This week, we started some new literacy centres in class. For one of the centres, the students worked in small groups using the Rory’s Story Cubes app on the iPad. My intention was that the students would spin the story cubes on one iPad, and then record a story using AudioMemos on the other iPad. As the students helped me demonstrate this activity, the activity changed.
I started by spinning the story cubes and having a student come up to start a story. After she started the story, she did something I didn’t expect. She spun the cubes again to add to the story. Then she started moving the cubes as she told the story. All of a sudden this oral brainstorming activity was almost becoming a dramatic activity too. Just recording the story orally was no longer good enough. I felt like I wanted the visual to accompany the audio storytelling.
I told the students this, and they knew what to do right away. They suggested using the flipcam to record the story. Wow! Something I hadn’t considered … Now we could see the pictures, hear the story, and capture the entire storytelling process too. I’ll admit: this wasn’t my plan, and I already had the instructions written for the activity, so I was hesitant to make a change.
This is what collaboration is all about though. Sometimes we collaborate and problem-solve with staff members, sometimes we collaborate and problem-solve with parents, and sometimes we collaborate and problem-solve with students. Adding recording choices, as suggested by the students, added a whole new dimension to this activity, and the results were great!
Best of all, the students took their oral stories, grabbed chart paper and markers, and started writing their stories down. I really saw the benefit of oral language in an activity such as this one.
So no, the activity was not what I intended, but that much better instead. When have students inspired you to change your plans? What were the results? I would love to hear your stories also!