I have always believed the old adage “Don’t be the sage on the stage, be the guide on the side”. I strive to have students engaged in their learning, creating their own meaning, and working on authentic projects within the curriculum. So far this year my third graders have done a bridge building and design unit, a coding unit, designed their own video game and published their own graphic novel. When I list out what they have done, and when I think of what I am still planning to accomplish it looks and feels like a lot. However, I always think I could do more.
This is what I struggle with-how do I get every student engaged, excited and involved? For as exciting as the projects are for most kids, some don’t really want to participate. I still have to coax, cajole and convince some (3 or 4) to engage and finish their project. And it is usually the same kids. Granted these are projects that I have designed to some extent-based on curriculum, but I give lots of freedom and leeway within the project. They can work together or by themselves. They have time in class. I support them. Still…for some it’s a struggle to finish. I realize that the creative process is very time consuming. Sometimes I wonder if some of my third graders are not developmentally ready?
Finally, I love the graphic that John Spencer shared on his website. I have been following John for awhile. I think he is extremely insightful and was very happy to see that he was involved in the first IMMOOC Live episode.