Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Adventure learning - 1st attempt

This term I introduced my class to Adventure Learning. Our school was going to have our senior show and I knew my students would need a project to keep them on task while they were being pulled this way and that for their many commitments.

I had several great people to discuss my plans with, including both in-school support and some Tweeps (thanks especially to @simone015). But there were still mistakes to be made, lessons to learn and reflections to be had.

Last week our school presented the show and this week several students have presented their topics to the class. I'm certainly not going to have a 100% completion rate, I didn't expect to however I would have liked to see more projects being finished and shared with the class. Part of this bound to be my input, some kids deserved more scaffolding with self directed learning. They would have been better working in small groups with some hand-holding from their teacher, I was confident that they would get there but its been difficult trying to balance a severely constrained timetable, letting them explore their passion and trying not to take over (especially with some projects which were uber-cool!). 

  • Next time: a mix of individual, pair & group projects is required to balance interests & learning needs.
Expectations of quality are difficult to moderate. I've been pleased with what I have seen but thought I might have my socks blown off, this hasn't happened. However, the class is on their 1st attempt at such a project and I haven't modelled an Adventure Learning project to them. Success is hard to measure when you have no experience with this type of project.

  • Next time: I'm doing an Adventure Learning project too, maybe I'll even include some students with higher learning needs.

A handful of kids have moved swiftly to beginning another Adventure Learning project. Clearly they have become motivated learners, or at least found a suitable outlet for their motivations. The computer time before school has been graduated from games and blogging, to blogging and adventure learning. These two developments are both positive but I now need to integrate this energy across our timetable.

  • Next term: I need to provide opportunities for children to pursue learning in their own interests in more curriculum areas (I guess I'm looking at personalising learning more successfully).
It has been a positive move for classroom management too, it hardly takes a rocket scientist to understand that pursuing your own interests increases engagement and motivation. Some of my more difficult students have been more productive this term.

  • Next term: Can I continue this in other areas of curriculum?

I've loved the questioning, discussion and engagement that Adventure Learning has introduced to my classroom. I won't give it an A+ on its first attempt but do believe that it has demonstrated enough positives to warrant another attempt next term.

Now I just have to work out what my project will be for next term...

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