Kettle Moraine School District, Wisconsin
Students were given a new unit worksheet with the 8 new math learning targets described. They were asked to show what they already knew and key vocabulary was discussed. They were then asked how they wanted to learn the targets and individuals brought their ideas to the whole class. There were mixed reviews from the children who said ‘Why can’t we just learn from the book as normal? They said they thought this was the teacher’s job. Other teachers in the school who tried this also had the same results. Better ideas came from group discussion versus individual ideas. The impact on the learning is unclear.
It was felt that choosing maths challenges was too difficult for lower achievers and that teachers need to set the structure.
In one class prior knowledge situations were given and the children’s responses analysed. They could say yes or no to questions but did not have deep knowledge.
In another class students were asked how they could show their learning on colonial life and suggested weekly reader articles. They enjoyed showing their knowledge through this format.
It was stated that modelling and gradual release is important to help students be successful,
Tunbridge Wells, Kent
Planning in this way had resulted in children coming up with ideas that the teachers would not have thought of. Children have more ownership and increased subject knowledge. Their independent work is excellent and they are enthused by having a choice.
Immersion resources have sometimes been limited.
I had an ICT unit on multimedia presentations. Children were told and taught the skills of using animation, creating video clips and inserting audio files. They chose the content from our science unit on the Earth, Sun and Moon. The children were so enthusiastic about their presentations and learnt the skills as well as consolidating their scientific understanding.
Fiona Howell, St. Peter’s C of E Primary School
Teachers had involved children in the stages of planning and ended up with more ideas than could be used, even with links with skills coverage. Children were motivated and enjoyed the process. It was also good for assessing prior learning and children’s misconceptions.
Children put their questions on display and researched things at home.
One teacher did some pre-teaching of a topic, gave the children skills they were learning (Lit and maths) and gave them the challenge to teach someone else given a week. The children loved this and parents were also enthusiastic.
Kettle Moraine School District, Wisconsin, USA
Patricia Deklotz | firstname.lastname@example.org
Kim Zeidler | email@example.com
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, UK
Mel Shackleton | firstname.lastname@example.org