Check Out Our New Bulletin Board!
"What We Do Here" in our classroom:
-We Dig Deep
-We Gain Momentum (get the ball rolling)
-We Persevere (stick with it)
-We Build Stamina (keep up our energy over
time) and Endurance (keep going when the going
-We Produce Quality
In other words, we work hard! We take responsibility for our learning. We don't sit back passively waiting for someone to tell us what to do and how to do it. We are engaged and invested!
Students need to be fully involved in their learning. They need to be given choice and opportunities to explore and create. Together, we wonder. We
discuss what we want to learn more about. We make decisions about how we will learn and brainstorm ways to demonstrate our learning. Of course there is mandated fourth grade curriculum. In order for students to feel invested in this core curriculum, they need to understand why the learning is important. When introducing a new concept or unit of study, we always start with a discussion of purpose. Why do we need to learn this? How does this learning connect with our own lives? How is it relevant in the "real world?"
Putting a Plan into Action
After embarking on a virtual "Train Tour" of the
northeast region of the United States, the class decided they wanted to further explore:
-The Erie Canal: history of
construction and how it works
-Independence Hall, the Declaration
of Independence, and the Constitution
-Hershey Pennsylvania: Milton Hershey and the
process of chocolate making
famous buildings and monuments
-New York City, the Empire State Building, and
the Statue of Liberty
Students are pursuing their interest in these topics by reading articles, watching videos, and visiting websites. Each student is creating a northeast region booklet to demonstrate their learning.
As I walk around the room during this explorative time, the room "buzzes" with activity. Students are huddled together reading, discussing, and highlighting articles. Others are gathered around the computer watching informative videos and exploring websites. Some are busy studying maps and atlases. All are adding information to their state booklets. The students are making decisions about their learning. They are clearly engaged and invested!