Right now the snow is covering our New England landscape outside, but inside, there are a bunch of teachers frantically hitting the “post grades” button for quarter two report cards. We’ve officially made it through half the year, and the snow day is a congratulations gift! So, let’s relax and enjoy some fabulous student projects, made during our Discovery Days, a time for independent research. This quarter’s projects included many different types of work:
A massive cooking project (Viking food!) captured on video
There are so many amazing ideas from these students, and not all of them can be posted here. A PowerPoint presentation about entrepreneurs? Yes! A website about how slaves escaped slavery? Of course! You can even hear an impressive song about English colonists! It’s a parody, karoke style, but it sounds professional, right?
As I reflect on the first half of the year, I’m most proud of my students’ self-directed work. It wasn’t easy to find the right balance between freedom and structure, but the International Democratic Education Conference reinforced for me that this work is essential. Some students really struggled to figure out what to do and keep on top of their work, even with benchmark deadlines. I ended up finding that weekly Edmodo assignments were the best way to track their progress. It can be a little scary turning over the reigns to the students, letting them make their own rubrics, but my hope is that the experience will better prepare them for the complexities of the global world they live in. Who knows where they’ll end up? Maybe even somewhere without snow (but hopefully not)!