Thursday, March 13, 2014

Why should students experience the real creation process?

Lat year my students enjoyed curiosity blocks and  I was to continue exploring this year and learn more about how students apply their skills to tasks of their own choice.  

This year with my English partner Carolyn Brambles and I decided to dedicate a block of 100 minutes a week not tied into the curriculum or teacher lead, only students lead curiosity of their choice on Fridays.

Students were in situations where they had to make decisions, problem solve and judge on what and how to create in any format, based on their own curiosity. The students and us struggled at the beginning into making sense of the process and how could this accountability becomes a reflective learning situation for all of us. 

Students ideas form the first curiosity camp. 

We used the same method as Educamp where students would write what they would like to learn, explore and what they could offer. We also provoked students' interest by watching Caine's arcade and Be more dog video- open to take risks. 

Through regular reflections the students and us improved.

First reflection form that lead to more understanding of the process. 

Who would think having students to decide to create was a large task!  We thought that students would tackle it easily. At the first camp, students could not make up their mind as to what they wanted to pursue as they were busy constantly checking what others were doing and changing their mind as they walked around the room.Once they decided what they would like to pursue and started formulating a plan monitoring the next steps and putting the plan into action, they started generating possibilities. They were formulating plans and the ideas were connecting and students were being strategic by conversing,reflecting and problem solving with each other.

The first attempts were not a failure rather a learning experience. By our third camp  the skills and strategies fell into place with their planning. Students pursued in accomplishing their desired task with a partner or individually. Students were experiencing many skills like; self regulation, creating, planning, conversing, reflecting, problem solving, integrating technology for researching as well as explaining or just recording the process online on a Google Doc or in a notebook. .

In the true sense of real learning experiences and full ownership of the learning process that they have explored and that they were immersed in.  Some students were programming games with Scratch , some students were playing and designing with Minecrat. Others were knitting, some designing origami and rainbow loom bracelets or key chains, headbands and animals. Some students were exploring Vietnamese style of painting as well. The amazing part of the whole block was the thinking and the reflective conversations during the tasks. 

Students among themselves were defining the importance of creation by proceeding with the skills and the strategies while completing the tasks of their creations.  

The second reflective form that students' completed focused on skills and strategies.

We need to give students a chance to experience and apply the skills and the strategies that they explore in class and be able to connect them to their choice of curiosity. Through this exploration students could create their own curriculum of their choice. You could call it genius hour or the 20% project like Google employee, giving students the freedom to pursue and be responsible for their curiosity with their own purpose of learning. How can we continue to spark students' passion?

Some  pictures and vine videos of their experiences.

Updated reflections after March Break: Students voices about the importance of skills to accomplish plans: So much learning from Students' reflections about giving them ownership of independent curiosity. 

Planning from the previous camps was important because then you will manage everything better.

J'ai appris que avant Curiosity Camp avoir un activite pour les autres peuvent apprendre. Ne pense pas que quelques va apporter un chose que tu veux d'apprendre, apporte ton activite.

I have learned that planning before Curiosity Camp helps with getting organized on the day of the camp, and it moves things along.

I think if you manage your time wisely, you can get ALOT more work done, so you wouldn't have to worry about it last minute.

I learned that if you manage time well then you will know when your game is great and you don't have to rush.

Organizing is important because you have things in right order and you know what'll happen next and what to DO next.

If your not organized you can't find your stuff that you need and everything is messy you need to be prepared. So then you know what to do.

I learned that taking/demonstrating initiative is important because that shows leadership.

By demonstrating initiative you can come up with great ideas and keep others on task. Also by taking initiative you and your team with feel like you got alot of work done.

i have learned that you should not change your goal even if it is hard try to do it.

That if you set goals you will achieve them and a good goal should be measurable. Goals need to have associated behaviors. There is a word for a goal without an associated behavior. It’s called a wish. For example I want to hold a handstand for 60 seconds. That is what I learned about goal setting.

I've learned that if you set a goal, you can achieve it by working hard and never giving up so you can reach the goal, you'll be happy at the end :)

Goal setting is so important during curiosity camp, and everywhere else because you won't know what you've accomplished unless you set a goal, and be proud when you accomplish it.

You have to be specific on what your goal is and you have to improve yourself to accomplish your goal.

I learned that if you have a plan it is easy to take initiative because you already know your goal and you don't need to be told what to do. Also if you take initiative then you can achieve your task.

Some vines of the Play4change Day

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