Sunday, November 23, 2014

Seven Wonders of the World

I am immersed in projects. Because my students are technically too young to have gmail accounts, the nice easy idea of using google drive slides can only work with students who happen to already have permission from parents. I do have a few of those, but otherwise I have a kitchen table littered with USB drives of all shapes and sizes. I have spent most of the weekend viewing, saving and organizing those.

Each grade 5 student has created a slideshow presentation depicting answers to critical questions about a "wonder of the world" (who what when where why how) and they also analyzed and compared information about the country of its location. These are actually very interesting and well done.

The most fun will be seeing the 3D models the students submit next week. I know from my own experience in 5th grade the topics you remember most are those you engage in first hand. Perhaps I have mentioned my oak tag pop up Patrick Henry and my Mayan temple made out of sugar cubes ?

Grade 6 students are working on mastering information about one of the River Valley civilizations. (they are in 4 small groups, chosen by me, in each class covering one of the 4 major civilizations) after they demonstrate mastery about vocab and concepts I will making the brave move to allow them to request their own groups for a project which will ask each team to compare all 4 civilizations. I'll report back about how that goes.

I was in a fascinating meeting recently where a parent was voicing concerns about their student of average intelligence being expected to "think and analyze based on this new common core stuff", when this professional knows several adults who aren't even able to do this. Isn't that the point of reform ?.... we realized that we allowed a generation of adults to memorize and regurgitate their way through school and are surprised that they now are unable to critically think.

I know it is painful especially for students who hit reform movements in the middle of their education but I am so hopeful that students coming through K-12 from the beginning this way will be used to being asked to think.

Thankful this week, that my family and friends have good health and fortune. Wishing all my blog readers a fabulous holiday.