Day 77 (of 186) I like the thematic days, but…..
Today was a day of socialized learning….that meant we explored why we have laws and governments…..did a SOLE (Self Organized Learning Environment study to try to work out what some key elements of a variety of government styles were and why they might be so (some higher level thinking that’s for sure – and a reminder to me that I needed to remind the class about the “simple english” option in wikipedia – because some of the government “finds” the students were making had some big words in them! Led to some good discussions though!
Also allowed us to do a reminder map study about why maps are the way they are AND to discuss whether or not we can believe everything on the internet by taking a look at Flat Earth vs Round Earth ‘evidence’ – and again I was very impressed with some of the thinkings of the class that was focusing on why the earth has long been believed to be, and proven over and over to be, round.
But today also made me do some heavy thinking – while the class is handing transitions better and better…..what’s the deal with me keeping some things “daily” like physical activity and movement and silent reading, but not other things (like math – wednesday is our “day of numbers”).
Right now I can keep an element of hypocrisy going – ‘daily story’ is easy because I can link in books to the theme of the day….but what about students who miss a day….really – if you miss a day, you miss a lot! Reminds me of when I was in a copernican secondary school – if you missed a week, you missed SO MUCH that it was almost impossible to play catchup….but the days were rich with lots of deeper learning (or lots of reading and chapter tests…..whichever…..;-)
So I’m asking some ‘outsiders’ (like my LRT and CEA) to give me some tough feedback on what they see from me and from the class – is a concentrated day on a theme “worth it” or are we seeing “loses” by not having “daily: literacy numeracy movement (which I will be keeping no matter what – it is a good start to our day) etc” knowing that if we did what the experts in each field want us to do “each day” our school day would be about 10 hours long…..
Or do the students benefit from ‘a day’ of each subject – knowing there will be a blend of thinking making and doing (but also my own awareness that differentiating this way requires a lot of willingness to ‘make some adjustments’ as the day goes on).
I know I don’t want answers or feedback yet. We are still early on in the implementation dip (although I’m pretty happy with what the dip looks like so far) – I’m just curious if pushing myself into this ‘uncomfortable’ breaking down of subject barriers/towers is just creating different walls (days rather than blocks) or if we can continue the adjustment to focus on themes but blend in the different “big ideas” from curriculum.gov.bc.ca with the smaller pieces “as needed based on students seeing relevance and need to learn them” but have (for example) a “day of numbers” evolve into “birds – why do they fly?”
Curious to see where this leads me over the next few weeks as we reassess if this ideation is a good one….or just a weird-landy one….!