Sniglets & Reframing


A sniglet is a word that does not have a dictionary meaning.  Two sniglets that I use often with my students are quest and tuiz.  These are both summative assessments that are longer than a quiz, but shorter than a test.

Here are a few sniglets that I came up with:

Excusababble: (noun) When a student give a reason or explanation for not having his or her homework done.excuses

Froggerama: (noun) The six minute passing time when one must weave through crowds of people to get from one classroom to another.

Queentee: (noun) A nickname given to a person, mostly teachers, who can complete multiple tasks at the same time.

Snapaholic: (noun) A person who is addicted to using Snapchat.

Sniglets are a wonderful way to emphasize a situation that regular words cannot.

What’s the Problem Really?

During my first year of teaching, I was the varsity basketball assistant coach.  After weeks of practice and going through our new offense we finally had our first game.  The girls were prepared, nervous, and excited to get on the court.  Despite a hard fought battle on the court, our team ended up losing the game.  I remember at halftime the point guard telling the head coach in the locker room that the wing players were not getting open. She had no one to pass the ball to and kept turning the ball over.  The head coach and I were telling the other players to get open on the wing, set screens, and move without the ball.  We had gone over these things in practice, but thought that this was the problem.

The next day we watched the film of the game and saw that the guards getting open was not the real problem.  The point guard was dribbling right into the trap on the press break and dribbling around the three point line on offense.  The guards were open on the wing right away, but she was waiting too long to pass the ball.  By the time she passed the defense shifted and stole the ball.  When we showed her the film she began to realize what we were talking about.  The next few practices we focused on getting her to look up the floor and pass to the open players right when she sees them.  The number of turnovers decreased in the next game and we had more fast break opportunities off of the press break.

It is crazy to see the difference in what we thought the problem was and then watching the film back, what actually occurred.  Watching film is key in any sport and can highlight mistakes and make them more obvious for players to see.  It also displays great plays and gives them context to determine the difference between turnovers and scoring possessions.  Through this example of redefining this problem in coaching I learned that it is important to look at a problem through different lenses.  We need to consider the situation from different perspectives before jumping to conclusions and defining what we think is the problem.  Once the problem is reframed, it is easier to come up with a successful solution.