This post is a combination of unpublished posts regarding teacher and student relationship of unplanned learning. This post combines a learning journey for me as a teacher and as a learner with my students discovering so much more than just learning skills, it is building real life skills experiences for us together as creators and learners.
The first reflection is about the social entrepreneurship that we embarked on this year with the Grade 5 and 6 students. This entrepreneurship program through The Learning Partnership Adventure has been and still is a learning journey for me and my teaching partner Carolyn Brambles and our business BMO partner Gordon Mills.
Since the last post Student Lead Innovations students' experiences persevere from failing to moving forward, from progressing to regressing with acceptance and pride. The engagement among teams goes beyond tears, laughter, disappointments, reorganisation, commitments, readjustments, ideas, creativity, making, recruitments, marketing and accounting experiences.
Once a week the Grade 5 and Grade 5/6 students gather as a large group to reflect on the progression of the enterprise and determining next steps. Sometimes students choose to meet at recess to work on their products. The students' experiences have been very rewarding in discovering unplanned rich experiences bubbling with problem solving, conversations, thinking, decision making, reflections and planning next steps. What an experience! It lead students to bond their creative ideas and to come up with innovations from the designing to the production, ordering, purchasing, the marketing and best of all the fundraising. This real entrepreneur experience embarked the students with the best lifetime learning that could never be taught if planned.
The final teams are: Lip balm Golden Glow makers from natural products, Activities Book designers and publishers, Cards designers and makers, Paper Makers created from natural products, the tea makers, researchers and producers of dry herbs for Cups of Hope and the Pencil Case Devil designers. These experiences lead students to sewing, designing, creating, making products through a rich process. The students took full ownership of persevering and continuing to prove by reflecting and learning new steps to apply and build on experiences. The hands on experiences are definitely learning skills from imagining, designing, exploring, creating, trying, analyzing reexamining, reflecting to sharing with the community for fundraising.
As an educator this journey confirms that learning is chaos with rich experiences that embeds more than just concepts. Learning is an eruption of skills that builds new experiences in an environment of perseverance, communication, questioning, listening, conversations of re-examining the how and the possibilities of reaching for success with a purpose. It is an experience so realistically rich in effective partnership of a learning enterprise with a passion. of an engaging community. The students have developed characteristics that enhance the ability to analyze based on team based implementations with character developments of ownership and visioning. It continues to be a true adventure!
The students have reached more than curriculum concepts, real skills that they learn to nurture and gain for life. As a teacher it is very important to provide students with skills by having them experience, reflect in order for them to become aware of these fundamental skills.
I am sharing some students' reflections, if you take the time to read them you will hear students voices!
The students enjoy programming and coding. The school day is too short, we decided on an after school club for innovations to give opportunities for further experiences and implementations with coding. In January we decided to explore together this venture, by building robots using Makey Makey with Scratch. Our school Improvement Plan focuses on mental health, therefore the robots were to interact with the students and gain feedback about their emotions. Alison Evans Adnani from http://makerjunior.com/ and her sons were able to join us few times for this expereince.
These unplanned experiences of self-building skills and self directedness of motivation and innovation has also flourished in a life long learning experience for the students. This platform of innovation started from building up conductive materials with the Makey Makey to robots that interact when buttons are pressed by the students for checking about their feelings.
The students for the first time presented the robots publicly at the Director Forum on Tuesday April 7th. They will be presenting to the school as well and they will be getting feedback from the students.
The following videos explain the process of building the robots and I the video of the robots at the Director Forum.
The students are always inspired with opportunities to learn. The Entrepreneurship and the robotic experiences have given students opportunities to be more than just creative, an opportunity for life beyond the classroom. We value creativity on a daily basis, this opportunity has been full of unexpected creative challenges for all by building on our ideas. It is a creativity on the teacher part as well as the student and the ability for us to communicate respectfully and grow. It is the ability of learning how to learn with a growth mind set to continue learning together,