Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Triple T time: Think tank time


Our own time to do what we want? Really? 

Sure, go ahead. Show me your interests. What aspects of this course intrigues you the most? 
What haven't we covered yet that you desire to know more about?  

....but, what will be the heading? Do I give it to you on a poster? A piece of paper? Upload onto scholaris? When is it due? What is it worth?

It is worth your time.

How long does it have to be?

You decide.

Huh?  But miss, what do I choose to do? 

Do you enjoy nutrition or designing labels or experimenting with recipes?  Think about some of our discussions on health. What stood out to you?

Not to eat too much salt. Diabetes. Stirfries for healthy eating.

Do you feel you know enough about it or would you like to know more? What do you think would be important to share with others?

My cousin just found out she has diabetes. I think I will learn more about that.

Tremendous!  How will you present it?  

Word process?

If you like or you could try a prezi, animation, goggle doc, google presentation or glogster?

Can we?

Why not?

Oh. Cool. We can choose?

That's right. 

Could I redesign the Coke label or KFC logo?  
That is a great idea!  
Now? In class?
Sure. Go ahead.

Last term, I introduced the concept of triple T- Think tank time. A time where students can take their thoughts and act upon them in a creative way. For two classes, as an experiment I gave them free rein- the topic presented could be on anything as I wanted to guage how they best learn, manage their time and resources. I wanted to see what they could produce if something interested them. To often, assignments do not get the time of day as student motivation is lacking. For the other two classes, I used this TTT (culminating in a PLP-personalised learning project) as part of their assessment of learning. The conversation above was from a year 7 Food technology class.  They were stumped.  Not given a standardised assessment where everyone had to produce the SAME end product on the SAME topic threw them. They are conditioned. The only parameters I gave involved the learning research  falling under the umbrella of Food technology and the students had two weeks to complete the task. They had time to THINK about some ideas and ask for clarification. Work was completed in class and at home. I only wish we had more time to showcase some of the students work to each other, group evaluate and self evaluate . The course runs for only 12 weeks, 3 lessons a fortnight. One of those lessons being a cooking practical. I had other pieces of student work-literacy and practical that I had assessed already.  The joy was observing  the buzz in the room as they planned and shaped their projects, asking for help from each other as well as from me.

Here are some of the finished products. I would like to show you more, however, most are uploaded onto Scholaris and our VC (virtual classroom) has gone missing- it is in the process of being found.  I will show some more samples when I can access them. I called the projects PLP-personal learning projects.  The beauty being, students following their passion and individualising their learning. This was purposeful. The additional benefit was the use of web 2.0 tools. They all started at various points. Most had never heard of a Prezi , glogster (edu.glogster) or xtranormal animation before. These tools were all shown in class- not as thorough as I would have liked but time was an issue. Some students had limited knowledge of our school laptops and others were more than handy. The students shown in the 3 links below had never used these resources before hand.

Year 7

Take a look at a Yr8 Glogster 
on Prayer - this students original prayer blows me away!!  It is truly amazing! A Brilliant reflection.

This is only the start. I am excited and eager to see what future students can bring to the table next year.
I would love to reflect more on how we can allow students TIME to delve into their own learning and MASTER important skills.  You?