“As kids in the traditional kindergarten were playfully designing and creating things, they were developing as creative thinkers….That’s exactly what we need.”
~ Mitch Resnick, MIT Lifelong Kindergarten Group
For three years, I learned with and under Dr. Steve Seidel at Project Zero about practices for making student learning the focus of the classroom. Through different tools and perspectives, we are able to understand cross-cultural and cross-cultural thinking and creating. I have included below the different ways that we have recently incorporated these learnings into the Young STEAM Inventors classroom.
Create A Culture of Thinking
How do we create a classroom culture that supports student development and effective teaching practices?
“I’m building a dragon. I’m using the cannon for the fire and the crane for the brain of the dragon. The target will be part of his body. I’m going to put another target and then I’m going to test it out. I’m using the black piece to make the dragons tail. This cannon will hold the fire for my dragon and then the cannon shoots the fire out. I’m thinking about how the fire will protect the dragon so no one hurts it. The white brick is the dragon bone. Wait it’s not working so I’m going to use another idea. In the dragons brain he is thinking about ideas like me. Everything fell down so now I have to fix it. The blue brick is the eye. And the cannon is now the top of the head instead. The dragon can still breath fire out on the cannon. It was easy to make because I added the bottom and the blue brick to make it sturdy. It can wobble because I used the yellow and brown bouncy brick. It won’t fall down. The yellow and brown is the skin too because it stretches. It’s finished now.”
Make Your Learning Visible
How do we unlock the potential of group learning in the classroom so that both children (students) and adults (teachers and parents) learn from one another and engage with new perspectives and strategies for problem solving?
Address Multiple Intelligences
How can we as educators understand and respond to the unique differences of each learner in the classroom?
Teach For Understanding
How do we deepen both content learning and student’s thinking skills in all subjects and in all grade levels?
Thinking and Learning In a Maker-Centered Classroom
How do we as educators and parents explore the opportunities created through maker-centered learning practices?
“We used the book Road Builders to get ideas and then used our own ideas together. We worked together and we helped each other figure out stuff. Waldi was the architect and first built the police and train stations. Waldi drew the blueprint for the police and fire station.Christopher was the builder and help to build the road. Sebastian was the contractor and he helped with the whole job and had the idea of using a tunnel to connect all three stations. We added the train station later cause we had another idea. We want to add more to the police station tomorrow. We added a truck to bring the materials to the train station.”
Teaching For Understanding
How do we create and facilitate learning experiences that prepare students for functioning in the current society and for an uncertain future?
With that, I will see you next semester in 2018! I hope you enjoy the holiday season!