I would like to introduce going to the margins with the picture above. In the image, we can see the margins, teacher, student, and content all fitting together like a puzzle piece. When going to the margins, we want our classroom to look like this. Often times we talk about going to the margins in a positive manner but, if it does not look like the picture above it could be a negative thing. What exactly does it mean to go to the margins? Going to the margins means doing new things that you have never done before. It creates a pulsating learning environment in the classroom.
Margins in the classroom
- Creates diversity
- Can be risky
- Enrichment can be used to go to the margins
- Fosters wonder
- Unforgettable activities
- New activities being brought into the classroom
The picture above illustrates using margins in the classroom. These students are full of wonder. They are the source of a pulsating learning environment. In the classroom it is important to be in the center to establish knowledge, then move outside to the margins to expand on that knowledge. These students are curious about the animals in the cage. Wonder is being fostered in this image.
Here is a diagram to better help explain going to the margins. In the diagram, we are looking at asking questions. These questions are open-ended. This is to help foster wonder and not just tell the student the answer. these kinds of questions guide the students to think more.
Being in the margins vs. teachable moments
Being in the margins is going above and beyond, diving deeper into a student’s questions. Teachable moments would be when a student asks questions and you as the teacher, simply answer the question at the surface level. When a student gets a question wrong, a teachable moment would be telling them the correct answer. Teaching in the margins would be the students exploring the correct answer. Teachable moments are more surface level, quick fixes, while teaching in the margins is diving deeper and taking risks.