Thinking about competition
By Elaine Gallagher For Teachers, Directors, Parents, Students: This topic is open for discussion and comments. Feel free to give your opinion. Let’s look […]
For Teachers, Directors, Parents, Students: This topic is open for discussion and comments. Feel free to give your opinion.
Let’s look at competitions within schools and between schools. I am referring to academic competitions, not athletic or sporting events.
I believe that what we all do as part of in-house school games can be different from what serves well for competition.
Having work or games based solely on content from our UNO books is O.K. for a while, but I’m concerned about the many kids and teachers out there who need a real mental challenge, who want THINK and use their brains, beyond the book.
We, in education, often under-estimate what kids are capable of and what they can do, and we over-estimate how teachers are actually «preparing» for their classes.
Planning classes for the lowest common denominator does not lead to interesting, stimulating, or challenging classes. I believe in aiming high for the best long-term results.
In various workshops, we tell teachers to go «BEYOND THE BOOKS». We tell them that the UNO book and the i-pad are simply «tools». Therefore, we need to do that with games or competitions, as well. We need to model and promote high-level thinking.
Challenging, team-based word games, bilingual spelling bees, with oral or written responses, Simulated United Nations (SUN), research-based debates, are the roads we need to be taking for both in-house and interscholastic/international competitions.
What 4-letter word can be placed in front of all 4 of these words to form a new word?
________ strong _________ way
________ ache _________ line
This kind of word game, solved in teams, is a real challenge. The answer has to come from the students’ brains, NOT from low-level multiple-choice options.
Using activities of this type in team-based competitions, is my vision of UNO progressing to real quality work with high expectations….NOT the same old / same-old.Your comments? opinions?ALL ARE WELCOME.Please SEND THEM TO:firstname.lastname@example.org