Sunday, February 22, 2015

Experiences of Significant Ideas

Engaging students with significant experiences during their learning requires that teachers direct students into real problem solving reasoning.  Students should be given the time to experience their curriculum and promote curiosity  into their daily local and global environment. The students need to be presented with opportunities to question and create curriculum real world extensions and fuel their passion to learning. The students become experts at orienting learning and begin extending the curriculum to everyday experiences.

 Grade 5 and Grade 6 students have inquired based on the science curriculum expectations about the human body and biodiversity. Both grades have integrated the arts with the science by explaining their learning through the arts. The students acted and drew about biodiversity and the human body. The post of Collage Of Learning refers to the integration of the arts with science and YouTube for visible Thinking  post,explains how students shared the facts about the science concepts and how they reflected on the drama by using video notes.

Pictures from an eportfolio about the visual art and the drama.

 Prior to unpacking the science expectations, students' thinking is provoked, as it is described at an older post, ,Propelling Curiosity. The Grade 6's were provoked through this video about bear siting in cities  and this biodiversity video.  The Grade 5 students had a chance to observe animal organs from the butcher shop and have discussions about the purpose and functions. A folder of some images of the organs 

During the inquiry process, I need to encourage more problem solving for the students by connecting real life and real experiences in relation to their environment.. Sure students discover for themselves what they don't know, I still think we need to push further on how and why they are learning and encourage further discussions about their surroundings.  The focus of this post is to provide further options for students to discover real issues on why these issues  matter in everyday life. 

The Grade 5 students applied their learning by listening to local events about the flu, vaccination and Ebola. The students also had discussions about healthy eating and how commercials lure us into the industrial food choices, by viewing commercials and reading articles. These images on the Padlets include videos, news broadcasts, and articles that mattered beyond facts. 

 The reason I am not embedding the Padlets is due to privacy of links from students' responses. 

Recently we heard the news about the Medi Robot comforting sick kids, CBC News Calgary, below is the French article that I shared with the students.

Grade 6 students have applied their learning on biodiversity by reaching into local issues that mattered like the effect of the daily applications of salt on the roads and solutions, the Ash Borer Tree  and how trees were cut in Ottawa and will not be replaced until 2017,  the siting of the Coyote in Ottawa and the effect of pesticides on gardening.  The students were able to connect to these issues that they have unpacked in relation to  the curriculum.

As I am checking the next science curriculum and reflecting on how the new concept should matter in students' everyday life.and reach beyond facts, it is important to give students the chance to be critical at reasoning about their learning. 

Learning is beyond knowledge of facts, it is extending these facts to everyday life experiences. Effective critical thinking skills and collaborative skills need to be implemented through critical reasoning tasks for authentic ownership of learning. The students become  critical, creative, and reflective problem solvers . When promoting local and global issues critical thinking reasoning solidifies the foundation of raw materials that matter within everyday life and future learning.  As I am thinking ahead with the new concepts, how will I extend and bring passionate curiosities for what matters?

Couldn't agree more with this tweet from tonight!


  1. I think adults are too quick to negate the power students have to change the course and purpose of their own learning. You state that students should be presented with opportunities to tie the provincial curriculum in with real world experiences. I think of it this way: we live in such challenging times that there are moments when I take pause as I simply cannot answer a student's question or concern. When students are able to make sense of and present their own views/reality to their peers...we see growth. You have provided your students with a working environment that many adults would both envy and benefit from....a community space where risks are encouraged and purposeful learning is guaranteed to occur.

  2. Thanks Jennifer for the comment, Late at replying! So true we see growth when students are presented with realistic views to their learning and make connections to the application of why and how to everyday issues that they should be aware of.

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