if a task wasn't as successful as they may have hoped, a lot of learning occurred along the way!

Golf Ball Challenge

Tower Challenge

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