Sunday, 6 November 2011

Finding the Quiet

Photo by Jean-Michel Baud
Since last week's post I have had several conversations with people about finding the quiet.  I love it that the responses to my blog last week contained several different perceptions of what the quiet can mean. This week,  I will continue to delve more into the idea of creating quiet in order to unleash creativity and enhance opportunities for deep learning.

First, I'll start by walking the walk.  Someone asked me mid week if I had made any progress toward finding quiet in my life ,"How's it going, finding the quiet, I mean?"  When I thought about it, there had been a few opportunities.  I spent some time working with music in the background.   Music has always had a huge place in my life.  The more I read about the multiple intelligences, I realize it is not just something I appreciate.  Music is a need that helps me not just to "survive but to thrive." (words taken from Brian Keepers.)  If this is true for me, how many other sensory experiences could I be integrating into the classroom to create quiet for my students? Using the right music in the classroom is so critical.  My colleague, Amy Sale, spoke of the amazing amount of focus her children have been experiencing since she has used more quiet background music.  It would seem to be counter intuitive to add more noise to encourage quiet.  But, I think this week, I am going to use auditory stimulations more in my teaching to see if there is some deeper learning.

I'm not quite sure what that deeper learning is going to look like.  I think it might manifest itself in a variety of ways

  • time students are focused on a task
  • enthusiasm for learning
  • mood of individuals and the overall mood of the group
  • different forms of expression in learning (not just paper pencil) singing, dancing, drawing in addition to writing and speaking
Instead of creating more confusion in the classroom (I was considering learning rotations) I think I am going to tweak the routines I already have set in place.  Hopefully, this will help stretch our learning environment. . .

I would love to hear some responses from you about how music helps or hinders your learning.  Is there a specific instrument or genre of music that increases your creativity or improves your mood?

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