Making the Expected Seem Extraordinary

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Yesterday I shared the #BestThingISawToday from one of my 3rd grade classrooms. There was nothing flashy, nothing gleamed from social media. It was simply a teacher understanding the standard her students needed to know and planning every activity connected to that standard.

The standard was about distinguishing the author’s point of view. Her small group read a story and had to determine the POV; students watched a Flocabulary video about POV; they read a story independently and answered questions about POV; and each student had a goal and scale about POV that they could refer to to gauge their progress. Nothing flashy, nothing gleamed from social media. But in all ways it was an awesome lesson and exactly what every teacher should strive for. Now, this teacher also does the flashy and gets ideas from social media, but none of that “extra special stuff” matters if she doesn’t know the standards and knows her students.

I love the innovative and the extra special because it invites students in and makes their educational experience more memorable. But first you need to have your basics down and make sure that your students leave with an understanding of what they are going to learn and how they are going to get there.

I love nothing more than to celebrate the teachers who can make the expected seem extraordinary.  I am lucky that I get to work with many teachers who have this ability.  And these teachers know that the “extra” comes after the basics.   When you have a teacher who combines it all, then it is the students who win.

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