We can all be explorers, from our classrooms or from anywhere! Meaningful learning happens when teachers and students alike take risks in learning, and have a willingness to try new things, reflect, and repeat.
No matter where you are as a learner, research is always more than collecting facts. In our Grade 6 class, we used tools like Instagrok to engage learners so they could focus on process - synthesizing and connecting ideas, rather than taking notes or worrying about proper citations.
And learning is more than just knowing what to do - what’s important is knowing how to learn! In this student-directed inquiry work, students considered and mapped the possibilities that could emerge from “juicy questions”, and only then, when every student had found a research connection they could deeply connect with, did we collaboratively map it back to outcomes in the curriculum.
The powerful capstone of this work was that students recognized that they were teachers, too. The true meaning of teaching and learning came out through sharing and celebrating. Some of the ways we’ve done this were:
- A student-led research symposium: Students were tasked with creating engaging research sessions around their learning. Other classes were invited to pick sessions that interested them.
- An “Emerging Learners” Wiki: Students became the Grade 6 experts on Sky Science, and built a knowledge base together using GAFE. Other classes can now learn from what they’ve built, and build off off of their ideas.
See more of our work, discuss, comment, revise and share through our resource in CORE.
David Cloutier (@DavidCloutier) is a student teacher from @MountRoyal4U (and a part of the @CBEILT team) team teaching with Lynne Ursenbach (@LynneUrsenbach), a Learning Leader, at Willow Park School. Both are passionate about empowering students to explore and to create together, build off the work of others, and consider the impact they can have along their learning journeys.