Monday, 7 April 2014

Who am I?

During the second term, we spent some time on some Health and Career activities which involved exploring students' personalities, strengths, and interests.  The goal of this time was to help students to explore their social and learning needs, as well as to encourage them to consider the needs of their classmates.

Last year, I used this in September to build a sense of community within the class.  Because I had many of the same students, I decided to wait so that they would have a bit more time to compare their previous results.

Many of these activities were used by Gerri, my teaching partner at PMSS in Planning 10; she introduced them to me and I am very grateful!  I managed to find these activities online and students completed them on their iPads.  I hope that my students see them again in secondary school so that they can reflect on how they have changed over a longer period of time.

True Colours - Students are grouped into "colour groups" based on the results of this test.  They read the descriptions of their "colour" and discuss the positive and negative ways that others might perceive them.  This was one of my favourites because it provided my students with a common language to use as they reflected on group work.  For example, a student might comment, "I'm the only gold in my group so I'm feeling frustrated because the oranges don't want to plan ahead."  Having this common language was very beneficial as we explored group work.

Introvert/Extrovert - Students explored the idea that introverts need to "recharge" by spending time along while extroverts need to "recharge" by spending time with others.  This was helpful as students reflected on their needs and the needs of the people they care about.  We talked a lot about how an extrovert might feel if an introverted friend wanted to work alone and how an introvert might feel if an extrovert doesn't respect his/her space.

Multiple Intelligences - This was significant, especially considering the number of students in our class who experience various learning difficulties. It was great to talk about how many different kinds of intelligence exist and how people with each "type" can bring positive contributions to our schools and communities.

Throughout all of this, I was sure to emphasize that many of us don't fit into just one "box" on these.  I'm a "blue" and a "gold," for example.

Before our conferences, students had recorded their "results" and we had explored these in the class.  During conferences, they shared their insight with their parents.  I created a big display with some of the "results" that students could get.  Students in other classes enjoyed thinking about what they might "be."  It was great to hear their parents react to these results and celebrate students' strengths.  They were also able to add insight about sibling conflicts based on some of these personality preferences.

The wall display included:

I also printed page 3 of this True Colours document.

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