Friday is our second Celebration of Learning. I totally love the idea behind these days: celebrating “voice and choice” as students showcase their work, ask questions of others, and learn more together. I’ll admit that I’m struggling a bit with this upcoming Celebration of Learning. We just finished our latest Math, Science, and Language inquiries, and we’re in the midst of beginning new ones. The questions become what can students share? How will they have enough to share over the 25 minute visits? I know that my class is eager to participate, so I know that there has to be some good options.
It was my vice principal, Kristi, that helped me think of a possible plan. As we were chatting after school today about the Celebration of Learning Schedule, Kristi told me that I could get creative with the time if I wanted. She shared how some classes the last time, stopped in the middle, and had students present their projects to the visiting classes. This got me thinking!
I know that most of the class will be sharing work that they completed in small groups. These groups could each present in front of other classes, but I know that not all of my students will feel comfortable with this option. We could do something different though. If we’re celebrating learning, then we’re celebrating the “process of learning,” not just the final product. As students learn more, not only can they share their thinking with others, but they can also teach others about what they learned. Why not give students this “teaching opportunity?”
Now I’m thinking more about what students might want to share, which includes,
- Their learning about natural phenomena.
- Their learning about structures and the impact of forces on structures.
- Their learning about shapes and angles.
- Their learning about translations, reflections, and real world connections.
- Their learning about energy use and energy conservation (our latest inquiry).
What if students picked the topic that interests them, and looked at both what they could share and an activity that they could “do” with students to help teach them what they learned? This hands-on learning may be more exciting for both my students and the visiting classes, and it may leave all of the students with even more to reflect on and investigate on their own. Having activities to do in the classroom may also provide some more structure to the visits, benefitting those students that find it more difficult to be successful during unstructured times. With each student deciding on what he/she wants to share and what he/she can do with others, all students have something important to contribute while also extending the learning for their peers.
Kristi reminded me today that there’s not just one way to celebrate learning, and now I’m excited to share some new possibilities with my class before Friday’s visits. I’m curious to hear what my students will have to say about this plan, how they can tweak it to make it better, and what they want to share and do. What do you think of this possible approach to the Celebration of Learning? What suggestions do you have for increased success? I’d love to hear your thoughts!