This Blog post is a continuation from the post done in December with the work conducted with a grade 3 class at Barrhead Elementary School.
The work in the classroom was based on the in-service with Jennifer Katz . It has been very exciting to roll out the project work on the Building Things unit the grade 3 Science Program of Studies. My post in December mentioned the process that we had gone through prior to rolling out the activities at each centre.
The students enjoyed having a choice of activities and as one student eloquently pointed out, he “enjoyed showing what her learned rather than writing down what he learned”.
The project centres were based around the rubric created for the unit and the 8 “smarts” or multiple intelligences. Each centre represented a different smart: word, number, picture, body, nature, music, self and people smart. Each of the eight centres had at least two different activities for students to choose from. Students also had the choice to work alone or with others. Prior to working at the centres, students discussed group work and how groups operate effectively. Explicit teaching of group work skills is critical for students to be successful in working together. After the first couple of times of rotating through the centres we had the students reflect on what worked and did not work, as a group. These discussions were valuable as students brought up how to deal when conflict arises, how to decide who does what when working together and the pros and cons of working alone vs. together.
Each center was explained by way of powerpoint presentation. Educreations were created for each centre task to allow students to also hear and see the instructions if they wanted to. A building webpage, including all the Educreation task cards and web resources, was added to the classes teacher’s website as well. Bins were used to store tasks cards and materials for each center. Students moved through all the centres with their assigned group but they had choice of which task they completed within each centre.
After completion of the centre activities the students did a summative assessment piece. Students were able to choose how to show what they learned in this unit of study. Some guided questions were provided for students along with the rubric. Many students chose powerpoint to present their learning while others chose prezi and poster format.
Key learning from both the teachers and students in the project indicated the value of choice, multiple ways to express learning, working collaboratively and the deep, rich learning that occurs when students become engaged and active in their learning.
This blog and resources website has been developed through the work of various AISI coaches in PHRD. The lead collaborative teachers for the 2015/2016 school year, Cheryl Frose, Christine Quong and Tammy Tkachuk will continue to update this site. If you have resources you would like to share or would like to contribute to the blog, please contact us.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Canada License.