This week has come to an end, and I wanted to take a few moments to reflect on the “Learning from a question week” that I had in class. With approximately 60% of the students gone on a school trip, I wanted to engage the students in an activity that challenged them to learn something new, yet also allow them to follow their interests. I specifically wanted to encourage the students to follow a question in search for an answer.
All in all, I was happily surprised with the level of confidence the students displayed to carry out their research. They were excited to learn more about a topic that interested them and they initiated their research very quickly. Perhaps they were equally eager to open their own blog sites as part of their other coursework. There was a sense of excitement when the students were able to take some time to read and comment on each other’s questions for yesterday’s final class together.
I feel that the week was a success! It included a number of opportunities to talk about digital citizenship and digital footprints. I hadn’t necessarily planned to include those, but when the right opportunity presented itself, it was a good learning moment and it helped make what we were doing more sense, too. I was once again reminded on the value of offering choice to students. They had choice in the question, choice in the research, choice in developing their blog sites. I know that this led to greater motivation for learning. In fact, there were numerous signs of engagement all week, too. Finally, I felt that the “Learning from a question week” was a success in that it helped the students develop some their 21st century fluencies, which are so critical for classroom and future success, including the opportunity to develop their information fluency, media fluency, as well as practice some good global digital citizenship.
Here is a sample of the variety of questions that drove individual student learning this week:
- Can dogs see in color?
- Why do people like football?
- Are unicorns real?
- Could there possibly be a habitable planet besides Earth?