This is a professional development blog for Nottingham Elementary. We'll be discussing books we have read as a group. Our discussions will be focused on gifted children.
This chapter reminds me of when I toured Rice University Engineering Department last year. They had real world problems on several different tables. Students could choose the different problems that were presented on the tables. These problems reflected real people's needs. Students could form their own collaborative groups and prototype different solutions. For example, one problem reflected a quadriplegic 10 year old who wanted to swim independently in the pool. The criteria was the boy should be able to float on his own without assistance. There were several types of prototypes that were trying to be made and another group was still making ideas on how to solve the problem. This is parallals perfectly to when Mrs. Andi McNair mentioned that all students are brainstorming with the same idea in mind: passion (Kindle location 974). That is a difference between just making a project on an iPad about a historical figure and creating a project that has real world applications. Real life and passion.
I agree with you Annie. It actually reminds me of the Somalia project you did with the water jugs you had them carry across the field. Whenever you can personalize something for them and make it real to them it helps them learn and it's something they remember.
I agree with Annie Mitchell's response on June 14th that when you make it personalized and relevant for students, its just that much more meaningful to them.
This sounds like the program for kids called Odyssey of the Mind. Kids creatively solve real world problems. We should consider making it a part of our Power Hour program.
On page 53 I noted ideas for Elementary school children. One was introducing augmented reality to teachers. Students could introduce anything they are an expert on to someone else. The other was sharing why snakes are not all bad. This would be a good starting point for sharing why anything is not all bad or debunking myths as a public service.I am trying to come up with ways to involve innovative teaching within the curriculum, but I am still working on it.
I agree with Melanie on June 18 when she mentions the importance of coming up with ways to involve innovative teaching within the curriculum. I think we need to come up with innovative ways to help students learn the core subject material. FYI, I did not say teach, I said learn. I believe true innovation encourages and shows students how to teach themselves core concepts and real world problem-solving.
I love how they talk about being okay to fail on pages 48-49. It's a lot like SBISD's motto-it's okay to fail when you try new things. Students need to stop worrying about their grade so much and focus on what they are learning and getting out of their work. When kids know it's okay to fail, they are more willing to try new things and be okay with failing as well. I love the idea of a "fearless classroom" and kids being willing to take the risk and failing only to get back up and try again.
I agree with Mrs. Breidenthal on June 19th. I think that from a young age students are pressured to make the best grades and make no mistakes. However, when I think of the best learning experiences I have had they come from making mistakes. We need to teach our kids that is it ok to make mistakes and that when we make mistakes, we learn from them. Teaching Kindergarten I will be very excited to instill this idea into my students, as I am possibly some of their 1st teacher!
Some ideas that come to mind to implement an innovative project would be to create a blog site with students being the driven model. We would reach out to another class similar to ours in a different part of the world and see how they are learning math or science. Students would be able to interact in real life and "create something meaningful" page 50 to their learning. Also, during our unit study of mammals, we can actually brainstorm ideas and get an expert involved in learning more about mammals. We could Skype with experts and students could see that "teachers aren't the only expert or person with all the answers." Page 46.
(Sarah Chu June 26, 2017)I really like your project ideas. In high school, my french class had video conference with a another class in France that was learning English. We could ask questions but we could only do so in french, and the English class in France asked us questions in English. Not only was it a really neat experience, but it really motivated me to take the extra time to make sure I crafted a sentence that actually made sense. Thanks for sharing.
P. 52 discusses some elements of an innovation program for elementary students such as brainstorming ideas, finding experts, etc. that are very useful. I think it is important that these elements be used to help students solve problems in their immediate environment. Students can brainstorm and develop innovative programs for morning announcements, morning/breakfast/lunch times, PBIS or behavior guidelines, fun school wide programs (including incentives). annual campus themes and slogans, annual campus t-shirts, a yearly campus charity, campus grants and write them, etc. Just like us, they respect things they have invested in.
Kindle location 934 says that offering the opportunity to work on relevant projects is another way to spark student engagement and retention of knowledge. During a math unit, students can research real world examples of how various people use that specific skill in their job. They can maybe find someone that's in that field to talk to about how they use it in their job.
As mentioned in my previous post, I think a great start would be doing a whole class group project (in Kindergarten!). In my student teaching semester years ago, I was in a PBL school in a Kindergarten classroom. While I know PBL is different than a Genius Hour classroom, the Kindergarteners were able to successfully participate in a PBL project I created. They received a letter from an airline company stating that they were hiring new flight attendants and these flight attendants would be traveling to different cities in the United States. The flight attendants were having trouble with what to pack depending on the weather of where they were going. Through guided instruction, the students were able to track the weather of their city utilizing technology and therefore create a suitcase of clothes for the flight attendant. It was such a fun experience, also very amazing to see what the Kindergarteners could do independently, too! A next step in my project could have been contacting an airplane company, flight attendant I knew, pilot, or even a weatherman. I think that the students would have learned so much just from collaborating with them. As Wettrick says on pg. 47, "When my students began collaborating with outside experts, I realized I no longer had to be the only teacher." That sentence was very powerful to me.
Before any pen can be put to paper, I believe it is of utmost importance that adults lead by example what an innovative learner looks like. The development of fastidiousness and having grit is not something hardwired into each individual. It can be difficult at times, especially when many (myself included) become frustrated when something does not go as intended. Embarking upon or completing an innovation project requires more than simply interviews, data, and writing. It is, in its most basic form, is a project that requires a passion. An innovation project is not simply a project, but it is a project that receives its momentum from the individuals working it. It requires the person to persevere despite whatever obstacles one may encounter, no matter how many times they may hit a wall (Wettrick, 2014, pg. 48-49). If students have never seen what it looks like to be passion driven and hard working in face of adversity, how will they ever learn, or rather recognize, it when they see it?