Monday, February 14, 2011

Helping others inquire

Many of my students this year come from another system of education. A sytem that follows text books and grade kids at the end of a topic. I displayed alot of books about the various biomes of the earth and bombarded them with one movie after another (Planet Earth) and then threw infront of them a challenge: Choose any ecosystem you prefer and create a visual(diorama) which you will use as a tool to present the problems it is facing and then come up with a practical solution. I saw an expression of disbelief flit across some of their faces. They were not used to being in charge of their learning. But here is why it always works...the students who have been learning with us for a while display great learner attitudes and step in to help put them at ease. The small group system ensures that each child gets a chance to ask questions without feeling daunted. They assess each others work using the checklist that we make in class. And before it is time to present, they have the advantage of having presented it infront of their group members. I have seen some teachers allow student the choice not to present infront of the class if they feel uncomfortable; I however insist that they do...I enjoy pushing them to their limits and moving them out of their comfort zone. Whatever they do, they get an audience that listens and claps and suggets ways they could make it better.What better way to harness confidence than face fear itself?

Take a glimpse of some of their work.  great for a first attempt.


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