“Think left and think right and think low and think high. Oh, the thinks you can think up if only you try” – Dr. Seuss
I am participating in the #AprilBlogADay challenge. The prompts are provided by Meredith Towne (@BklynMeredith) a teacher in Brooklyn, NY. Today’s prompt is: Best lesson ever? Best unit? Best curriculum? What made it the best?
It has been six years since I have been in the classroom and my students lacked technology, so the units I used in my classroom would seem dated based on the amazing units I read about or see almost daily. However, I will still share about my best units.
The best units I had when I was teaching were group projects. Interestingly, I hated group work as a student, but I found group assignments taught collaboration, cooperation, and communication. Teaching at a residential treatment facility for juvenile offenders, group work also provided a treatment opportunity.
Given our lack of access to a library and the Internet, I would provide students with a topic, guidelines for completion, and they would determine how to present the material to the class. Some groups presentations would simply regurgitate the material.
The great group projects would analyze the material and create a new way to share it. They would splice their presentation into parts spoken, sung, and danced. They would write and present a play. They would weave music, choreography, and visual effects into their presentation.
No matter how many times I used this type of group project, I was consistently surprised by the creativity of the majority of groups.
I know the assignment and units lacked the freedom to chase their passions. I was out of the classroom before 20% time became a way to help students explore their creativity. However, if I return to a high school or middle school class, I would love to allow students to explore their passions and create a way to share that passion with the class.
Share your thoughts and comments below. I would love to engage in a conversation about your best lessons, units, and curriculum. Please let me know what you think about my blog entries and help me to reflect and learn by commenting below.
My Commitment – April Blog a Day Challenge
I have joined the #AprilBlogaday Challenge. The goal is to submit a blog entry every day in April. I will not promise each blog entry will be motivational, energetic, and thought-provoking. However, I will do my best to continue to reflect on my journey of learning and my areas of growth.