Saturday, February 2, 2013

Gettin' 'em thinkin'

Some of my readers and friends may know that our school has been working on becoming an IB authorized school. While I have my own opinions about the process, that isn't what this post is about.

We finally started the unit that I feel most comfortable with. It is the one we have done twice already and worked really hard on it. I still don't fully "get" it but I am getting better. Somewhat. And this unit so far is going great.

Our central idea is "Natural resources support life". A lot of our lessons are supposed to be inquiry based and while I haven't had much training on this (and the stuff I have had has differing opinions on how to do inquiry), I have tried to do my own things to get my kids more engaged in their learning.

We started with talking about the central idea. I told them what it was and wrote it on the board. I had each group discuss what they thought it might mean and then we created a bubble map with ideas.

I especially liked the idea in the top left corner "how nature can affect your feelings"... this girl that came up with it took the idea of nature and thought about how some people go outside to relax, look at nature, draw, and relax. I absolutely LOVE how she thought outside the box for that one. I am hoping to get time for them to go outside and just relax and either draw or write a poem as we relax in nature. But that requires the weather to warm up.

After that, students then worked with their groups again to come up with some questions they had. My two favorites here were "What will happen if natural resources end?" (which is awesome that they came up with that because that is a big idea for this unit) and then how does pollen affect you? I love how that group took ONE part of natural resources and how it related to their own lives (allergies) and wondered more about WHY it happens. Love love love how they are starting to think about deeper things. In the beginning they would ask things like "what are natural resources?" "Why do we need them?" They are getting so much stronger in their questioning skills (and making me look up more and more information!)

The final thing that we did was review natural resources (we learned about them a while ago in another unit) and discuss what we use them for. Each student then got a pyramid (that I had presetup to save stress and time) with the title natural resources. They chose to focus on plants and animals as their resources (we decided this as a class) and wrote those in the next boxes. Then on their own they had to come up with ideas of how we use those natural resources.

And I hung some of them around our IB board (you can see that I started to hang them before taking the first picture at the top, but there are more than 2 up there).

Overall I thought it was a great introduction to our new unit and they are really interested in learning more because they took the lead. I may not fully "get" IB and for all I know, I am doing it wrong. But I had a good time with this lesson and am proud of my kids.

Stay tuned for more lessons from this unit because we are having lots of fun with it!


1 comment:

  1. I think you did a great job! Look at all that deep thinking they are doing!! I say, job well done!!

    I love the parking lot!

    (and very interesting that they are becoming an IB school....hmmmm)

    Collaboration Cuties


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