There is a definite trend in education right now in project-based learning. I did this for three years in preschool, and I'm missing it in kindergarten. All of the things that I was completely against in preschool (crafts, themes, color sheets, worksheets etc.) are rearing their ugly heads in my kindergarten classroom. I really want to change this and let the kiddos lead their learning more.
With that being said, my goal for this week is to do something big with my students. I know that's really vague, but I haven't completely figured out what my "big thing" will be. We have been learning about the beach (or at least that's what our theme is right now...). In our classroom, we have been particularly focused on sea animals. Last week, the students did some research with emergent readers.
This week, I'd like to expand that research. I signed up for a trial of PebbleGo. Right now, I think I'll show the kiddos how to use it in the classroom using my mimio. After showing how it all works, I'll take the children to the computer lab where they can research any sea animal they are interested in. I plan to record what they learn in a class Popplet.
Finally, I'd like the children to take what they've learned about sea animals to write a sea animal book. We might also record some of this information with video and pictures to create a slideshow or movie type thing to share the information with the world.
My hope is to provide the students with general guidelines and formats but allow the students to decide what to include based on their interests.
This feels like a huge undertaking to me. Scary, scary, scary! I'm ready for the challenge though, and I'm ready for my students to take more control over their learning! One of the things my principal said after my evaluation in December was that he originally felt he had failed as an evaluator because he found himself watching the kids instead of watching me. Then he realized the students were in control of their learning while I took care of things on the sidelines. He said he didn't see that very often, and I think he liked it. I want to continue in that vein, even if it means I have to take on the challenge alone.