My experiment is taking a slight turn, but I see big possibilities on the horizon (more to come later). My student-teacher has made her way to Scotland to finish her placement, so I have added a 'Movie Day' to my weekly agenda. I wanted to create a break in the constant stream of 'work days' and take advantage of this generation's propensity toward video learning. The first Movie Day was a hit; nearly all students were engaged in Hinduism videos and actively asking questions or making comments. My education experiment will continue to evolve as I learn new things, see a need, and have conversations with my students. However, there are some components to my class that will always remain:
Authentic Activities--no worksheets or canned items. Students need to feel authenticity; isn't this what we ask of them? As teachers, we can collaborate and share materials, but we should modify things to fit our kids and teaching style.
Intrigue--if we get our kids interested in learning, they can teach themselves anything. Our job becomes infinitely easier when kids want to learn.
Relationship-based Classroom Management--if you build relationships with kids based on mutual respect, they will respond. Kids won't respond to long lists or rules, yelling, and impersonal sarcasm. Its all about relationships.
Progressive Assessment--turning in assignments and grading after-the-fact won't due anymore. We need constant checking and conversations to evaluate our kids to guide them to higher levels. One-on-one conversations are the ideal way to assess students and their progress.