“In fourteen hundred ninety-two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue…”
Columbus discovered America while looking for a shorter way to get to some islands in Southeast Asia to make important trades for Spain. He ended up in the Bahamas at a place he named “San Salvador.” Columbus came back there three more times to do more trades and never knew he had not reached his correct destination. He went the exact right route and came to the wrong place.
Was it his fault that he did not get to Southeast Asia? No. Did he know that North and South America were going to be in the way of where he was going? No. Did he discover something new and wonderful by his mistake? Absolutely yes!
What a new way to understand your students! In some circumstances a student may have had no idea that something beyond his or her knowledge was causing a problem. Use open-ended questions to find out. Here are some examples:
- How did that happen?
- Tell me about…
- Tell me more.
- Explain it further.
No guarantees, of course! However, it might be worth a try. Use this timely story to remind you to look into situations carefully. You could end up being very glad you did.
NOTE: Hold on to this tip for the month of October. Watch for a whole new look of tips beginning November 1st.