The weather was crisp, cool and clear last weekend when I went out with my family for a walk through the woods alongside the river. We stopped regularly to pick-up fallen leaves, examine tree trunks or toss pebbles into the water. What I enjoyed watching the most was how my daughter carefully investigated and asked questions about what she saw. She wanted to know more and learn about the growth cycle of trees now that they were losing their leaves, the process of animal hibernation, and the use of an old railroad trestle that we happened upon. When we were by the river side, she said it:
Let’s do an exploriment!
What a great word to hint at the learning that was taking place!
She wanted to continue exploring the riverbank for natural debris that she could toss into the river and experiment with different weights and materials. I loved how she wanted to combine the discovery of learning (exploration) with a reasoned inquiry (experimentation) to create her “exploriment”! It was great fun, too!
Back at home, I wondered later what the classroom would be like if I more deliberately fostered an “exploriment” attitude to learning? I asked myself if I sufficiently allow student exploration of ideas, materials, and passions? (Our learning from a question week was insightful.) Do I encourage them to test and experiment new ideas? How would this impact overall student engagement for learning? Would the classroom become more vibrant? Would my teaching practice become more vibrant?
I have to believe that the answer would be ‘yes’!
My resolution (once again) is to try my best as we ‘exploriment’ together in the classroom. I look forward to sharing my classroom ‘exploriment’ with a trebuchet after Thanksgiving break.