When LESS Really Is A Whole Lot MORE!

On February 4th, I slept in. I never sleep in. But when I got up that Sunday morning, I had two requests for the same thing …

When I saw Natalie Schneider‘s book choice, I had to retweet it because the book really was that good, but then I felt the need to honour both people’s request for a book, and so I added another book as well.

Yes, I really do love my mystery and suspense novels, so I decided to stick with this genre for both of my tweets. And after a few minutes and a couple of tweets, I got out of bed and went on with my morning … that is, until I checked Twitter later on and saw all of the mentions.

It was quite remarkable how many people got involved in this game, and as Doug Peterson mentioned in his blog post, the only thing missing here was a hashtag. What might have intrigued me the most though was the variety of book titles. At first, most people that replied seemed to choose pleasure reads. Then I saw Kristi‘s tweet, and all of a sudden, I began to think about my favourite children’s book.

Not long after, I noticed Gail‘s tweet, and I contemplated my favourite professional read. What cover might I share for this?

In that moment, I was reminded of why we don’t include signs and directions in our playfor often the richness comes from the ideas that we might not have anticipated. (What learning is lost through our limitations?The same is true here. If the directions were more than just “upload a cover of a great book,” what book choices might not have been included? 

A simple invitation to share. A huge collection of books. So much diversity. We just “played” with some book choices online, and now I’m curious to know what people might do next. Imagine if students were given this same open invitation. What might they choose to share? What could we learn about them as a result? Sometimes, when it comes to directions, less really is more!


4 thoughts on “When LESS Really Is A Whole Lot MORE!

  1. Love where this post took me. I too participated in this “post a cover of a book”. At first I wished there was more guidance, but then went with the flow and saw amazing tweets of books that resonated with them.
    I have often felt that less is more! When the directions are too intense (and often overly multi-step – not appropriate for kinders), the lesson or activity becomes what the teacher wants as an outcome. Frequently, this takes away from the student’s learning, limiting their choice and demonstrating who they are as learners.

    • Thanks for sharing, Faige! I wonder if we keep the learning opportunities open, if more learning ends up happening. When we pose restrictions, are people more reluctant to share? Might some people not share at all?

      I find it interesting though how you were initially wishing that there was more guidance. How many adults might feel the same? Is the same true for kids, and can adults sometimes cause these same feelings in kids? Again, this makes me think of “play,” and a willingness for our Kindergarteners to play freely, while children in older grades sometimes struggle more with this. I’ve always wondered why that is, and if even unintentionally, adults may play a role in this.


      • That’s the “I want to do the right thing” and “get the answer right” in me. It’s been a long road letting that go and I guess it surfaces every once in awhile. Your question about “play” is a valid concern in how adults “guide” to a fault. Keep questioning, that’s authentic road to discover,; not answers, but to our own discoveries.

        • Thanks Faige! I think it is hard to let go, and even though I continue to work on this, I know that I have my moments when I forget. I wonder about the impact that our concerns — and at times, our desire to control — can have on kids. Maybe we all need more opportunities where we say less, stand back, watch, and discover. This is largely the thinking in our K Program Document. I wonder about the value for all grades though … and the value for both kids and adults!


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