180 days of learning

180 days of learning

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A Change Will Do You Good

September 5, 2012

Change is the end result of all true learning.
Leo Buscaglia

While trying to teach 7th graders to understand and create clear, complete, and concise directions I have managed to learn a great deal about the effect of failure.  In previous years I taught a lesson about creating PBandJ sandwiches that consisted of teacher provided directions given out of order.  My students would then rearrange the directions so that perfect sandwiches would be created.  Very rarely did a group of students make any mistakes in the process.  The students would then struggle with following and giving directions later on throughout the year and I could never understand why.

This year I decided to approach the lab differently.  I was afraid that the class would find the assignment too easy and I was going to waste two days of class teaching them something they did not need to know.  Instead of providing the students with the directions, they were tasked with creating their own.  The only limitation was that their 15 step process would be followed exactly and the results would coincide with what they constructed.  The end result of my classes can be viewed here on my school blog.  The kids failed time and time again.  We were able to spend time discussing and debating what makes directions clear, concise, and complete.  Instead of the lesson being a complete failure, I was able to help the students better understand the need to communicate effectively through their failure.

Since that lesson my students are able to both interpret directions better and give directions more clearly.  Who knew that a little bit of failure would go such a long way?

The person responsible for this post is:

Joshua Winrotte – 7th Grade Science at LJH

Apple Tech Junkie – PBL Newbie – Student Ownership Siren – Lifelong Learning Herald – Sports Fanatic

jwinrotte@plymouth.k12.in.us – @coachrottehttp://www.winniessearch.blogspot.com

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