Friday, November 21, 2014

Handing over reins to my students

We have just started our unit on Ancient Civilisations. My students had been complaining about their summative task for the last unit. They were experts on the human body systems and we had a "Hot Seat" session where they were asked a few questions. They found it boring after a while. Frankly, so did I.

And so I decided to relinquish control of the IB planner to least stages 3 and 4. I have never tried this before. I will be working on the " reflection stage" with them later on.

What can I say! The past two days have been exciting, eventful, noisy and very, very fruitful.
As they looked at the central idea and the lines of inquiry, the whole class brainstormed tuning-in activities in groups. As they spoke, I updated my planner (stage 4 - learning engagements) This is what they came up with:

  • Play "Chinese Whispers" to see how messages from the past can change as they filter down to us.
  • Watch” Night at the Museum”
  • Interview grandparents about the past
  • Watch pictures /artefacts brought by them  and discuss. (Maybe use visible thinking tools such as See think Wonder or 10 X 2)
  • Make a cave and cave paintings somewhere in the classroom.
  • Write on leaves and sand as the early human "writers" did (during a mental maths session
  • Games played in the olden days.( I asked them how they knew the games were played in the past; they said they were, like stories, handed down from generation to generation). Will discuss this further of course.
  • KWL charts
  • Wonder wall ...after they have poured over the unit related books from the library
  • Bus stop Activity ( They asked me to come up with pictures and prompts)

I was impressed by the list.

I don't know where the unit will take us. However, as a modern educator in today's changing world, I feel I owe it to them. 

I am really excited to see what they come up during the Finding Out stage of our inquiry. I will be looking forward to finding out what they do about assessing themselves. They will need to design their own checklists, rubrics and continuums.

As a facilitator , I will be keeping a hawk's eye and tweaking things wherever necessary.

Stay tuned!


  1. Fantastic! So glad to see an Educator step back and have the courage to let the children take control. Great example- can't wait to hear more!

  2. Wonderful !
    A great way of teaching !


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