“Look again at that dot. That’s here. That’s home. That’s us…a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.”
Carl Sagan, Pale Blue Dot: A vision of the human future in space.
Cornell University, 1994
We all understand by now the value of a learning community. This paradigm is well engraved in our school and has been so for many years. In this project, we intend to empower students to become owners of their learning, fueled by their interests and the guidance and suggestions from teachers and families within the St. Andrew’s community. In addition, we will make an emphasis on the importance of knowing their audience as it will become fundamental for research as well as the preparation and presentation of their learning outcomes.
Our project is based on three pillars:
- Inquiry-based learning: students become the owners of their learning. They inquire aspects of their interest based on the unit of study.
- Becoming an authentic community of learners: halfway through our project, we will invite 6th year students, families and colleagues to an evening event in order to share our preliminary findings using DIY artifacts, apps, digital presentations, and telescopes. In addition, participants will be welcomed to enrich our investigations with their input.
- Sharing our findings with the audience: The school offers spaces called “Learning Journeys” at the end of the year to celebrate learning based on students´work. This space would be a way of showing the community how their input mid-way in our project was used to enrich students´work.
As a starting point, we presented our students with one word, SPACE, and invited them to ask questions about it. These are their inquiries,
This set up the scenario for the first phase of our work, which will involve investigation from both students and teachers on the curricular topics in addition to their chosen topics based on their questions. Each one will have an expected outcome that could be related to the use of technology or the making of a DIY artifact to further explain their findings.
The second phase is a real-time experience with Space that we have called “An Evening with the Stars”, where students will share in different stations their findings with their families and teachers, explore our skies with telescopes and Apps such as Sky View, and encourage adults to offer input and/or suggestions as to how their learning processes could be enriched. The students will take note of these instances.
The third phase will be dedicated to analyse adults´ input and find feasible ways of introducing their suggestions into our class work. At the end of this third phase we will present our expanded and improved presentations in our Learning Journey space.
Throughout the different phases, we will have reflection instances and we will record our findings in a website created by our Webmaster, Bruce G., a 6th year student who will work with both 6th year classes.
As an overarching goal, we would like this experience to promote lifelong learning and to become a space for a real and extended community of learners beyond the classroom walls that will include students, teachers, heads and families as part of the project.
We are looking forward to sharing these months with you.
Ms. Florence Zanocchi, Y6 Science Teacher
Ms. Nancy Lopez, IT Teacher
This project will be based on the Science 6th year curriculum, Astronomy.
Categories: Making, Digital curriculum