Learning happens when children are engaged.
Learning happens when children have adaptable spaces.
Learning happens when their ideas are valued.
Learning happens when they have time to discuss and reflect.
Learning happens when they can use all their senses.
Imagine yourself, as a Grade 4 student. Many of us likely remember the days of a teacher standing in front of the room and lecturing. Students were asked to listen quietly and we could hear a pin drop in the classroom. Our own ideas were rarely heard and opportunities for exploration were limited to the early years of education. I want to hear the sounds of your beautiful grade 4 children buzzing about the room, exploring and learning in collaboration with each other and with the materials that surround them.
Recently, our Fantastic Ferocious Fours, as they like to be called, have stepped into this collaborative and joyous way of learning. Yes, I still have times, where I stand in front the room and share a lesson that requires them to listen quietly, but the real learning happens afterwards, when I hear productive discussions and see collaboration in action.
Students find creative ways to collaborate with each other, while some learned remotely and others in class. Students learn to ask each other questions and help teach their classmates. Often when the teaching comes from a peer it is better accepted. They also learn to be resourceful and independent learners.
Students share their scientific experiments with each other and learn how different classmates are using the scientific method to ask questions, design creative experiments that connect to the properties of light and sound, and to explain their ideas to others. When we discuss and reflect on our learning we are better able to remember and make connections.
Here, students have been learning to understand key mathematical concepts related to data and number. They have rounded data to different place values and are exploring how it can be represented as a graph. They are learning to interpret and analyze graphs. They are noticing differences between graphs when data is manipulated in different ways. We are learning to make informed decisions and form our own opinions about how data is used in our daily lives, and realizing that sometimes we have to look closely and deeply to understand what they mean.