Fireworks and Finishing with a Bang!

I had the opportunity to watch a fireworks show with Mr. Van, my sister, and several friends last night on the Boston Harbor—what a memorable time indeed!  During the festivities, it occurred to me that all fireworks shows end the same way… with a big bang!  They save the best and most spectacular displays for the grand finale; Boston was certainly no exception, and you can’t help but clap and cheer at the end.

Think back to your own school days and compare a fireworks show to the many lectures, routine skill activities, and daily classroom lessons. They often started off strong with a unique focus but often times fizzled at the end because time ran out or learners simply lost interest too quickly.  In the movies and on television, school classrooms were usually portrayed in this manner.  The lesson design included a great hook in the beginning but didn’t leave a lasting impression at the end.

The examples are numerous but the solution is simple:  we need to add some fireworks to our daily work in classrooms.  Now while I’m not talking literal fireworks here (I’m fairly confident there are fire code violations on school property), teachers are challenged daily to think of ways to create a “grand finale” and leave a lasting impression (and mastery for the lesson).  Finishing a portion of the lesson with a bang and giving learners a real reason to clap at the end is a challenge we openly embrace and work daily to achieve. We also want to give them something positive to talk about as they walk out the classroom door everyday so when you ask the question, “What did you do today in school?,” they always have something exciting to share.

Fireworks should occur more than on the 4th of July. It is our goal to create a fireworks experience every day by finishing with a bang…and just so you know, Boston Harbor fireworks are setting that standard pretty high now!  Happy July 4th!  🙂

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