Make mistakes. This phrase is our fourth-grade class focus for the year. Yesterday was the first day of school. I explained to my class how effort=success and that mistakes are okay. In fact, they are to be celebrated, because making mistakes is the only way we learn.
“Make mistakes,” I said. Many heads nodded. A few look at me confused. I then continued to explain to the anxious faces that I will not focus on getting the “right” answer, but I will focus on learning. And we learn by making mistakes.
Make mistakes. Today we tried a challenge to “Save Fred.” Six out of the seven groups successfully completed the challenge. One group broke the life preserver and did not save Fred. We discussed what we learned from the mistake the group made. The group responded that the life preserver was stretched too far, so next time they would make sure to not stretch the life preserver too far. They made a mistake, but they learned from it. They enjoyed the challenge. They had fun.
Make mistakes. What can we learn from our mistakes? Isn’t learning what school is all about? How do you celebrate mistakes?