Fridays - Student Initiated Learning - Project Based Learning meets Student Initiated Learning

Based on The Curiosity Project and the Thinkering & Engage classes at Birmingham Covington school
Fab Friday Google Site
Our Student Initiated Learning times will cover 3 uninterrupted hours each week for all classes, K-4. We have unscheduled our Fridays to make this happen. On this day, it is "all hands on deck". All teachers, homeroom and Special teachers (Art, Music, Drama, PE, Media, Science, Spanish, Performing Arts, RLA specialists, Math specialists) will be working together to support the students in their learning. Every class of 16 students will have at least 2 teachers working with them.

The focus of this time is for students to learn the skills of becoming lifelong self learners. The skills are many, the outcomes powerful and the journey fascinating.

Our blog about this day: Questions we have, suggestions from our peers, apprehensions, what worked well, what needs improvement, etc. Join in on the conversation!

Our Professional Development on this topic

Building Student Capacities for:
  • Observing & Analyzing
  • Questioning
  • Documenting & Sharing
  • Receiving and giving feedback
  • Formal and self assessments

Key Concepts:
  • Perseverance - learning from failure, trial and error
  • Problem Solving
  • Communication
  • Students as Experts
  • Group skills/ Collaboration
  • Creativity
  • Reflection
  • Meta-Cognition
  • Process vs Product
  • Inquiry

Outcomes (from 21st Century Learning)
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Flexibility and Adaptability
  • Global Awareness
  • Initiative and Self-Direction
  • Productivity and Accountability
  • Leadership and Responsibility

Basic Tenets: (from Birmingham Covington Thinkering Classes)

Let students
  • explore questions, topics or technologies of interest, at their own pace, and in directions of their choosing
  • collaborate informally and formally, in person and electronically
  • plan and reflect on their creations, process, success, difficulties and learning
  • create footsteps, examples, resources, artifacts for themselves & others to follow
  • integrate technology as appropriate

Key Components:

  • student proposals - short & long term planning
  • student daily reflection - journaling
  • peer review teams - for feedback and brainstorming
  • high quality product

Documentation Ideas:

Our goal will be for all documentation to be shared to the STAB community to begin with - hopefully to the world!

Each day may begin with a journal entry by either teacher or student about the plans for the day. What they will be doing, why and what they hope to accomplish. Detailed step by step directions perhaps. Modeled by teacher as whole grade activity at first, hopefully 3rd & 4th graders become independent with this quickly.
  • Purpose
  • Skills
  • Plan for the day

End of day would wrap up with journal entry either by teacher or student about how the day went. Did they accomplish as planned? What went well, what didn't. What next.
  • How did it go?
  • Ups & Downs
  • What next?

Documentation in the form of:
  • Student created proposals
  • Student created plans of action
  • Student reflections
  • Student journals & blogs