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The C's and E, F, G's of Learning

Shoe drive- teamwork, responsibility, & collaboration.

We've all heard of the 3 C's of learning, the 6 C's of Learning, or the top 7 C's our students need to be successful in the 21st century. There seems to be so many C words floating around, but my principal got me thinking when she said, "What about other words that don't start with a C?" Why can't we focus on the most important words for learning, instead of making them all be C words? I get it. Having them all be C words is helpful to memorize or remember.

That got my mind spinning about other words that are important for our students to learn, practice, and have modeled. Here is my list of top skills all students need to practice and learn (not just C words).

- collaboration

- problem solving

- communication

- community

- caring

- mindfulness

- critical thinking

- creativity

- citizenship

- responsibility

- teamwork

- leadership

- flexibility

- initiative

- adaptability

- grit

- written and verbal expression

- social skills

After reading others thoughts, I like this conclusion. In our current and future world, in our jobs, we have problems we need to solve and people we have to work with. Many of the skills listed above fall under problem solving, teamwork, or ways to communicate with people. How can we best teach these skills by not adding one more thing to our plate?

Project based learning. That's my answer. Projects give student's an opportunity to work on all of these skills above. I've tried this two ways. Teaching these traditionally and from a project approach. Teaching these in a traditional way, is hard! There is so much content and curriculum that these skills are hard to weave in and out authentically. If so many people out there, including myself, think the above listed words are most important for our students, why would we try to weave these skills in and out of lessons. It's a place to start, but is it authentic to the student's lives? Will they have that same math game in real life? Why not teach them authentically as it happens during a project? Less work for you! That's what we all want, right?

(more on project based learning in another blog post--> check it outhere)

Start by modeling these skills as your work through a project. Student's can see how you demonstrate these skills and learn to transfer these skills to their own project. At the kindergarten level this takes SO much modeling and practice, and it might start out as modeling during play time. But these can be taught and modeled in a real authentic way during any project.

So, I have 2 questions for you:

1. Which skills above do you think are most important? How will you teach these in an authentic way?

2. How can you move from traditional teaching, by weaving these in and out of lessons, to modeling these through authentic projects?

Want to know how to ignite a project? Check out my blog post here.

Or better yet, want to read how I jumped into project work? Click here

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