Shifting Gears

Putting students in the driver's seat of their learning

Authentic: Student creations
Students in Ms. Brooks' Home Arts course (above) have spent several weeks learning to thread a needle, several basic stitches, and the process of applying skills like these to creating a finished product. Through hard work and perseverance (by both students AND teacher, students left today with projects they are proud of - pillows!
Ms. Barnett (below) used a Laying the Foundation lesson where students worked in groups to predict and interpret data. She used "UNO" cards to select groups. This gave them an opportunity to work with different students. Ms. Barnett's thoughtful planning of the activity incorporated many engagement behaviors, and also challenged students' thinking.
Meaningful Math
While students enjoyed an extra-long break, teachers came to school on Tuesday, October 11. They spent the day learning - and teaching one another. During the Marketplace share, teachers shared engagement strategies that are working in their own classrooms. What I learned from these sessions is our teachers are stepping out of a traditional mold and trying "whatever works" to meet the needs of our students. Dave Burgess recently wrote an article entitled, "Life Isn't 100% or Fail". In this article, he says, "If you haven't failed in the classroom lately, you aren't pushing the envelope enough. You are being too safe."

Dave Burgess quoted John Wooden in his article and said:
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Using peer projects for learning
Hands-on projects and activities are a frequent occurence in FMS science courses. Mr. Rebar took the cell projects his students completed one step further. He created a Gallery Walk of the projects, and had students use their peer's projects to solve riddles, which reinforced what they had learned during the unit. He expertly managed classroom time & behavior while still being able to conference with individual students.
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