Sunday, March 30, 2014

Harnessing the Power of Collaboration (AB Squared, part 1)

This past week began the meticulous, definite planning of a cross-divisional project. My partner in collaboration, Mr. Andrew Bieronski and I have laid the foundational stones for a physical, virtual, digital playground. He and I coincidentally engaged in a lunchtime conversation during the RCAC Conference in London, ON. this past December.

I wanted to create another great digital project; the last one, Canada Connection, was a tremendous success. Five different classrooms and grades combined the study of Canada into a bi-monthly online meeting, where we shared our learning about a region of Canada, focussing on the curriculum expectations of our respective grades. The result was several interactive presentations, dances, stop-motion films, slideshows, Prezis, all rooted in our discovery and learning about Canada's history, geography, and culture.

 This one is different. Grade Ten students will mentor Grade Four, as they endeavour to create museum exhibits, related to the study of Ancient Times. The idea simmered, bubbled, and became convincingly possible during that fateful lunch hour discussion; thanks goes to David Dowhaniuk, who pushed and provoked with thoughtful questions.

 So, after much discussion, theorizing, fantasizing, and planning, the project is a go. I often see the finished product in my head; students proudly standing beside their exhibits, engaged in discussions about how it all came about, and how these civilizations impacted our modern world. Much must be accomplished before that vision becomes a reality.

I must trust our plan, my vision, and my belief that this is the right group of students to undertake this task. I promised myself that I would blog about the process as a model, because the students will be required to blog about their experience as well. I am eager, excited, and confident that this will be a learning experience that is rich and lasting. I hope this to be "the one they remember", (for all the right reasons). Let us hope that my instinct is right.

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