Harley is one of my favorite bloggers. He puts a lot of joy in classrooms and really gets kids actively engaged in learning. Recently he posted about the process of making maple syrup for a group of fifth graders in Georgia. He had read some of the analogies that the fifth graders were creating and he incorporated that into his post. What great reinforcement for these kids! They got to think and apply their learning in such a fun way and many of them tossed analogies back to Harley. Harley’s first post brought 53 comments from the students and his second post now has 41 comments! I’m betting we will see even more comments. Plus many of the students went on to create their own posts as they excitely shared all that they were learning. Wow! Talk about connections!

I love blogging with kids! I love the connections, the joy, and the thinking that abounds. Just think of all the neuroscience that is getting applied here:

Making it relevant….

Harley made the lesson personally interesting and motivating to the kids.

Giving them a break….

Blogging like this gives kids a break from the normal routine and it was a pleasurable activity that reduced stress and let them experience novelty.

Creating positive associations……

Kids developed associations by practicing creating analogies with a positively reinforcing strategy. (See Fifth Grade Webwriters Are #1)

And the best one, allowing independent discovery learning! These kids will no doubt remember and understand this experience becaue they had a part in figuring it out for themselves. There were choices of places to go to learn and they got to use their imaginations in the process.

Harley is not only a great blogger but has the makings of a neuroscientist too! Thanks Harley for putting all that joy into learning.

I also owe a tremendous thank you to Lani whom I had the good fortune to meet through a comment on one of my classroom blogs back in 2005. We have collaborated and learned much since that time and she personally has put a lot of joy into my learning and reflecting. Lani truly makes a difference in the lives of many….