I came to a realization over Turkey Break. One, we’ve got some freaking amazing students. Two, I only have 13 days left to teach them (Mr. K takes over after Christmas). On Monday, we had a great in-class discussion based on the following video. It sparked a tremendous amount of thought and discussion amongst the students, and as a result, I’ve decided to take my classroom in a different direction the last 13 days I have them.
It’s by Sir Ken Robinson, a smart English man. Lots of great ideas, but the most inspiring to me is one of empowering students in order to truly engage them. Robinson s peaks of our system’s ills and how schools fail students, and he’s often correct. We don’t, as a whole, do enough to suck all learners in, let alone make school like real life.
That’s why I decided to help students fall down the rabbit hole. I enjoy doing this myself from time to time. I get so obsessed and immersed with an idea, get “curiouser and curiouser,” that I lose all track of time. I do this because I love what I do. When I read, research, and stumble upon new ideas, I’m susceptible to falling down the rabbit hole on a quest to discover something brilliant and wonderful.
Our class extension of this philosophy is a project, both alike and unlike any project I’ve done before. Here’s the worksheet which describes the project we’re doing:
Basically, I want students to select a topic they’re interested in. With that topic, they become so immersed and obsessed with learning about it, that they truly learn more than I ever could. I’ll assist them with finding resources, with keeping them on the right path, and by helping them find connections they may not otherwise find. I’m very excited to see them explore an idea of their choosing, and eventually present it to their classmates. More details about grading specifics will follow, but I think everyone has the general idea…
I hope their curiosity, some divergent thinking, and support from myself can lead them down a wonderful little rabbit hole.