Ask your students: What does it mean to be smart?

I participated in the educational Twitter #satchatwc chat yesterday. The discussion questions focused around what it means to be smart. We all believed it goes beyond “book smart” or “fast learner.” Every student/person has unique abilties and something to contribute to our society. Sometimes, with the push to meet standard and perform on high-stakes tests, the real definition of what it means to be smart gets lost.

My definition of smart: Using ones talents/smarts for good. Problem-solving in real-life situations. Recognizing how you can use your talents/smarts to contribute to society.


If this is an appropriate definition of smart, then how do we help students recognize their talents/smarts? How to we foster the growth of these unique talents? How do we help students discover and explore their passions? 

Our job is to inspire. In my fifth grade classroom, we set aside an hour a week for our Passion Projects/Genius Hour. I intentionally use I notice statements to recognize talents each students brings to our classroom.

But I am left to wonder, how do my students view the word smart? How would they define what it means to be smart

Tuesday morning I will give my students the opportunity to answer these questions in hopes to provide insight into how they view what it means to be smart. It doesn’t matter what we believe if students don’t get the message of what it REALLY means to be smart.

How do you define what it means to be smart? Please share!


2 thoughts on “Ask your students: What does it mean to be smart?

  1. ‘Tis a pity, but this word and the word “clever” have acquired overtones. Smart is not quite a smart-ass, and clever reaches out to “too clever for his own good”. In rural Berkshire, England, in the 50’s when I was a kid they used to say “Oooh, that Johnny, he’s brainy, he is.”. I am also thinking that “bright” and “dim” have been driven out by political correctness.
    Personally I don’t like the word “smart” except in its use about clothes.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s