Creating a Learning Community

Before learning and practicing study skills, we begin Study Skills Workshop enrichment class with two minutes of time to connect with a conversation topic, with the teachers sharing first. Why? What in the world does this time to connect have to do with study skills?

 

This brief two minute time is a connecting time. One of the main things that comes out of research about stressed out children is that they feel their grades matter, but they don't. Or as I have heard, "My grades matter more than I do."

 

We feel the best learning is based on relationships. And when you matter to someone just because you are you, regardless of how you perform, you have set up the foundation for positive learning. Learning to simply avoid shame or bad feelings isn't sustainable through the years or for a happy life. 

 

So, by taking two minutes to share stories, and connect with each other, we are setting the stage that the children's ideas, thoughts and stories matter to our community. It puts everyone in the right frame of mind to support each other in our learning! 

 

Here are some of our "connecting" topics, that might be great to discuss at dinner or over breakfast.  

  • What would you change about school if you could?
  • What would you change about flying if could?
  • What would you change about weekend if could?
  • What would you change about yourself if could?
  • What would you change about planet earth if could?
  • Would you rather take a guaranteed $100,000 or a 50/50 chance at $1,000,000?
  • Would you rather have no sense of smell or smell everything near you as though it were right in front of your nose?
  • Would you rather only be able to whisper or only be able to shout everything?
  • Would you rather have a lousy short term memory or a terrible long term memory?
  • Would you rather be a parent or a child?
  • Do you care that much about politics? Why or why not?
  • What percentage of Americans do you think vote generally for the Presidential election? (have them research answer)
  • Would you ever want to be President? Why or why not?
  • Do you think doing neater work will get you better grades? Why or why not? 
  • Was there a toy you wanted as a child but never got?
  • What nicknames have you ever gotten or given?
  • What were your favorite childhood shows and characters?
  • What have your parents taught you about money?
  • How well do you get along with your siblings?
  • What local problems do you think your mayor should try to solve?
  • Who is the mayor of your town?
  • Do you know your way around your city or town? How do you get to . . . ?
  • Who would be the ideal celebrity neighbor?
  • How much time a week do you spend outdoors?
  • What is your favorite place to be in your house?
  • Is your bedroom a messy nightmare or neat?
  • With your home in danger, what would you try to save?
  • Have you ever lost (or found) something valuable?
  • What makes you happy?

Have fun!