“What I can do is help them believe they are somebody with a role and when they play this role game they imagine what their student role doesn’t allow them to imagine.”
This is so weird. In my mind, being a student means being all of those things because I think of life as school and learning happening in many places, not just in the classroom. I suspect this is largely because both my parents were/are teachers who believe in and practice experiential learning.
This whole thread is really interesting to me. I’m struggling through early symptoms of burn out after our science fair (Gr. 5 and 6) which was painful with student lack of action during class and many lunch hours and after-school hours given to working with small groups.
I have decided I really need to scaffold all of this with experiments that focus on different elements so my students have enough experience to draw on and enough knowledge to understand the process from driving question to identifying sources of error so they know that identifying sources of error is not something they can skip because they didn’t make any mistakes…
I thought I had given them enough structure with a google doc outlining steps and giving instructions but they don’t have enough frame of reference for my instructions to make sense. That said, they were also overwhelmed by it. It was too big a document for them to digest. I’m thinking I need to have weekly snippets/bi-weekly bits and rubrics.
I am at a loss. I really don’t know how to develop accountability and rigor in my students. They got to chose their own topics, (and I naively thought that would address motivation) and we used a variety of science fair books as models and they adapted them with writing driving questions (painfully slow in itself.) Some chose a specific topic because they wanted to look good at the science fair. (No more volcanoes!!!) Which brings me to the consideration of decision-making and knowing our own interests. Having danced to my own drummer all my life, I did not give enough reflection to the social performance aspects. I think I need to re-read Dan Pink’s Drive.
I struggled to get them to understand we were examining one variable and measuring it’s outcome in the context of their experiment.
I’d really appreciate some suggestions and insights.