Why is this so important? Students
1. Learn to love learning & see it as lifelong
2. Control/Own their own learning
3. Become Better Thinkers
I enjoy these goals because a.) I think they are important goals & essential learning traits, and b.) Any student can do this, no matter their intellectual/emotional/maturity level. This second point is key, because 6th graders can be all over the map! Additionally, these 3 goals are universal & can be applied/practiced in any subject area.
The past few years, I've added a 4th goal: 4. Collaborate & Utilize 21st-century tools to enhance learning...this is key too, and is becoming more fun every year (as well as important!).
Recently, we've been working on some social commentary writing, focusing on Super Bowl commercials. Students have needed to discuss why they think the ads are effective, both personal and on a larger, cultural level. I need students who are actively thinking about what they are doing, reflecting on their own experience as a media consumer, and analyzing the construction of these advertisements. Suddenly, something that seems easy (watching commercials via YouTube) becomes a little more involved! Hopefully, when students are being better, more engaged thinkers, they learn a little about themselves, their society, and the power of media...not just the awesomeness of vampires being obliterated by car headlights!