Monday, October 16, 2017

Dear A6 Parents

I was so impressed with the students (your children) today!

The lens we are using for our learning this term is 'SUSTAINABILITY' and during the break I had plenty of time to put together loads of provocations that would have guided and excited their thinking around the topic. I was very proud of myself. But when I was sharing my ideas with some very experienced and future-focused colleagues at the end of last week they all asked, "who's directing your students learning Kate?" Of course I knew straight away that it was ME and all the research states if we want to provide today's students with genuine, agentic, personalised learning opportunities then it needs to come from THEM.

So the beautifully planned tasks/activities/provocations all got tossed out (till later) and instead I conceded control and gave it to them. As a teacher of 'yesteryear' that was a challenge. Was I ready for it? Were they ready for it? The answer, I can now report is a resounding YES!

So, what did that look like....
Firstly, it was obvious what the lens for learning was:

Next, in groups, students brainstormed 'ideas around sustainability'. That's all I gave them. The challenge was to come up with 30 ideas in 30 minutes. They were not very impressed. They wanted more. But if I was to get them to engage in projects around sustainability that THEY 'owned' I needed to let them discover what that could look like themselves.

Here's what they came up with as possible inquiry ideas for the term:


Once we had the students ideas on the board we quickly discovered they could be grouped together in themes and labeled appropriately. This is what our ideas became:

Tomorrow each group will take an idea and create a presentation of their choice sharing why their theme or topic would be the best to learn more about. These presentations will go onto this blog on Thursday afternoon so that students can see them all and vote on the one they think we should wrap our learning around.

As we were engaged in the task I noticed two things that really stood out for me:
1. students naturally started conversations around why sustainability was important to learn, and;
2. the lunch bell went before we knew it and all of us were surprised at how quickly time had gone.

I can't wait to share the presentations they come up with over the next couple of days on Thursday. We'd love to hear what direction you think we should go in. But careful not to influence the decisions of the learners :)

Stay tuned....

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