Sunday, 28 February 2016

Teaching Innovation

Since I am a Science teacher, I feel that my curriculum really lends itself to problem solving and inquiring. My students, some whom I have taught for three years now, have gotten to know that I don't want one right answer, but rather I'm interested in their process and as many answers as possible. So when I went to a workshop from Spectrum and was given six Lego pieces and challenged to build a duck in 60 seconds, I immediately thought of doing this activity with my class.

My modified six pieces

My seven year old daughter and I spent about two hours sorting her Lego so I could provide a similar  experience to my 7s and 8s the next day. Below are some of the ducks the classes created.

Some students were a bit frustrated that their pieces were not exactly the same, others were thinking there was one right answer for a duck, and tried to improve upon their duck once they looked around the table. I think those students missed the point.

In a post-modern world where there is rarely anything "new," I could see why my students would think that they can't come up with something innovative. Maybe it's all about remixing?

I personally wanted to build my duck the fastest. When given the tower challenge later on, I wanted to build the most aesthetically pleasing one. Last week, I had challenged the Grade 8s to build card houses, but rather than assigning tallest, strongest, etc, they need to come up with what their goal was.

Their learning goal all along was teamwork and collaboration. They knew that from the start, and were supposed to encourage each other, listen to group members ideas and hopefully build on them. I hope they realize that innovation can be accomplished as a team.