Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Spring a season for Growing???

For the past few weeks the burden of work and family have been high. I am not complaining but why do we do this to ourselves. I have been procrastinating on this post but found a few moments to write.

Graham wrote about a similar phenomenon in Australia.

In Winnipeg where I live there is a very short season for kids to complete in a variety of activities before the official "lake" season. From April to June the kids just go go go (most have multiple extra_curricular activites) and on the Ist of July they then stop and go and smell the roses during their summer break. Why do we cram so much into such a short time.

If you put this season under the microscope even more we are finishing up the school year and expecting kids to complete projects and be prepared for exams. Yeah right lets make them do even more.
Are we expecting to much?
Should we change our teaching to have different activities planned for this time of year?

Hmmmm makes you wonder.

I am putting this season into the pedagogical lab and under the microscope. I had great success with a project called the UNPROJECT. The snow was on the ground and the air was frozen, kids had nothing better to do. I was impressed with their finished products.

Now as the flowers are in bloom and the silly speed season is upon us I have asked them to repeat the project. They are doing a second UNPROJECT. The two due dates fall before and after their math exam on June 6th.

Will they continue to work after their exam?
Will they use the unproject as a study guide?
Is this the wrong season to have a student initiated project?

I hope that having a student project where they set the rules of engagement and level of accomplishment will create projects

1 comment:

J.D. Williams said...

I just wanted to thank you for posting your Unproject idea. I started one this week because we had district standardized testing. When the majority of students have finished testing, they can work on their projects. I gave them more criteria than you had on your first one, but since we hadn't really done anything like this I thought it was necessary.

About 80% of my students are engaged in the activities they chose. The other 20% seem to be the same students that I have a tough time engaging in anything, so it's par for the course.