We know that effective lessons help students 1"make authentic connections, allow them to actively learn, and are personalized to their needs and interests." Without authentic and active work, we have compliance-based learning where students march through sequenced steps of disconnected content, skills, and activities leaving little room for understanding, retention, interest, or joy. For many reasons, we’re often willing to take on creative projects at the end of the year. But this year, why not take a creative risk and START the year off with an authentic project? This month we share John Spencer's
1. If this makes you a little nervous, remember just because you start the school year this way doesn't mean you are committing to the entire year. Sometimes just trying it out, stepping out of your comfort zone for a short trial period is better than never starting!
2. You can still (and should) co-create beginning-of-year norms, routines, and procedures with your students - creativity does not equal "free for all."
3. Everything is always more fun with a friend. Do you have a colleague (any grade level) you could enlist to join you?
4. Take time to reflect at the end of this experience - What went well and why? What didn't and why? What changes would I make?