This week, I am running my class like a workshop, a free flowing artists studio. We are not constrained by a schedule (except for the time we arrive and the time we leave; and a couple specialist classes mixed in!). I gave the students a list of the projects they had to complete by friday. We have been building up to all of these projects for the last five weeks:
i) Gravity Painting and Reflection on Voicethreads
ii) Famous Scientist Digital Picture Book
iii) Motion Model and Science Fair and Keynote presentation
I gave them the list and said they have until Friday. I am here to help, but how they use their time is their own responsibility. This is my experiment with how a decentralized classroom in Elementary school would run. I was inspired my our High School Art teacher, who lets the kids in her classes work on whatever they want, and she just offers support. Each kid is responsible for their own learning, and she helps with the specific skills they need to bring their vision to life. Not quite the same as this situation, but we will see how they do with the freedom (I am also constrained by other forces in the amount of freedom I give).
I hope they really take responsibility for themselves and use this as an opportunity to grow and push themselves.
We will see how it goes. If the first morning is any indication, it will be an incredible week (and messy!).