Apologies for missing pics in this post. I am hunting for them!
This week is my last week of teaching in a classroom setting for a while. A long while probably. More about that later.
I decided in honour of this I would try something that I had always talked about doing, but never done. Well, always talked about ever since last year!
What’s that you ask? Giving up the timetable. Letting the kids own it. Their learning that is. This year I have really tried to grow in my students the belief that learning is awesome and that they control their learning. Gradually I’ve been starting to see small glimpses of this – the students who start making things, investigating things, asking questions, answering questions (!), writing independently, sending me docs, talking about what they’ve learnt and so on and so on…So I thought, why not give it a go, I won’t get another chance for a while!
So, this week, my students are “Learning MY way” (or their way if get what I mean). This title is care of Kerri Thompson who has been running a similar idea, though on a more mega scale, in her class for 3 or so years. You can read about her awesomeness HERE.
I was a little nervous my students might sit around and do nothing much all day, so I added a couple of rules of my own. They have to do 30 minutes each of reading, writing and maths a day, as well as 20 minutes of active time and 10 minutes of reflection time. The ways they chose to do these things and when they chose to do them was relatively free for them.
We are 2 days in now and I believe it is going really well. Students are engaged (for the most part), and doing learning that interests them (for the most part). I find myself roving around talking about what they’re doing, giving them a hand if they need it, running some workshops about different things and generally just facilitating their interests.
It is not perfect! I wish I had done this weeks ago so that by now we would rock it! There are still students who are outside a lot playing games, or doing a lot of art or colouring. But hey, this is just a beginning of something. (and unfortunately the end…) If I were to do this kind of thing again, I would get students to own their learning more by being more aware of what the standards are looking for at their level, what their next steps are, and how they can get to those goals.
But what it is, is, FUN! Learning is fun again! Students are empowered to create their own learning. They are driving their own brains. They are making choices for themselves, that affect them. And those are skills that need to be taught as well.
I will try and give an update later on in the week. My advice for anyone contemplating trying out a big change in their classroom is…
JUST DO IT!
Here are my students doing their fitness! Love that they started to run this themselves!
A workshop in metaphors.
Division is something my students overwhelmingly say they can’t do, so workshops in that! By the way…workshops haven’t been really well attended so far…I think this would change if this kind of learning continued. This week is all about novelty factor for them.