Reflections Y1 @CIS Part 3

My second goal of the year was: How can I further empower students so that they can take more ownership of their learning?

As I have written before, I had a hard time with this one, not only because my goal for the year was just to observe, but I also had to ask myself what does it mean to empower my students?

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Choice Some rights reserved by Adrian Berg

After to talking to Neil O’Reilly, my appraiser, I framed the idea of empowering as choice as I saw students with choice in the classroom are empowered.

To incorporate this into my practice, I decided to bring in maker spaces and “Making Time” into the schedule. What ended up happening was the Year 4 team also wanted to bring in the making into the curriculum, so this was another area that worked smoothly for me.

What ended up happening was a 5 week project where the students (mixed classes) were able to select a project idea they wanted to work on and used materials provided in each group to freely express themselves. Elements of it reminded me of the Independent Projects Week (IPW) at The School at Columbia University.

I created a presentation to share with my colleagues. It gives the overall steps that were taken and some samples of the projects.

So the presentation ends with, “Where to next?” Thinking ahead to my next appraisal and goal for next year, I feel like I have not had a chance to present and share for the past few years. As I find presenting forces me to reflect much more deeply on my practices, I’m hoping to start collecting some ideas of what I want to delve deeply into. I really like the idea that Anita Chen, the Chinese Innovation Leader at CIS (@chiaoyinanita), gave me the idea to pick a theme for the year and collect data and information on it. Now, all I have to think about is a theme…

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