In my last post about thought partners in the classroom, I shared that a thought partner is someone who...
I couldn't help but begin to consider what this might look like in a classroom that prioritizes life ready skills or the 4Cs + 1R (Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, Critical Thinking, and Reflection).
Weaving these skills into every learning experience is so important for today's learners. Doing so gives them an opportunity to practice skills that they will use beyond the walls of the classroom to make connections and understand what is being learned. Deep understanding will not come as a result of regurgitating information on a worksheet but instead happens when students are able to apply their learning in an authentic way.
So, what does that look like and how can we connect thought partnership to the 4Cs + 1R?
It's important to help your learners know what they need when they need it. Autonomy for today's learners is so important. Making their own decisions based on their own situation is not always easy. Many students have always been told what to do, when to do, where to do, and how to do while they are at school. They are unable to make their own decisions and solve their own problems simply because they have never been given the opportunity to do so.
What if we let our learners decide when they need to collaborate and when they need to be creative? What if we made reflection part of every single day through intentional and purposeful learning experiences?
Consider allowing your learners to decide what life ready skill(s) they need to incorporate into a learning experience. Then, encourage them to think about what type of thought partner they need in order to move forward. Placing the cards below on their desk or in their space can signal others in the classroom that a thought partner is needed. When there is time or someone is available, they can then step into that role and use the questions provided or their own questions to begin the thought partnership and ignite the conversation.
Cards created using Canva
You are more than welcome to use these cards or create your own. I just wanted to share the idea and introduce the concept of helping your learners identify what type of thought partnership is needed in order move things forward.
Remember, life ready skills don't have to be taught in isolation, but instead woven into learning experiences every day so that students are given the opportunity to practice them and receive feedback.
I still just love the idea of thought partners in the classroom. It just makes so much sense and provides a sense of community and real learning that doesn't always happen with group work. Take some time to think about this and how it might work in your classroom with your learners.
Reflection: How could you make thought partnership and life ready skills work together in your classroom?
© 2018 Andi McNair