Phase 3: Backtrack … and Plan B

Good-bye seeds, and dead seedlings …

HELLO CRAYFISH!


Kids know best. I knew they could do it. We held a few lengthy discussions, and tried to think of a way to have them represent their learning during this unit, while at the same time linking to my goals/plans for this project. Deep down, I had the ISB TAIL standards in my mind, and wanted to make this fun for them, engaging, and meaningful.

The seeds were fun at the start, and everyone agreed that some serious learning took place, but the project really fizzled when things started to die. Once the seeds (which had swelled after exposure to water) were put into hydroponic-friendly containers, we started to monitor their growth. Well, all it took was one really hot day and over-exposure to the sun, and my seedlings were history. No growth, lots of wilting, and then brown stems. That was it … my project was put on hold.

Besides the dead seedlings, I tried to gauge what was holding the students back, and through my observations, a few class discussions, and another tech project (linked to digital portfolios), I realized what it was. The students didn’t want to just talk about their learning … they wanted to create something. Their digital portfolios, which were the core of their student-led conferences, were amazing. They had been asked to use an application called Notebook, and create a slide show about themselves as learners. This would be presented to their parents as part of their student-led conference in March, using the Smartboard. Watching them work on this projects made me realize reminded me of how much kids love to create. Every single one  of them was engaged, and working collaboratively to use this tool to represent them as learners. What Notebook tools they didn’t know how to use at the start, they discovered through collaboration. They had an idea of what this application was, and how it could be used, as they see me work (fight) with it everyday. Now they had a chance to “have a go”. I would safely say that at this point, many of them are more familiar with Notebook than I am. They have done what kids do best – learned by doing.

So, I now have this idea to take to the drawing board. I will now take a second look at the ISB TAIL standards, and see how this new task matches up. What links easily, and what needs to be modified? Lets hope the crayfish don’t croak …

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~ by yamaguru on April 13, 2010.

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