Sunday, October 1, 2017

The Necessity of Innovation: Chronicles of a New Course Part II

It's been four weeks since I launched my new Developmental Psychology course.  In my last post, I discussed some good and some areas of growth about this innovative, exciting opportunity for my students and me.

Connections with our third-grade friends - I've partnered with a friend and colleague, Mary Ann Johnson, who's a third-grade teacher in our district.  My class walks over to the school and shares time with hers.  What's been so innovative about this is the collaboration, communication, and the creation that's occurred between these groups.  They're working to write a children's storybook. My students are currently studying early and middle childhood and her class is studying creative writing. Together, they are writing and illustrating original stories based on their learning.  Both groups of students have brought different skills and content to the table and are creating something brand new!  I did not anticipate such synergy!  Exhilarating!

The collaboration takes several forms - Face to face meetings, Flipgrid, shared Google files (Docs and Drawings) and old-fashioned texting between Mary Ann and myself!  There is a constant flow of discussion and ideas.We have all benefited from the designs that emerged as we continue to work towards creating for an authentic audience.

Professionally, the experience has led me to increase my knowledge of project-based learning.  It's so much more than just 'create this poster board or slideshow'.  This is what's been so innovative...teaching kids how to collaborate, guiding them to identify problems and possible solutions.  And stand by when they struggle because I have the faith that they can find the solutions together. (Quite frankly, this has been the hardest!)

Why is innovation so important?  Because we must provide multiple opportunities for students to work together, find and solve problems, and create for authentic audiences.

How can we expect them to do this outside of school if we don't give them opportunities inside of school?

1 comment:

  1. Excellent work, Ann. Teachers must never stop growing, moving, innovating. That's you!