It is such fun to present students with a topic often used as a journal writing entry and instead, open it up to discussion. Have you ever…can become a form of “truth or dare” when students turn the question back to the teacher; whether parent or educator, “Have you Ever…?” WILL generate story-telling. You have been warned. And the lovely weather means, if you are able get the students outside for this activity then do so.
What comes next? Exams, quizzes, final Independent Study Projects, Year End wrap ups, and for some – those make-up projects to balance a less than stellar performance earlier in the term. Much has been written and spoken about the ways in which schooling allows some to “slack off” and miss deadlines – it would be more productive of educators to note how many students each term do require the option of earning course credit through the end of year submissions- portfolios often more accurately portray a student’s ability than a single mark on a test. It always seems contradictory for educators to rail against any form of standardized testing yet not build in the option for students to compile work that might indeed allow for personal expression. The classroom and the curriculum is one of the last bastions of independent yet collaborative work; join with the students, try a Have You Ever…?” in the staff room with fellow teachers, and surprise yourself – Listen, truly listen…and Enjoy!