We've got a strategies lab at our school. It's full of a wide variety of strategies games, some individual and some for partners or small groups. I've been taking my first graders once a week since the beginning of the year. We've learned to play several different games so far. For the first month or more we just played every week. The kids loved it and so did I.
A few weeks ago I pushed the kids to think about what they were doing to be successful at the game they were playing. I expected to hear a lot of very specific, but not useful, things. Things like how they move a specific piece or how they look at the pictures to help them. Instead they wowed me with the beginning of this list.
We continued talking and adding to our list the following week. I added the words after the dashes (ignore and persevere) but all the other language is theirs. The goal now is to help them identify and use these strategies in other areas as well. We call these universal strategies, strategies that are useful everywhere. (I can't take credit for that name. I know our Advanced Academic Programs teacher and our librarian used it but I don't know if they coined it.)
On the days when I am feeling frustrated and as though I am beating my head against a wall, this list is a wonderful reminder of the brilliance and potential of my students.