Often times as teachers we are challenged by our students as to ‘Why do I have to learn this?’…. sometimes the answer doesn’t ring well with them – ‘It is in the curriculum’. This ‘curriculum’ is such a foreign idea for students. With the developments of the ‘Growing Success’ document from the Ministry of Education in Ontario the idea of offering students differentiated instruction as well as creating self regulating, self reflective, autonomous learner can present a challenge to teachers… but how about offering the students the chance to create their own lessons using the curriculum guidelines? How about opening the curriculum documents and saying ‘Where do you want to take your learning today?’ I opened my class to just such a venture. The entire unit was developed by students for students and they were never happier or more engaged. The lessons included a wide range of activities. It was taught at a level that was accessible for all of the student body. The process was reflective as they were continually accessing where they might improve or how they could overcome the challenges the process was taking them to. I can tell you at times it was frustrating for them but the successes they saw on a personal level – in the ‘I am AWESOME and know so much on this topic’ as well as the knowledge they gained from one another was inspiring to see.
The class work and student community can be found in The Hood.
If you are interested in viewing first semester’s students work please feel free to view the exemplars….
Monica and group in ‘LCD presentation’ forum
Andrew – Cell Cycle podcast and self written Global Warming song
Victoria – biology – Cell Cycle 3D book
Russ – Glogster amalogamation of course
The original learning management system can be seen at http://archive.faulkner-online.com and the first ‘Hood can be viewed at http://snc2d.faulkner-online.com
Here is the process I used…