Sunday, September 8, 2013

This Weeks Updates . . . and Friday Gathering

I have posted the presentation we used for our Friday gathering. This will give you a glimpse into what we have been working on over the last couple of weeks. To say the least, we have been busy!

This week, our class will be heading over to Summit Middle School to get a lesson on how to use microscopes. This is a part of our unit of study on cells. We will be using microscopes to study the various parts of animal and plant cells.

Our citizen science projects are just beginning. In a nutshell, different groups of students are engaging in various citizen science projects. Some of these projects range from documenting wildlife around our school to monitoring precipitation to transcribing ancient documents. These types of projects allow students to be included in a much larger community of scientists knowing the information they collect and document will be used by various professionals all over the world.

As many know, explorations is an important part of our day. During this time, students have the opportunity to inquire into things that are important to them. The first week of school, many students shared items they had created over the summer. Some shared items they had made through sewing while some shared duct tape creations. This inspired me to push students to learn something new. Learning new information or trying new things often brings about tension as students attempt to connect new knowledge to existing knowledge. When we feel tension, we sometimes shy away from learning new things. (This often seems evident with adult learners.) Knowing how to navigate this tension is important when it comes to learning. So I have asked students to use various resources, including the internet, to learn how to create something new. Students are using the internet as a resource to create duct tape items, how to crochet, clay art, original Lego creations, make computer games, or draw portraits. During this process, students are documenting their learning so it's neat to see where students began and how far they have pushed themselves in their learning.