Last week we had a theme week entitled "A Walk on the Wild Side", which was a short one week unit of work. I was asked if I would like to try Student directed learning in my class for the week... What fun!
To start discussed the theme first of all and then wrote down (collaboratively) an A-Z list of words that went with the topic. Then each student thought about what curriculum area they would like to spend a whole day doing, whether it be Reading, Visual Art or Maths & Statistics. They then thought about and listed some ideas they would like to do related to that area and chose the activity they wanted to do. Lastly they wrote a list of their needs for their chosen activity. This was all done on the Friday prior so they had the weekend to think about what they would be doing. Each student needed to have a "product" at the end of the given time.
When the week started, some students had already started their activity! Some had completed most of it and just needed to use the given class time to "publish" their final product. I gave my class 4, hour and a half blocks over 3 days (we had other things happening during the week also).
I was amazed at how focused every student was. I facilitated the learning and my students came up with the process they needed to get to their finished product.
It was a fantastic week where everyone was able to choose an area that they were particularly interested in with LOTS of learning going on.
Some things that I will need to do for next time are; Find set blocks of time when there are no interruptions, Make sure everyone has a process for their activity, so that they know what needs to be done in order to achieve the final outcome.
Overall it was a very successful week with everyone engaged in their learning.