I am so proud of my little firsties this week! They have been hard at work creating wonderful projects based on the Dr. Seuss books we have been reading. I wasn't sure how the whole menu/choice thing was going to go. (Read about my plan here.) Although I am not a control freak in my classroom by any means, my class is a little on the "wild" side this year and I was worried what might happen if I stepped back to truly be a "guide on the side" and let my students take charge of their learning. They have come through with flying colors! I have watched as they have helped each other learn how to use a new app, Telestory, create scripts for news reports, figure out how to make puppets and inventions from craft supplies and recycled items and create all kinds of wonderful projects to celebrate Dr. Seuss. ( I didn't even hyperventilate when one invention accidentally got glued to the table!) I've been there to make suggestions, help fix some technical difficulties with iPads, and use the sharp scissors to cut pipe cleaners, but, as I noticed this morning, I haven't had to step in as often to redirect behavior or give reminders to stay on task. In fact, my assistant principal did a walk-through observation today (which just about gave me a heart attack when she walked in!) My thoughts were along the lines of, "Oh no, the room is a mess; the kids are all over the place; it's so loud!" but one of her comments was that 100% of my students were engaged and taking ownership of their own learning.
I really want to share some of the news reports they created using Telestory, but I'm having some trouble with getting the videos to play on different devices. In the meantime, here's one of our PicCollages.
I am SO glad I took this leap outside of my comfort zone and I can't wait to try it again! (Hmm... what can we do with our upcoming fairy tale unit?