The holidays always bring back memories of family times and moments of passage in our own lives. The core of the Iditarod for me has always been the life stories, struggles and triumphs of the mushers’ experiences. My students read about the journeys and learn from them that life, for all of us is metaphorically a trail that we follow and a series of choices we make when the trail forks. My first lesson this month is just that Life is a Trail Students learn the concept of metaphors and apply it to their own lives as they choose how to express the experience they have had and the choices they have made. It also gives them the chance to anticipate choices to come and how they will answer those. They may see their lives as a river following its carved out course or a ferris wheel constantly following the same circle. Whatever it is . . . it will be enlightening both for you and the student. This is, of course, one of those experiences that I embark upon after reading and sharing the life journeys of everyone from Norman Vaughn to Lisa Frederik. Refer to the reading list that I posted last month for ideas.
The next lesson I have to offer is a challenge into Math Vignettes I have written one and attached it for you, but challenge yourself and (if old enough) your students to write some of their own. I have always been impressed by how much more students learn when looking for and forming the questions themselves. The learning experience is deeper and longer lasting than simply responding to the questions we ask. (one facet of experiential learning) It seems to be 4th through 6th grade that the turning point really begins to drive their learning.
I noticed, while putting together the lessons for this month that, for the most part, they address older students so I have included a Rookie Dot to Dot by the number for the younger set. It is not so simple as it seems to get it right as I approach my easel each morning, but if your students work on it, they may be re-creating Rookie as well, or even better, than I am by the time I get to Alaska for the race.
I hope you enjoy the challenges this month and as always – I am on the trail, with Rookie as my guide,