This week I had the privilege of seeing the new BCEdplan in action at our community connection centre in Abbotsford. MakerEd or project based learning has really taken on in a big way in the hearts of the teachers and our students who are doing hands on projects each week!
Here are some of my takeaways from observing science and social studies classes!
- Teachers are passionate about engaging in a new and exciting way.
- Their students are engaged and actively learning core and curricular competencies.
- Learning is multi-disciplinary
- All critical thinking skills are being used
- Students are having fun! Sounds of excitement and energy throughout!
- MakerEd does not have to be complex. Simple materials were being used.
My first class was observing students in Lisa Hackett’s class doing an egg drop after making their eggs safely cocooned using different materials. Their prediction sheets and follow up activities next week will lead to collaboration as to which ones worked and which ones did not. In my mind everyone was a winner!
Can you see their excitement to see their eggs drop? Everyone wanted to go first!
Pleasure seeing the results regardless of a broken egg or NOT!
Next was on to Todd Farion’s hands on learning with grade 7 students and ancient civilizations. Students had spent much of the year making their ancient civilizations using paint, styrofoam, paper and other tools to carve out their presentations. I was lucky to see one or two students present using technology and research. Other students were learning video and drama to present their research using green screen technology.
Then it was on to Kathy Whittomes’s class of science using simple machines, design thinking and language arts to present STEAM in action. First Kathy read her students in grades 3/4 the lovely book Rosie Revere Engineer (available on Overdrive e library). She then asked the students to collaborate about what aspects of design were implemented in the story. Based on the students sharing via questions Kathy drew up the main components of a design thinking class, in which Ideation, Imagination, Collaboration, Designing a prototype (drawing it out), voting on the best ones, and implementing simple machines to make a Rube Goldberg machine was initiated in groups.
Unfortunately I could not stay until the end, or see more iterations as learning was transformed. But I was very engrossed and very interested to see the essential questions, democracy and openness of learning. I was inspired!! Alas I did not have time to see all teachers but hopefully next time 🙂
Thanks Abbotsford Community Connections and all community connections throughout BC who are making learning vibrant! Our students are blessed!