Whoever said ‘Patience is a Virtue’ obviously never had to wait for amazing learning tools in a classroom full of passionate and curious kids! Ha!
I’ve learned a lot about myself the past few weeks… primarily how bad I am at being patient. I am SO eager to get this inquiry re-started, to re-ignite it with new tools and the curiosities that follow, and to get messy learning new things. The snag? Our equipment hasn’t been inventoried yet, so we don’t have it yet. *sob*
Well, thats not entirely true. I was able to pick up the Padcaster this week and started to explore all the pieces. I was so grateful to have had THIS podcaster tutorial to watch first – there are SO many pieces, it was wonderfully overwhelming. I watched it and then started to take out the Padcaster piece-by-piece. My mind was racing with possible uses for each of the included lenses, mics, and pieces and I had to remind myself that part of my professional inquiry was to be patient, be responsive, and to be present. In short, to let the kids guide the learning without expectations and without a ‘plan.’
Im endeavouring to follow their lead, and to honour the emergent nature of this inquiry – It’s yielded amazing learning so far, right? So, I tried to anticipate some challenges they might have in setting up the Padcaster for the first time, some resources that I might want to (coincidently *wink wink*) leave on our provocation table, and what some of the next steps in the inquiry might be. I want to be responsive, but I also want to be timely in supporting them, so pre-thinking is a necessary ‘evil’
The other thing we’ve been doing as we (im)patiently wait for the equipment is reactivating and developing our understanding of the Core Competencies – the heart of this inquiry. We used the text “The Six Cedar Trees” to connect to our previous knowledge and to enjoy a shared experience as a new class. I have strong, and mixed, feelings about the text that I’d like to devote a whole blog post to it later this week.
We’ve been adding to our Core Competencies board – which is a mural gifted to us by last year’s grade 5 students (before they left for middle school). We’ve been adding new information and new understanding to the board as we uncover new understanding about the competencies. I really believe that documenting shared learning is an important step when celebrating the circular nature of learning; revising of old learning with new insight.
We’ve explored each of the competencies generally, but the kids seem particularly interested in examining how personal awareness impacts their learning. We’ve got a few ‘experiments’ planned for the coming weeks and Im curious to see what data they yield. I’ll be sure to post about each of them… hopefully we’ll even have our iPads so that the KIDS voices become the primary voice of this blog. The possibilities are SO exciting!