Simple; Simpleness; Simpler; SIMPLICITY
- To be plain
- To get to the point
- To be free of distractions
- To be uncomplicated
- To be subtle
- To be minimalist
- To move from complex
- To minimize
- To remove clutter
- To seek simple
- To live for simpleness
- To make simpler
Where can we find simplicity?
Simplicity can be found everywhere we look; from houses to a book; from life to pictures; but where is it at school? Most believe school is a complicated place and simplicity can not be found, but if you peel back the complexity, the beauty of simplicity will shine. Simplicity is found in the purpose of being an educator. So, why do we make it so complicated? The cause: extrinsic factors.
How can simplicity make life as an educator simpler?
I am not going to sit here and say that I have figured this one out. I know simplicity can make my life easier... at home and at school. But I will be the first to admit... I struggle. Life is complex. I get caught up in the extrinsic factors. The key is to focus on making what you already do, simpler. When we find simplicity, our life will be come simpler and we will have more time to Sharpen Our Saws. What changes can be made?
Can the integration of simplicity in our classroom affect our students?
Absolutely, with no doubt. I have experience with this one... believe me. I am one who seems to overthink and analyze things a little too much sometimes. I have to be brought back to the core.
I spent 10 whole school years, with the best looking lesson plans in the school... they were beautiful. I would literally spend hours on them and you know how many times I referred to them throughout the week? None. It wasn't until last year, my 10th year of teaching, that I began placing my "lesson plans" on Google Slides. They were simple. They were student centered. Yes, they were still beautiful, and not only did I access them all week, but my students and parents had access to them as well. This adjustment has made a huge difference in the atmosphere of my class. The students know what they are going to be learning about, they can reference them at any time, and it helps to support them be leaders of their own learning. You can check them out at bit.ly/lwdchenault
What would simplicity look like in a classroom?
Th heart of the classroom should be the students; even with all of the chaos that we have to deal with on a daily basis. So, when I envision a classroom of simplicity, I see...
- student discussion
- student collaboration
- student based projects
- student leaders
- student creation
- students solving problems
What can we do to seek simplicity in our classroom?
- Lesson Plans: Use Google Slides
- Grades: Google Classroom; Give Immediate Feedback: Google Extension Flubaroo for Google Slides
- Assignments: Meaningful; Use standards-based grading; Google Extension Doctopus for Google Sheets
- Paperwork: Set a Schedule
- Meetings: Have an Agenda
- Technology: shoutout to Google Apps for Education; Edpuzzle; Kahoot; Zeal; Symbaloo; Epic; Newsela; Scholastic DynaMath; Discovery Education... just some I use on a daily basis.
In conclusion, I must ask you this...
Why not make a conscious effort to create simplicity in your life?