Learning Lab Reflection

Chalkie White soaking in the springtime sunshine! (because sometimes you just need a cat photo)

Learning Lab Reflections

The question driving my inquiry this year was: How does increased opportunities for student voice and choice lead to self-direction and making good choices? While I struggled coming up with, and revising this question throughout the year, it kept me on the right path. I have always valued the middle level philosophy emphasis on student choice and voice, and believe it is at the heart of student motivation. I hope to spark the light of self-motivation in these students, but that’s a tricky thing… so self-direction has become a measure of motivation- to some degree, and maybe I’ll tackle motivation next year! Overall, students who were excited about the topics they chose, were self-directed and motivated to learn. Helping them make good choices was more difficult, but became easier as I learned more about my students. Again, middle level philosophy wins with relationship building- the only way to really know your students and help steer them in the right direction to make good choices, is to build relationships.

My video reflection…


How did the year finish?

  • Final Unit: “Choose your own path!” 3 Options:
    • Inquiry path
    • Social Justice (Global/Local Issues) path
    • Guided path, using Geography Alive!
  • Using the Schoology student completion tool, students will navigate their way through the final unit through one of the 3 paths. The first 2 are mostly self-directed, and the third is more structured for those that want or need more guidance. I’m hoping that students will be better at self-direction after practice this year, and that they make good choices so they stay engaged in the learning through the very end of the year!
  • The Destinations or Final Products for each path-
Inquiry path-

Final Products: 

  • Create a Project/Presentation & Present to your class
  • 3-5 page Report/Informational Writing
  • Bibliography
Social Justice (Global/Local Issues) path-

Final Products:

  • Create a Project/website to share information & CALL YOUR AUDIENCE TO ACTION
  • 3-5 page Persuasive Essay/Argument Writing
  • Bibliography

Guided path, using Geography Alive!

Final Products:

  • Textbook work
  • Further your learning (mini-inquiry) project & Presentation. Include:
    • What did you learn in the chapter?
    • What did you research beyond the textbook?
    • Bibliography
  • Students have sequential assignments to submit before they can move on, so there are no specific due dates, but rather checkpoints that they have to fulfill. (ie- Inquiry questions, evidence of taking notes, etc.)
  • I will also add weekly “Pit-Stops” or exit ticket-type assignments to share with me where they are, and what supports they need from me so that I can see where each student is in the process as we move toward the real-world deadline of… the end of the school year!
    • Feedback from the Culture project showed me that students enjoy the “Pit-Stops” because feedback makes them they feel they are on the right track when doing an independent project.
    • I found they were hugely helpful in keeping track of many working parts!
  • On the guided path, students will either work in a small group with me leading them, or on their own following the teacher’s procedures and checking in with me.
  • Want to the see the circus unfold? Stop by for a last-minute LL visit!

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