Monday, May 25, 2015

Mind Shift and PBL

We just had our FIRST EVER School wide Exhibition Night!  This was in place of our typical Open House!  How was it different? Well, Open House is a time to show off our work from the year, right?  In the past, I've had my students clean their desks, layout work for their parents to see and make a cute little card or project for Open House night!  It always turned into a "shopping night" for parents.  After seeing their own child's "display," they would walk through the next year's classrooms and then make requests the next week.

Contrast that scenario with this year's Exhibition Night! My students' job was to TEACH visitors about their research.  They were prepared to answer questions about their projects!

What did you learn by doing __________?
Why did you make the choice to do ______________?
What did you like best about _________?

They didn't "show off" their work, they taught others what they learned!  Parents visited their student's class and then went to other classrooms WITHOUT their own student!  Students remained in their classrooms to teach other visitors!

My student's have been researching and learning all about the Amazon Rain Forest!  I've done this unit every year for as long as I can remember, but this year is different.  My students are driving the project.  They are deciding the direction in which to go!  They are choosing which animals to research and have discovered more about the rain forest than every before.

I introduced them to this amazing and simple little app called Haiku Deck!  Do yourself a favor and check it out this summer!  I know I'll be using it much more next year.  Once I showed it to my students and turned them loose to "play" with it, they blew me away!  I couldn't believe it.  We discussed what would be important to include in our slide shows and then we created a "check list" of slides to include in our presentations.  Here are some some of their creations:

River Dolphins

Jaguars

Anaconda


I was so impressed with their hard work.  We made QR codes of each presentation and the parents used QR readers on phones and iPads to read the presentations.

I can honestly say that this is the first year I feel E.N.E.R.G.I.Z.E.D. at the end of the year!  I love Project Based Learning!

You can also check out our event's hashtag at #ccdsEN on Tagboard

Here is a great link to check out!  Mindshift and PBL