Oops! This is a late post (that I didn’t see was saved as a draft!)
After being out for over a week, Indigo Band was very happy to have me back. I’m happy to be back! I’ve been itching to get into the Earth Science topics I’ve been researching and see what the kids latch onto. There are also some larger-picture goals we still need to set. This week, we’ve been establishing a protocol for how we approach math. Since kids in Indigo are all over the place in skill level, whole-group instruction just won’t work. We can’t all do the same thing at the same time. Yesterday, I showed students the list of prioritized standards for each grade level in math. We broke down how to use this guide as a reference to aid our math exploration and set individual goals. The class requested we work on math for an hour each day, less during Expression, and set a group goal of learning 3 new skills a week, to learn around 100 new skills by the end of the year. From the list of standards, I showed the kids how to find the corresponding skills on Khan Academy so they could be sure they were weren’t wasting time on skills that aren’t as necessary to learn. We’ve only been working for a few days, but everyone is extremely focused and on task. It always amazes me that by framing options and allowing kids to choose, you create internal engagement. The kids are working for themselves, not to please me. A highlight for me came from Max, who after our first day of math, told me that he learned more that day than he did in all of last year. While that’s probably not completely true, it showed me that he’s again excited to learn, and happy to have ownership of that process.
Aside from math, we’ve been learning about the formation of Earth. Using a documentary from National Geographic as a reference, we’ve spent the afternoons watching, taking notes, pausing to discuss, then repeating that process. At the end of the day, the kids take their notes from the film and our discussions home and do some further research on an aspect from they day they found particularly interesting. Last night, everyone researched an animal from the Cambrian Explosion and wrote a blog post about what we believe that animal lived like, when, and why. I love the curiosity of these kids!