My grade 1 class has been connecting since the start of the school year. The unit we are currently working on Where we are in Place and Time has actually been in the planning stages for some time. With a central idea: Over time, people make local and global connections using a variety of tools.
What worked. Connections. This sounds simplistic but connections the learners made on both sides of our project. Collaboration also worked which was our goal. We created something together. We went through frustrations, setbacks. Overcame them. Then were encountered with a new set of challenged. We learned I think.
What didn’t. Relationships. I think was a bit too optimistic on my part. I’ve expanded on this below.
Final thoughts. I still feel that although connection and collaboration is possible with younger learners, I an unsure of how authentic these connections were, or even can be. Unlike Secondary learners who very much are in control of their own social media and friends, a six year old is not. This is okay and I am not suggesting that the whole project was a waste of time but I think perhaps I naively held higher hopes of the learners developing more of a relationship. At the age of six, kids are still trying to develop relationships with their own classmates they see every day.
Big Takeways. All is not lost however, here are some big takeaways the kids have taken away this far with the project:
- Learners were engaged and excited to make connections with another class
- Learners developed an understanding of the central idea
- Demonstrated independence, curiosity and decision making
- Social Skills (respecting others, cooperating, group decision making(.
- Communication Skills (Listening, speaking, reading writing, viewing).
- Thinking Skills (Evaluation, comprehension)
My big Takeaway from COETAIL Course 1.
I loved being connected to such a knowledgeable group of practitioners. reading the blogs, the tweets. The insightful comments form participants. Connecting and learning in Course 1 has been powerful for me. I think that is the crux of the course for in a nutshell.