Here are some things our meeting on Nov. 20th has Cory thinking about...
I teach choice-based/TAB in my room, and like Kitty, I want to find a method where the students are helping develop and taking the lead on inquiry into a theme. I tried the "5 thoughts" method that Olivia had us do with a few 4th grade classes, and initially I thought they were too young for the method to work. After having another session with Olivia and thinking about it more, I think I will try to tease out some common themes that they came up with and see where it goes (short aside: I am integrating art w 4th grade classroom teachers, and our goal in co-teaching is to have the students explore ideas and themes in my room that they're learning in their classroom). That's my long-term plan, as we have the next month or so mapped out for that grade level.
In the short term, I'm thinking I will do the "5 thoughts" activity with either a 6th or 8th grade class. My older students already work within overarching themes/units, but I can modify their next units to work in more student voice about what it's about.
Olivia addressed the fact that for choice-based teachers, our curriculum might look different, with smaller groups of students going down different paths within a larger theme, a situation that I'm comfortable teaching. I think it makes sense to have students develop "big ideas" and then I can refine them and think of "guiding questions" or short art-making activities they can use as starting points for a larger, longer-term piece.