Learn Like a Pirate: 21st Century Skills



First, I'm so sad I missed last week. I have to go back and read that chapter. Vegas had a hold on my life and I didn't get ANYTHING done last week. However, I'm back for chapter 7. This chapter, was VERY eye opening for me. I love the fact that I had to realize that twenty-first century skills are actually related to technology for the most part. Did anyone else come to this realization?

I love the fact that Paul speaks about thinking his job meant he was supposed to just teach content standards. Our jobs are so much more than that! For me, as a kindergarten teacher, I have to teach many of the skills to help get them through the day without being dependent upon me. Paul discusses the four C's from an organization called Partnership for 21st Century Learning. This organization focuses on creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, communication, and collaboration. Are those things that I could easily incorporate in my day to day? Of course.

Paul also includes some key points from Habits of Mind. He came up with 24 skills in eleven categories. For five and six year olds, I think the most important skill may be communication and collaboration. This is the time in their life where they learn how to speak to each other, learn how to apologize, learn to share, learn to get their thoughts out in a clean fashion, and learn to work together. As I read this chapter, I realized that I should focus on collaboration. The years when I've worked really hard to get them to work together have been the easiest years for me. When my students are successful as friends and collaborators, it makes my life easy because I'll be able to know that a group can work without distractions.

The other skills that Paul discusses is:
Creativity and Innovation
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
Reflection and Awareness
Flexibility and Adaptability
Initiative and Self-Direction
Social and Cross-Cultural Skills
Productivity and Accountability
Leadership and Responsibility
Information Literacy
Media Literacy

For myself, I really like the idea of focusing on just a few of these a year. As an educator, I am always reflecting on what works and what doesn't work or how I can make something better. After the year begins, I really want to focus on creativity as well. In the past few year, my incoming kiddos have had the HARDEST time with their imagination. Why is it so hard for kids to pretend or see images in their heads? Does anyone else think it gets tougher every year in this area?

Chapter 7 has added a good little list to my routines/schedule to try to incorporate without it really being a "thing" to add in.


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