We are about a week into our unit, and things are going fairly smoothly. Most of the students are engaged and working hard. There are the usual suspects who will stop at nothing to try and do nothing.
Some things to note:
This is the first time I have seen kids get excited about my feedback using comments in Google docs. We have done this before, but their seemed to be little reaction. I am wondering if this is because they care about what they are doing, and so they actually take time to read the feedback. Or, is it because this time they actually paid attention, and they have time to read/respond in class. Maybe a combo of both???
I have had students say, "I am confused, can I just write an essay?" And my mind was officially blown. All year I had to do magic rain dances in the dark to elicit any enthusiasm about writing....and now you claim you would PREFER to WRITE!!! Ahhhhh..... I took a seat next to each of these kids immediately and we talked about what was really going on. They were simply confused, or found the idea of creating too hard. We are now working together to build their creative confidence and find a platform/format that will work for their project.
I am learning that they are accustomed to having so little choice/control in their learning, that for some of them the idea is overwhelming. They seem to shut down and revert to the only thing they know. While this is human nature for many of us when faced with change or something new, it makes me wonder what I can do differently in the future to help them find this less difficult. I feel that I am experiencing my own learning revolution right along with my students (and I am loving it).
Some things I am struggling with are:
Finding the time to assist students individually in each class.
Not giving them too much support
Assessing student productivity on a daily basis
My students will be conducting interviews with elementary students today!! I am very excited about this collaboration and will be posting soon.