I believe this because the times I remember from my school experience were the times I spent with my friends laughing and playing. I remember very little from the times in the classroom unless it was an extremely memorable lesson in which I used skills besides listening and memorizing content. This is unfortunate. I look at my students today and wonder if they will remember their fifth grade year with me when they are older. What makes a great learning experience for students? It’s not acquiring content and memorizing facts. It’s the times when you used skills like collaborating with others, solving problems that mattered to you and being creative. These are the skills that students need to have when they are older and they are also the most engaging strategies to use when learning. Why aren’t these used more? I remember one lesson in middle school in which my teacher read an incredible, fantastical story about how he was a shape-shifting wolf and we were asked to write the ending to the story. The story was obviously fictional, but to my 12-year-old brain, and a convincing teacher, I thought it had to be true. This drew me in. I wrote the ending to the story and remember how invested and interested I was in that activity. These are the types of things that children should be working on in school. Not memorizing multiplication facts (we have calculators) or spelling every single word correct on the spelling test (we also have spell check). Instead, we should focus on things that students are interested in and will challenge them to be critical thinkers and creative beings. These experiences will help them thrive and live up to their full potential in our global society.