Saturday, November 17, 2012

Interest your kids and Move the Learning Paradigm

 I am SOOOOO tired of hearing all the people telling me that kids lack critical thinking skills and then trying to use book to move them to a better place.   

Yes, reading is important.  My students do it every day....digitally.  We critically analyze a small amount of text as we complete the task at hand.

My students do amazing things.   Really.  But that's because project-based learning has revolutionized my classroom.   It matters to some of my students because they like to build something, move around, and THEN think and apply the concepts.   Even if you are unfamiliar with project-based learning, you probably know about 4H, which is PBL in a microcosm.   Get an idea.   Do something to learn about it.  Make something.  Reflect on it in a write-up.  Explain what you did to others. 

So, in the spirit of a picture being a thousand words, think about these kids and your classroom.   How can you interest and inspire them?  They're waiting.

State fair projects in origami (math) and drawing (spatial relationships)
should show us that STEM is a critical part of the arts.
How much force can your bridge hold without torsioning?

Stop motion movies created and analyzed to see constant velocity and acceleration.

Group analysis of text relating to the life cycles of variable mass stars

Teamwork and collaboration required

G-forces on a Barbie experiencing a crash with a seat belt

Official for the November 2012 election

Different ways to solve a similar problem

Mechanical advantage can ramp up distance in a mousetrap car

All learners succeed, male and female.

Student presentation synced to a performance at a local concert

Really, do we realize that the future is in these kids' hands?   It is a different future then we had.  They need to be able to analyze, to think, to dance, to learn.   Memorization?  Not so much.   The world is waiting with enormous challenges to be solved.  That is not simply slapping things together.  It's about thinking before, during and AFTER the project.   And they can do it, if you give them an opportunity, rethinking your classroom time and design.

He's waiting.   How do you tap his genius?!

1 comment:

  1. I will post this for my students to see, Marcia!
    :-) Very cool!