My husband learned to hate school early on, and it’s a shame because he was accepted into Harvard to pursue graduate studies, but he turned down the opportunity. Hearing this as a teacher, I was appalled. Every morning he asks me, “So, what are you teaching today?” When I tell him what our class is doing and I show him my kids’ projects he responds with a, “Huh, I may have liked school if I got to do that.” When visitors come into my classroom, they are surprised to find me in the back of my classroom with only a few students focused on me. Every student is working, but that doesn’t mean I have to babysit them to make them be productive.
Student focused, student lead classrooms are powerful and engaging. We get to work with future versions of my husband every day, so let’s engage them and make them forget they are learning. This past week my class has wrapped up our study of the Civil War. I knew that I could not give our study of abolitionists the time it deserved, so I decided the students would do a mini-project, and teach each other about the abolitionists in small groups.
The students were given a rubric, and used Book Creator to put together a book about their abolitionist. It took about two minutes to preview the app for them to use, and literally in two minutes they were working on research and setting up their book. Book Creator allows students to create a book with photos, embedded links, and recorded readings. It was the first time my students had ever embedded a link, so this was a new skill to put in their toolbox.
Those that finished their project early were able to create a project of their choice to present instead of their Book Creation. Many chose to complete an additional project. You can see Lelah’s below.
Do a class jigsaw today, and tell me how you like it!
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