Monday, March 13, 2017

and ACTION!!!

February/March 2017: and ACTION!!!

After working through the entire month of January and February on our research, we were finally ready to begin talking about action. This was not the first time we talked about action. Prior to this, I already had students begin to voice things they were interested in doing. Without ever asking students to jump into action, I had students interested in:

  • Creating a Google My Map to plot ultimate schools and classrooms around the world
  • Creating a Google Doc to collect our research to share with some of the experts we had talked to
  • Creating videos about what we had learned
  • Creating webpages documenting our research
  • Creating presentations to share what we learned
  • Creating a classroom in Floorplanner
The ideas were flowing. Now, the question became, how to turn the students awesome ideas into actual actions. We spent some time talking about what every student was going to have the chance to do: thinks like make presentations, floorplans, videos, documents, and webpages. Moving from this, we focused on what is action and what it might look like. During the week, students began to plan their actions. With the help of my research mentors, we mapped out our actions. The focus, challenge students to see beyond the obvious. I wanted students to think about what they could "do" and what they could learn from it. We talked a lot about what they could do. I found that many of my students ideas started small because they had never been asked to think big. Many of them didn't realize how much I was willing to let them try anything. Want to rearrange my room? Go for it. Want to teach lessons to others? Yes! Want to try a new program in the school? Sure. How can we make it happen? As I sit here now writing this blog entry, I am going through my students' action plans. I'll admit, I am slightly overwhelmed at how we are going to make this happen, and at the same time excited to see where we go. For now, here is a snapshot of the potential actions.

LOOK AT ALL THESE ACTIONS 
IN THE PLANNING PROCESS!!
  • Using Floorplanner for inspiration, rearrange a independent working corner of several classrooms to try out something new and collect information on how it goes. 
  • Create a fidget corner in 2 different classrooms which would allow students to create their own fidgets and to take a break when needed
  • Create and teach lessons to several classes on mindfulness and bullying
  • Create a desk organizer to help students keep their supplies in their desk organized
  • Create a design board giving ideas about the best furniture to put in classrooms
  • Create new ways to introduce books to students and get them interested in reading more
  • Find ways to bring more robotics into the classroom
  • Try out a wheelchair around the school to see what works for students in wheelchairs and what doesn't
  • Observe a special learning class where students may have more challenges, and then create something for that classroom that may help them learn better
  • Have a bake sale to earn money to buy headphones for students so that they can listen to things they are learning
  • Create lessons on different learning styles
  • Create areas in the school covered in different colors to find out what colors are best for kids and the affects of different colored areas
  • Look at the pros and cons of bringing in your own device and share it with our technology director
  • Introduce BYOD to another classroom and help them get it started in their classroom.
If you happen to be reading about any of these actions and want to get involved, please e-mail or message me (burke@mywlake.org or Twitter: @Leah440B). We will need lots of support during our action time whether it is virtual or in person support!