you think about it. ~Mary Engelbreit
Have you ever.......
* created a sculpture from butter?
* written a novel?
* produced a movie?
* organized an after school art program for kids?
* constructed a community garden?
* created a tutorial website for gamifying and
.....my students have become agents of change through the power of passion, perseverance, curiosity, and thinking.
Personal growth results from inspiration, imagination, collaboration, and creation- values we all need to embrace. We work so hard to empower our students with respect to their own learning, we sometimes forget that we need to step out of our own comfort zone as well- we don’t need to have all of the answers. Change is the result of creating a classroom environment of engaged and empowered students who feel they have control over their education and are willing to think about their thinking.
Leaving my comfort zone.............
I abandoned my comfort zone this past summer after reading Classroom
Habitudes by @Angela Maier, as part of the Indiana eLearning Book Club series. The reading and collaboration that followed led me to more research into the concept of Genius Hour. With the help of @JoyKirr I launched my own concept of Genius Hour in January............. I had to step out even further. During an #INeLearn Thursday night Twitter chat, I was introduced to yet another extension of my thinking, #Makered, and an introduction to the current book club feature, Invent to Learn: Making, Tinkering, and Engineering in the Classroom by Sylvia Libow Martinez and Gary Stager.
Since launching Genius Hour in January, I’ve now become fascinated with the additional concept of Maker Spaces and the habits of passion, curiosity, imagination, and creativity. The concept of empowering students to think about their education and create an environment of creation, imagination, and inspiration, has become my personal passion.
Genius Hour has become an eye-opening experience, as many students have
been resistant to not only change, but taking charge of their own learning. I
have to admit, I was shocked over the lack of imagination and curiosity the
first few weeks. Finally, this past week, the phrase I had been waiting to
hear...... “Mrs. Neidlinger, I have my first art class set up for Thursday!
I’m so excited!” You can imagine my response- “What art class?”
Yes, you guessed it, my 12 year old, 7th grade student had taken her love and
passion for art and created an after-school youth art class at the public
library. That wasn’t the end of it.... she had set up and scheduled the next
three months of classes with the library on her own time, created posters and
distributed them, organized adult supervision, and gathered her materials and
supplies for her first after-school event. My mouth hit the floor.
The following day, she burst into the classroom exclaiming, “I had
twenty-three kids at my first session. It went really well!” Before I could
cough up a reaction, she proceeded to show me the video that she had recorded
during her session, explain what went well, and discuss the adjustments she
was going to make for the next time based on the first class. Additionally,
she was already producing an iMovie capturing her first night’s events
featuring live interviews and children creating, designing, and tinkering. She
had become an agent of change through her personal power of passion,
perseverance, curiosity, and thinking.
I can only “imagine” the butter sculptures!..............
This project and others will be featured on our class website-Neidlinger
LA 7 & 8- Globally Connected & my blog Literacy ShopTalk
Paula currently teaches 7th & 8th gr language arts and has been part of a 1:1 school for four years. Additionally, she has utilized the flipped classroom philosophy for the past three years. Paula has been a teacher and administrator in the Plymouth School Corporation for twenty plus years. Global connected learning and creating engaging real world experiences in the classroom is the focus of her 21st century teaching. She is a life-long learner and models her passion for learning and technology in her classroom every day. She blogs and has engaged her students in the collaborative process of blogging, as well, through self-designed student websites, where they are demonstrating their skills of creativity, collaboration, communication, and critical thinking. You can follow Paula on Twitter @pneid.