Monday, December 1, 2014

5 Thoughts and Big Ideas

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.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you, Cory. I am glad there are connections for choice based, TAB teachers within the learning community and that you all are thinking through ways to incorporate this work within that approach. As you mentioned “student voice,” I wanted to ask if you would be willing to share some of the students’ responses to the “5 Thoughts” activity. Could you share some writing samples or photo documentation? I’m also very interested in learning more about some of the strategies you may use to refine the “big ideas” your students develop.