Monday, November 6, 2017

The Beginning of a Class Project

Over the course of the last few months, I've received many emails asking me to post the evolution of a class project.
I'm sharing this one in hopes that it helps those who are struggling with finding their path.
I must stress that this is only our way of working and it should be used as a guideline if it fits your practice.
Most school years, project topics present themselves quite readily. However this year, there hasn't been much buzz about one particular area of interest. There are many smaller experiences floating about as well as our work on the changes in the season and all that it presents.
We decided that a provocation was needed so we decided to see if we could somehow expand our inquiry into what makes each of us unique. The children had already made their portraits and addressed what makes them special.

 We considered the possibility of inviting the children to consider how each of them fit into their community.
Communities are made up of individuals all working for a common purpose. Each person brings their own talents and skills to the table.
However,  before we could delve into the work we would first have to see WHAT  their understanding of community was.
WHAT is a community?
As expected the children offered the physical aspects of a community.
It's where we live.
It's the places we go, church, school, grocery store, community centre, daycare...
This was our launching point.
The entire classroom was cleared of furniture and the children were invited to create the  places that make up our community.

You will notice that I have highlighted the WHAT. This is the first part of your work as a teacher.
What is the topic choice?
What do the children know?

This will lead into the SO WHAT
Now that you have a topic you must validate the choice you have made.
So what will you do with the choice.
So what comes next?
If you can validate the WHAT with the SO WHAT your project will take off.

Had the children not responded to the teacher's invitation, this project would not have taken flight.

To enhance their structures, we added drawings onto the overhead projector.
Finding the space for all their ideas is challenging and this is a great way to boost the work!

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