Pareto’s principle in the classroom

Teaching Planning Teaches Me

As I blogged yesterday , in my ninth grade Computer Fundamentals we spend two weeks learning about my favorite system of planning, the Franklin Covey planning system. The students are bringing in articles that apply to our discussion of planning and goal setting.

Pareto's Principle in the Classroom: Focus
I love what one student brought in from Eat that FrogBORDER=0 — the 80/20 rule.

He proceeded to tell the class that 20% of their work would affect 80% of their grade.

He hit on something. This is the well known Pareto's Principle which business students and those who read motivational books learn. I have never heard it applied to a student's work. I was stunned!

This student went on to say that if the student would focus on the most important aspects of their schoolwork that they could have a profound impact on their grade. The major tests. The major projects. The other should be done, he said, but the most important should receive their focus and attempt at perfection.

I can't help but think of the countless students who do everything perfectly but do not study for tests. The student who does everything but doesn't want to “do” the project and turn it in!

Meaningful Discussions through the Socratic Method

Never in my wildest dreams would I have imagined that a group of ninth grade students would have such a meaningful discussion. I have an exceptional group of ninth graders who enjoy the stimulation of the Socratic method of teaching. They have an enraptured teacher who is thrilled to come to school every day and witness the brightness of their minds and the excellence of their character. These are the days I must blog about so that I can have encouragement on the days when I'm not so happy!

I have always loved the Socratic method and am stunned when I take the time to use how effective it is as a method of teaching.

Point to Ponder:

What is the 20% that you should be focusing on in your classroom that will have 80% of the result?

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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