Looks like… learning?

If you had walked into my classroom for the past couple of days, you would have seen:

  • Students “working” with Lego.
  • Students painting a variety of pictures (proper big paper, paints, messy!).
  • Students looking at books.
  • Students watching videos on YouTube.
  • Students working on a “model” of a city.

All of these things were clearly related to our unit of inquiry and our Math focus. It clearly looked like “children having fun” and I can guarantee there was a lot of learning!

  • Students making connections to the concept of adaptation
  • Students applying what they have learned about how humans respond and adapt in zones continuously affected by change (such as changing house structure)
  • Students exploring their forms of natural change by painting and talking about it
  • Students exploring measurement of the need for standard units of measurement

I like to think of myself as a very “open” educator, someone open for new ideas, and a risk-taker. I found that letting things flow challenged me though, that giving up so MUCH control was making me uneasy at times, and it makes me so much happier to see the outcomes of those days.
Students were becoming more and more independent. Students were collaborating in a huge variety of ways. Students talked about their ideas and wonderings. Students applied learning. Students had fun!

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6 thoughts on “Looks like… learning?

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Looks like… learning? | Stars and Clouds -- Topsy.com

  2. Sounds great. Plenty of choice, a variety of opportunities for practising trans disciplinary skills, students being independent learners… Well done. Have you read Tyler’s recent post about the importance of reflection at Inquire Within? http://inquiryblog.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/reflection-a-critical-step-in-learning/
    I’d love to hear some of your students’ reflections afterwards about what skills and attitudes they thought they practised and how they felt the activities consolidated their learning.

    • Thanks for your comment. I did read it indeed, very insightful and true. The reflections were “on-going” and scattered during the day, as we didn’t come together to reflect as a whole group but rather in small groups or one-to-one with me.

      The students working on the model that is supposed to become a “model to model earthquakes” said “we made this one house heavier and it means it can’t be destroyed during Earthquakes. It is newer and the new houses are different, because people didn’t want houses to break anymore”. In the reflection time with them, we linked this back to the concept of adaptation, and their reflections were amazing. They said “I didn’t know that I already knew so much about the central idea” and another students said “now I think I understand what “adapts” means”.

      Of course, this also reminds me that I need to give even more opportunity to reflect, because the lego measurement was still not reflected on.

  3. It was really hard for me to let go of control in my classroom too. At first I found myself wanting to step in often to redirect or “help” out. What I was really doing was being impatient with the learning process. Learning is so much more powerful when it is allowed to happen naturally.

    • Today we are about to take a new step and let the new line of inquiry guide us on. We shall see what happens, but I really want to BE OPEN-MINDED to their ideas and LET THEM do the THINKING!

      Will report back..

  4. I just found your blog and look forward to reading more (after reports are done!). I currently teach at an international school that has an American curriculum but have just accepted an offer at a PYP school for next fall. I am eager to start reading professional books that will help me make this transition. Any recommendations?

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