I love to dream big! I’d like to think that anything is possible with the right supports in place, and that the worst thing that can happen is that a project won’t work. If so, we reflect, make changes, and try again. And it is with this thought in mind, that I decided to dream REALLY big this morning!
Right now, my Grade 5’s are learning about the human body, and one of the expectations is that they need to create an organ system to show how the organ system works. This activity falls under the overall expectation of scientific inquiry, and I thought that it would be the perfect one to do for my Teacher Performance Appraisal (evaluation). Students have already researched and reflected on an organ system of their choice. They even wrote about this system in class yesterday (captured in the tweets here). Next week, they’re going to get into groups based on their organ systems of interest. As part of their groups, they’re going to need to decide how this organ system works, the key components that should be shared with others, and how they’re going to create this system. Then they’re going to build their organ system, and share it with the Grades 3-5 students in a gallery format. As a HUGE fan of The Magic School Bus, this is where the class’ tour inside of Ralphie’s body came to mind. All of a sudden, I had a vision!
Imagine if we could turn our classroom into a human body! All of the organ systems could be displayed in the middle, and the walls would be like the innards of the body: completely created by the students. Students could even share their learning about the individual organs and the human body in general in signs and diagrams around the room. All aboard The Magic School Bus: we’re now open for the totally terrific tour of the human body! This vision makes me giddy with excitement, and while this task seems like an incredible undertaking, I think that we could do it!
But if you’re dreaming big, you need to be willing to ask for help! That’s why I had these Twitter conversations this morning.
These Twitter conversations were then followed up by a discussion with our music teacher after school today. I wondered if we could create a music connection where students could work in their organ system groups to create a “sound” representing their system. Our music teacher is very interested, and offered a number of great ideas, connecting both recorder music and app options. Music may be taught on rotary, but with this kind of integration, the learning never stops! How awesome is that?!
Will this plan work? I really hope so! Is it worth pursuing, despite no guarantee? Absolutely! We can’t “try again,” if we don’t at least “try” once in the first place. So this weekend, I’m going to try and formulate a plan for the activity. I’m going to look at how this can work given fairly short timelines — of a couple of weeks at the most — and how the learning can overlap between the subject areas. I really want this experience to connect with our school focus of student voice and student choice as well as my focus on the meaningful use of technology (addressed through different creation app options). Then it’s time to connect with our Learning Resource Teacher (my art contact) and Music Teacher to help bring this plan together. I can’t wait to see what happens!
What are your words of advice as we attempt this big learning opportunity together? And what are your stories of dreaming big, asking for help, and making the impossible work? I’d love to hear them!