Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Learning that "sticks"

Some of these shots are from before February Break, some after. You can see the middle school recycling efforts and Pre K having a pajama-reading day with popcorn and a short movie. Today I shot K-1's in music ( I was attracted there by the barking sounds coming through my wall from the music room - an animal song!), eighth graders in art class working on still lifes, and Albie in Pre K 3 doing an amazing job of counting. He covered up two spots on the ten-row and pronounced "8!"

Yesterday I took an hour to observe in seventh grade science. The kids were in the library with Emily. They broke into groups of two or three to define what an organism is and give examples. Then they came back together in a semi-circle to share ideas and hear about their upcoming project. Each group will research a type of organism (archaebacteria, eubacteria, protista, fungi, or plantae) and describe it in depth using specific criteria. They will arrange a mini-lab or demonstration (diorama, oral presentation, skit, poster, or power point) with specimens and a math problem for their fellow students. Then they will give their classmates a quiz to see what they learned.

The kids were rapt - and excited. As Emily said, "They don't want me up there telling them - they want to do the work themselves and teach each other."

This kind of experience gives our students practice with independence and responsibility - a great example of how to help them become "intellectually vibrant." This is learning that sticks!

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