We learn to do something by doing it.-John Holt
I’ve been teaching myself Spanish. I’ve used a variety of methods, including Rosetta Stone. All have taught me some good basic Spanish; however, nothing has helped me more than having actual conversation in Spanish. Well, conversation may be a bit overstated…I’m ok as long as the other person speaks very slowly and we only use the present tense. It’s definitely a process.
How do you learn best? For me, it depends on what I am learning. Sometimes I need to take notes, other times I need to think out loud. Some things are easier to learn with another person while with other things, I need to be alone. My guess is most of us have different styles for learning depending on what it is we are working on.
Our students are no different. They all learn different things in different ways and at different rates. Kids today learn from a variety of sources. They learn from television, peers, computers, video games, and social media. Technology in our classrooms allow our students to explore different approaches to learning.
We have spent some time learning about the rainforest. I recently blogged about how my students use planning sheets to map out their day and their learning experiences. To share some of their knowledge gained about the rainforest, my kids chose which creation app to use and then demonstrated their knowledge through the iPad. Below are ways 2 different children chose to share with me what they have learned.
One child chose to use Doodle Buddy and Pic Collage and the other chose to make a Popplet and import it into a Pages document. Other students in my class chose different ways. A few chose Explain Everything, a few chose Book Creator and some chose to use drawing paper, crayons and pencils. When students have choices they see themselves as participants and contributors to their own education.
My students, even in kindergarten, like the ability and the responsibility of making these choices about their school day. Some of the choices given to them are “must-do’s” and some are “may-do’s”. One child wrote about planning her day in Writer’s Workshop.
Motivating students to achieve can be difficult in this hyper-paced world. Giving students choices to work and learn in the manner that best suits them makes them stake holders in their own education. One of the best ways to learn something is by doing it. Let’s go for it!
Today we will do exciting new things. Let’s get to it!