10 January 2012

My students as producers

Tonight's #edchat topic was about how to convert students from consumers to producers.  While many of the suggestions were great in theory, the main problem is the educators that are on Twitter represent a very small minority in the education world.  Too often we are combating long ingrained preconceptions of what is expected of both the teacher and student in the classroom.  It is tough to get students to become producers of learning when they have spent the last 10 or 11 years having barely or never done it.

So, with this in mind, I would like to share what my learners produced recently.  In a previous post, I talked about how instead of a test in the Atomic Theory unit I decided to let the students demonstrate their understanding of the objectives through a formal assessment.  I gave them about 2 weeks to do it and got some interesting results.  Most of the students created some sort of test (one even used the same fonts I used on a previous test so it looked like something I would actually hand out), and a couple did some research projects.  But the ones who really went outside the box are the ones I would like to share below.

The first started as a music video and kind of dissolved into just their own song.

These 2 girls made a scrapbook of information as well as a bundt cake in the shape of an atomic orbital with mini cupcakes for the electron configuration.
This student is an amazing artist and so creative.  This picture doesn't do her work justice.  She laid out all of the information in these mini posters.  I especially like the way she explained electron configurations, in fact I probably will put this on my wall and refer to it next year.
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This student took a spin on the typical Google Search Story and created a video about a conversation between Boron and Carbon on Facebook.  Really clever.
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This last group was supposed to do an interpretive dance, but the thought of doing something so daring in front of 24 of their peers scared the stuffing out of them. Instead they created watercolor paintings of the different concepts.


Was it amazing, Earth shattering work? No.  But for their first attempt at formal assessments I was really impressed.  Looking forward to trying this again in the next marking period.