When people say, “Begin with the end in mind,” I tend to take that suggestion to the extreme. I picture a chaotic world where I have just given my life in a failed attempted to save our planet, and people mourning over a tombstone hastily erected in my honor that says, “She cared.”
Dave Burgess (author of Teach Like a Pirate) has a slightly less morbid take on, “Begin with the end in mind.” Building on an idea by Michael Matera, Burgess suggests that teachers imagine your students using 5 words to describe your class at the end of the school year. If a word cloud was made from all of those adjectives, what would be the ones that would stand out the most?
What would be the ones that you would want to stand out the most? That should guide you through your year as you make choices about how to present the curriculum to your students.
Here is a word cloud my 2nd grade GT students made about our class at the end of last school year. (We made a class word cloud, and then they inserted it into a Pic Collage with photos of their favorite memories of the year.)
I loved that “challenging,” “create,” and “imagine” were included. I thought it was amusing “sudoku” was a favorite activity, and slightly surprised that “grit” made it in there (one of those things I emphasized so much that I thought they were just tuning me out).
For a motivational video from Dave Burgess himself regarding this great way to “begin with the end in mind,” head on over to this link. “Passion” should definitely be one of the words in his cloud!