On Thursday Ms. Salata and I spoke to all of the 6th graders. We reviewed the Students Rights & Responsibilities booklet (which is a good thing to do this time of year), but then we talked to them about the uniqueness of being a 6th grader. The cool part was that I got to use Think Blocks to explain my understanding about 12 year olds.
One of the Patterns of Thinking that we learned about from Dr. Cabrera at our parent workshops was SYSTEMS. Everything has parts/Everything is a part of something. The big block represents 12 year olds. Each little block represents something about them based on research (they are enamored with pop culture, they need to be social, their priorities do not match adult’s priorities for them, and they are self-conscious). Our point, of course, was to let them know that despite the strange behavior and feelings that come with this age, we really do know what they are going through! Building the system for them helped them understand my thinking (and learn from it).
We talked about other stuff as well. For example, we expanded on the idea of being self-conscious. Another Pattern of Thinking is PERSPECTIVES, so I made this perspective model to prove a point. See how the blocks have a side with a mirror? That’s used to show a point of view.
This is what I was explaining: Each block represents a 12 year-old, who we know feels self-conscious around others. Each one thinks that everyone is looking at him. But I asked the kids to really think about it – if everyone else is so worried about themselves, how do they have time to be looking at you? The model doesn’t work! Hopefully, that’s a relief to you!
Anyway, it was a good little talk with our oldest kids, who can be hard to understand. With the beginning of the 4th quarter upon us, we wanted to send them a message that we really do understand them, that there is a reason for their behavior (though that doesn’t excuse wrongdoing), and that we want to make their last ten weeks as a Providence student great.