Quantum Learning is a course that I definitely think is worth the time, effort and money. Quantum Teaching Orchestrating Student Success (Deporter, Reardon, Singer-Nourie) is “An excellent resource for teachers and provides both the background and strategies to boost, learning and also make it more fun.” (Jensen). I’ve taken Quantum Learing in my four times and was a co-presenter once. Every time I’ve taken it, I’ve brought more goodness back to my students. I would agree with Jensen- it makes learning fabulously fun for so many reasons. However, the activity that I want to discuss today revolutionized my community of writers that I facilitated during my years of teaching, yes….the ‘dreaded middle school hormone impaired student’.
The name of the activity is AFFINITY. In one of my wakeful times last week I started thinking about the steps for doing AFFINITY. I struggled in the middle of the night, but eventually arrived at them in the crevasses of my brain. We haven’t done in yet in Buddy Day this year (the Buddy Day recipe- teach 5th graders about 1st grade reading and writing process…have them all have a first grader and bring them, all 300 of them, every 2 weeks in our CAFE for BUDDY DAY- with a giant fake/real dog name Buddy Pup who only communicates with letters). I do digress so often, this is becoming a pattern in my blog.! Yikes…
Back to AFFINITY…this is a strategy that you can use in any class to build relationships with students who have lost affinity because of conflict, with a family member, friend or even a colleague to build or help a relationship that has gone south.
With the 12 to14 year old I used it once or twice a week at the beginning of writing workshop. Every time we did the exercise we had new partners. This helped, along with the sharing, segment to build trust and also bridges within a very diverse and again I’ll say it, hormone charged crowd.
I hope some of you try it, first with family, next with friends and then with the students you serve.
the AFFINITY activity:
…Divide group into pairs
…Decide on a first person (I usually do the one with the longest hair)
…This person asks the following questions once and responds to each anser with a simple, “Thank you”
1) Tell me something I don’t know about you. (then the other person responds) The first person then says, “Thank you”.
2) Tell me something you like about me. (If students don’t know each other at all yet, you can change this to “something you like about yourself.”)The first person then says, “Thank you”.
3) Tell me something we both can agree on. The first person then says, “Thank you”.
Switch roles. The next person repeats the questions and the Thank you. During this activity they will find that they share common interests and form new understandings. Try it with new friends every week.
Amen to that! Try it…you’ll love it.