Learning is… A day for the 7-8 to explore the PDS Learning is… Commitments


Students present a commitment in a poem.


You can interpret learning in many different ways.

Most posts on this blog so far are categorized by at least one of the strategic plan’s Learning is… commitments. Students in the 7-8 worked to understand learning in the ways that the Learning is…. commitments express.

Learning is a skill.

Learning is making a conscious effort to discover some piece of knowledge.

They worked in small groups and randomly drew one of the commitments out of a bowl. Then they randomly withdrew an art form to express the commitment and had a mere twenty or so minutes to complete the expression. The whole group gathered again and each small group expressed the commitment in an artistic way– without explicitly naming it.


Expressing a commitment as a “talk show.”


I think learning is trying new stuff, even if you fail you still learn.

You know that you learned something if your perspective changes.

School is for learning– that seemed to be a given for students as the morning began. But thinking about how we learn– that it can vary, but that not all schools vary the environment for learning as much as ours– are ideas that we don’t always take the time to reflect upon with students.

Getting new information, and remembering it because you didn’t learn anything if you don’t remember what it is.

To learn something you first have to accept there are some things you don’t know.

The quotes are lines from written reflections done in the afternoon. Students strung the lines together so that they make a free form “found” poem. I’ve excerpted some of the lines.


Getting ready to create the found poem. Everyone has their chosen line on an index card. They read the lines one by one, around the circle.


You haven’t failed; you’ve just found 10 ways that don’t work.

You are pretty much always learning something.

The concepts in the Learning is… commitments challenge us to move far, far past a time when a teacher was an educated person who could explain something clearly, by merely speaking to a less educated person. The commitments challenge teachers to be facilitators and to create environments that engage in many ways. The commitments also challenge students– to be self-aware, responsible and active.

You know you have learned something when you understand it, when you feel like you know whatever it is as a person.

It is not always easy to teach with the Learning is… commitments. The students’ lines are a good reminder of why they are worthwhile: Because   the deepest, most profound and meaningful learning is not easy either.

This entry was posted in Learning is active..., Learning is social..., Values Collaboration, Values Creativity. Bookmark the permalink.

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