I'm back today with an example of how I try to create a student-centered classroom. If you missed my post yesterday, you can read it here.
When working with students, I strive to foster independence and empower them to take responsibility for their learning. Students should be active learners that are engaged and motivated.
One activity that I did this past year with a small group of second grade reading intervention students definitely had them working harder than me. However, they enjoyed it so much that I don't think they even noticed!
We were about to start a Frog and Toad book. I pulled them out for intervention while the rest of their class was involved in literature circles. I had an idea for the entire class to create a friendship garden bulletin board as an after reading activity and assessment. All of the books the students were reading involved the theme of friendship.
Then, I found this Frog and Toad Integrated unit on TPT. It is adorable and my students loved the activities, especially the frog craftivity that you will see in the following picture.
This bulletin board/display was almost entirely student-generated. My small group brainstormed ideas for the layout and what to include. They cut the paper, chose the colors, and put the whole thing together! We added foam flowers that I bought at the dollar store. In the middle of the flower, they wrote their best friend's name and wrote adjectives describing their friend.
I teach in a Christian school. On some of the flowers they copied Bible verses related to friendship. The other groups (one was doing Charlotte's Web) made spiders with character traits.
My small group was so excited that they were in "charge" of this project. Every day that we worked on it, they ran back to their classroom teacher and begged her to come look at the latest addition to the garden.
I'll never forget this garden and how 22 students pulled together to create something pretty special. This performance assessment showed me much, much more than a paper and pencil test ever could have.
It's almost Friday!!!