April 18, 2011

Thinking on Their Own

It's about this time of the semester that I start to push the students out of the nest.  I figure I've taught them lots and lots and lots of things, but now it's time for them to start using their tools.  These thoughts were prompted by this email:

I have a quick question, for .edu and .org, do these count against the one free web you told us about? You might have told us during class, but i have forgotten. 

My response:
It depends on the source.  You have the tools to evaluate your sources, so I know you can figure out what is a reputable, scholarly source.  I've seen good sources on both of the those domains, as well as poor sources.

I then advised the student to bring the sources in question to their research paper conference, where we could talk it out. I know that for myself, when learning a new task, it's not until I put the skills into play that the knowledge is added to the mix.  I remember my friend Rosalyn, a kindergarten teacher saying that after the winter break, she never ties a pupil's shoes for them.

We only have about 8 days of class left in our semester.  Time to let them tie their own shoes, time to prepare them to leave the nest.


  1. You are right. It is time for them to tie their own shoes! That is the most fun about the last quarter...time to be independent; for me to sit back and watch to see who has absorbed what I've taught and gained independence. Hopefully there is enough time to just give them that added boost before they hit the skies!

  2. I agree, however my students are driving me nuts because they are acting like foster kids, testing whether I truly love them enough. The transitory status of being a student in one grade soon to move to another is hitting home.