I am gradually loosening the reins with my students as we progress through our social studies curriculum. As we identify the essential questions and focus on our daily learning targets, I am finding pleasure in allowing them to express their l earning in more interactive and creative ways. Collaboration has been key to the wonderful expressions of knowledge as they create Google slide shows and now are working on PSAs for land conflicts in the Amazon rain forest.
I must admit, I tend to be a control freak, but as I am learning to manage the groups and how they work, I am learning that my students do their own policing. They are not afraid to speak up if they are having peer issues that they cannot solve on their own and they are getting used to me meeting with them everyday for a check-in. I am finding that if they know I am monitoring from afar, what they are doing, they are more on task.
The benefit? Some pretty extraordinary displays of learning! And, I am able to incorporate some of my language arts standards as well. Bonus!
I know I have some way to go with this type of learning, but I feel confident that we are meeting the standards and doing it in a more hands on, interesting way.