The Power of Authenticity

Children encompass unlimited potential and capability. Students thrive in nurturing environments where they are presented with opportunities to develop critical thinking skills and social emotional development. However, without a nurturing environment,  children will miss opportunities to develop critical thinking skills and social emotional development. Here are a few ways to support authenticity within your classroom.


1. Open ended questioning-Open ended questions provide opportunities for students to not only think about their reasoning but it also provides teachers with opportunities to support students learning through their specific developmental needs. These types of questions require more than a rote response by inviting students to verbally process their learning. 


2. Open ended material-Open ended material is useful in providing experiences for learning and play with objects that can be used in multiple ways.  Various sizes of cups would be an example of an open ended material. Some students may choose to build, while other students may use the material to make a phone call or even as a microphone to sing a song on stage. This type of basic material has a variety of uses that can be individualized by the students and their interests.


3. Opportunities for exploration- Students are able to enhance social emotional development and problem solving skills through exploration experiences. These opportunities can be created by providing a learning environment that incorporates  hands on sensory approaches and play experiences.


4. Student interest- Each student has their own unique background of personal experiences and interests. Learning opportunities based on student interest can be created to support student development. Furthermore, these meaningful connections will establish cognitive development. 


Shrier, C. (2016). The value of open-ended play. Michigan State University Extension.

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Training Spotlight

1st-3rd grade educators worked together to learn engaging ways to develop number sense. Students will develop fact fluency while playing games that use their number sense strategies. By learning their facts in this way, students are not merely memorizing, but rather learning to work with numbers flexibly.  “Low achievers are often low achievers not because they know less but because they don’t use numbers flexibly – they have been set on the wrong path, often from an early age, of trying to memorize methods instead of interacting with numbers flexibly.” Jo Boaler,  Stanford University, 2009


April 8, 2019

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