My good friend Mike Harman has been coming into my class every Wednesday morning for 45 minutes and teaching my students lessons on "Communication, Cooperation, and Choices."
I've always wanted to see the teaching model where students are given rather difficult tasks they can work on together and then led through some guided reflection on what happened. Mike's doing it masterfully and it really does build the community in the class.
I particularly like how he identified those three C's as the main topics that we learn about each week. This past Wednesday the students were divided into groups of five. Each group had to stand on one side of a 3 by 6 foot piece of butcher paper (their magic carpets). The challenge was to get across the gym floor without anyone getting off the paper and without ripping it. Great challenge, great set-up, and great discussion after they all finished.
Even though I have the books that Mike gets these lessons from, and even though I've always thought it would be cool to try out, I'm going to have enough confidence and ideas to really do it with my class next year, if Mike isn't able to come back.