Posted on June 22, 2013
We often hear or read about how students' learning processes, when carefully observed, reveal their amazing capacity for problem-solving and collaboration. Process takes time. In the need to "cover the curriculum," some teachers simply prefer to wrest ownership for learning from their students, side-stepping the teachable moments. These are the moments when the experience of learning how to solve problems holds the most promise for learning. A short visit to the summer theater class last week confirmed the importance of honoring students' learning process.
The instructor, Squire Coldwell, asked students to figure out how they could use their bodies to represent a crocodile in a script they had been reading. Over what seemed like fifteen minutes, eight students in grades 3-5 tried to work through the problem. A few leaders emerged naturally, offering several ideas that the rest tested with incredible patience. After some trial and error, the children actually formed a crocodile! In the photo, if you use your imagination, you can see the jaws of the crocodile, its forelegs and hind legs, the gentle rise of its back, and the sweeping tail. Through another read-through of the script, the students were quickly able to form this imaginary crocodile with efficiency!
There's ample evidence of learning process in the summer school blogs posted on the elementary page. You see learning process in the images and understand it more clearly in the teachers' explanations about what their students are doing and thinking. Check out these blogs for examples of learning process in the making: http://www.midpac.edu/elementary/summer/math-adventures-2/2013/06/a-roll-of-the-d.php (Math Adventures); http://www.midpac.edu/elementary/summer/sportscamp/2013/06/sports-camp-wee-1.php (Sports Camp); or http://www.midpac.edu/elementary/summer/money-doesnt-grow-on-trees/2013/06/post.php (Money Doesn't Grow on Trees).
We shall see what adventures our third week of summer session holds . . .
. . . for our children,
Edna L. Hussey