Coaching Authentic Learning #WeekendCoffeeShare

If we were having coffee I’d ask if we could just meet at my house.



Sure, it’s a mess, but I’m tired and would rather lounge around in my comfy clothes than dress to meet you out.


I make us a couple cappuccinos in the Tassimo. Or I could make the mochas or white mochas if you’d prefer. Tea? I can do breakfast tea.


Oh, could you grab some pastries on your way over, though? Anything would be great!


It’s still too cold to visit outside, but we could sit in the kitchen or the living room and catch up. Or just calm down.


Do you teach, too? Were your students bouncing off the walls yesterday? You would think after a snow day we would have all come back to school better, but it was actually worse.


Someone did mention it was a full moon too. That does make an impact. I wonder why it isn’t ever a POSITIVE impact.


What’s your best full moon story? Deliver any babies? Crazy naked person show up at your door? Werewolves?


You know I could focus on the crazy all morning, but do you know what the best part of my week was?


I got to do what I love and watch it work.



I was terrified about introducing this argumentative research paper to my seventh graders. My fear grew when I realized the topic I chose was too deep.


I planned a week for this portion of the unit. We’re on week three.


It’s been slow. Painstaking. Work.


However, this week.


This week I’ve watched a few teams in each hour finish. I’ve coached teams through “aha moments” and watched them jump the hurdle and sprint for the finish.  I’ve asked the teams that finished early to turn around and coach the teams that weren’t to the typing stage yet. And there I saw magic.



I watched “coaches” sit down in between partners, help them get organized, develop a plan, and get them motivated in a way I had not been able to do.


I watched as one “coach” met with a set of partners for a few minutes and moved on. Odd, I thought. Until one of the partners hollered at me, “Mrs. Tripp! We are almost done with our figurative language. ‘Coach’ explained it to us again and it finally makes sense! We get it now!”


I had been attempting to move that particular group through that stage of their writing for three days. They should have been one of my first groups done. A few minutes with a student coach was all it took.


I had students ask to explain examples of figurative language they found on the internet. When I broke it down to a concept they would understand I couldn’t believe the reaction. “Mrs. Tripp!” one exclaimed placing both hands on their forehead, “That is deep. It absolutely makes sense, and now I understand, but you have to think to see that. Wow. We read that at least twenty times trying to figure it out. Just wow. That’s perfect. Exactly what we’re trying to say, but in a different way.”


At the same time another student on the opposite side of the room hollers my name, “All of this thinking is starting to hurt my head. Who knew these things meant other things? You really have to pay attention. Now I have to read the whole thing again. My head is going to be killing me!”


Did I mention I was worried about teaching them source cards, notes cards, and how to do a works cited page?


Yeah, at this point in time I am amazed at how much authentic learning has happened in our classroom. And how much of it I didn’t plan.


My English 3 classes have been just as motivated.


My week has been everything I haven’t expected. The good and the bad.


What about yours? Has anything gone GREAT that you expected to bomb? Or, like my yesterday, has anything gone crazy that you expected to be great?

I’d love to hear about your week over coffee!

This post was shared with:
Literacy Musing Mondays

photo credit: Teaching via photopin (license)
photo credit: Good morning via photopin (license)

11 comments

  • Hi Carrie 🙂

    Such a great post and awesome share! Yes I have had a few days like that lol Thanks for sharing 🙂

  • “Someone did mention it was a full moon too. That does make an impact. I wonder why it isn’t ever a POSITIVE impact.”

    Hahahahaha! I have no clue why they act like banshees when there is a full moon. And goodness me if there are 2 full moons in one month!

    • I would like to believe the full moon thing is just an old wives tale, but I’ve worked in education too long. It’s a straight up, proven, verified FACT. An unfortunate fact, but fact nonetheless.

      🙂

      Thanks for stopping by!

      Have you joined #BloglovinBlogHop yet? You can here http://snip.ly/Olp3 .

      Co-Host Carrie

  • That is absolutely great !!!! I loved when my kids had that kind of moment growing up. Watching it happen in a classroom full of kids and being able to say,’I did that’ must give you a tickle in your heart. Good job, Carrie! Very good job.

    • Snarky,

      Those light bulb moments are great! Unfortunately, I didn’t do this. It happened in spite of me which actually makes it even better! It means transfer of responsibility for learning is starting to take place. No longer is the teacher trying to force feed information students don’t want to learn, but they are wanting the information enough to seek it on their own and ask for help when needed.

      It’s actually a lot more work for me this way, but way more rewarding!

      Have you joined #BloglovinBlogHop yet? You can here http://snip.ly/Olp3 .

      Co-Host Carrie

  • That is absolutely great !!!! I loved when my kids had that kind of moment growing up. Watching it happen in a classroom full of kids and being able to say,’I did that’ must give you a tickle in your heart. Good job, Carrie! Very good job.

  • Yes, this may be a simple one, but as a DIY’er there are just some things that I hate doing. One of them is stenciling, its a hit or miss kind craft and there is no going back. I decided to stencil my Foyer and it actually is turning out to look like a vintage decorated hotel lobby (in a good way) I’m loving the look.

    Awesome post thanks for sharing. 🙂

    • Nicole,

      That’s awesome! I start a lot of diy projects. I started painting my bedroom over summer break. It’s a thirdish of the way done. My One Word for this year is FINISH. I have a lot of that to do. :-/

      Have you joined #BloglovinBlogHop yet? You can here http://snip.ly/Olp3 .

      Co-Host Carrie

  • Years ago, when I was in customer service, we hated full moons. The strange in customer service came out – it really did. I don’t miss those days at all – although I do miss my co workers. Alana