Last year I had a visit from a digital technology champion. I showed him what I was doing in my classroom at the time. I walked him through my pedagogy and thoughts for future learning in my classroom. After he sat patiently and listened to what I had to say, he complemented me on my hard work and was interested in what I was doing and planned to do. He made a suggestion that has had profound impact on me. He suggested that I research and look into project or challenge based learning to take the class further.
At the time I was not sure what he meant. I began my quest to find out. For the next six months I read about project and challenge based learning in the classroom. I found that this is an exciting avenue to go down. I could see how the increase in student acheivement and engagement was attained. I was interested and willing to give this ago.
My next challenge was to convince the administration that this was a viable and good idea. To do this I needed to make sure that the project that I choose would still meet the current achievement outcomes of the school. I also had to show that I had research this subject and could show the research behind my idea. I was successful.
My project based learning has begun. I chose to combine science and Human and social science together to produce a project about survival in the environment. The idea was for students to research plants and animals and how they survive in the current environment. Through this research students would examine activities and human intervention that hindered and helped these animals. Then they were to find a way to further help plants and animals to live and survive in the environment with assistance from humans. They are to produce a presentation that will presented to the school community later in the term. This presentation is to outline their research and proposal.
The journey diary.
During the coming weeks I will adding to this blog the things that I have learnt during this journey and the things that I will keep the same and those that I would change.
I hope you will join me in this journey.
Time for an update on our progress.
This week we moved on to how plants, animals and humans are important to the environment. Through whole class discussions the students connected pollution, both air and waste, to the survival of plants and animals as well as our survival along with the importance of looking after the environment. They realised that should all the plants die that there would be no life on our planet. They also realised that if the animals were to die off that life would cease to exist.
These connections are very important for the next phase of our project as they need to find an environment issue and come up with a solution. It is hoped they will connect these solutions to the school or local community.
Another valuable lesson they have also learnt through this process is the importance of working efficiently. Giving each member a job to do and trusting they will complete their given task. Some groups discovered that they were all working on the same questions and tasks only to find they were falling behind. Through daily reflection from the whole class have they discovered other ways of working as a group.
Thanks for joining me for this update.