Monday, February 22, 2010

What Did You Learn in School Today?
(A Gift for Parents)

You’ve heard the jokes…

Mother: What did you learn in school today?
Son: Not enough. I have to go back tomorrow.

Grandfather: What did you learn in school today?
Daughter: How to write.
Grandfather: What did you write?
Daughter: I don't know, they haven't taught us
how to read yet.

Mother: What did you learn in school today?
Daughter: How to talk without moving my lips.

If you are a parent (or if you were ever a student!), you’re oh-so familiar with the shrug response to that age-old question: "What did you learn in school today?"

Parents of students at Manual High School in Denver know better than to accept the shrug. Each day, every classroom teacher at Manual High posts the day’s L.O. -- learning outcome -- on the board for all students to see. And below the L.O. is the day’s P.O.P., Proof of Purchase, which tells students what they will need to turn in as proof of their grasp.

This simple plan hatched at Manual means that students go home each day knowing exactly what they’ve learned.


If I learned one thing from reading a Denver Post article about the Proof-of-Purchase plan at Manual (see Manual High School “Proof of Purchase” Shows Students Buy Into Lessons), it’s that every school might learn a lesson from what they’re doing there.

Many teachers are already doing similar things in their classrooms…

At the end of each school day, some teachers call on several students to share what they have learned. By making this simple activity part of each day’s routine, students have ready-made answers when parents at the other end of the bus ride ask "What did you learn in school today?"

In other classrooms, students keep "What I Learned Today" journals. They write in their journals each and every day. At the end the day, each student goes home with a thoughtful reply to their parents’ dinner-table query about the day in school. Best of all, at the end of the school year students have a keepsake record of what they learned all year long.

What if all the teachers in your school got on board with a similar idea? Imagine being able to announce in your school-to-home newsletter and at the first PTO meeting of the year that every parent should ask that question -- What did you learn in school today? -- each and every day and expect that the kids will have a ready reply.

What a great gift for parents: a ready-made conversation starter that guarantees a response.

What a nice gift for teachers too: a straightforward way to open up the lines of communication between school and home.

And you, as the school leader, get a gift too: a simple question that can generate great PR for you and your school.

If you learn anything at school today, you might take a lesson from this win-win idea. Thanks to the teachers at Manual High!

1 comment:

  1. 你可以從外表的美來評論一朵花或一隻蝴蝶,但你不能這樣來評論一個人........................................