At my school we teach in 2-teacher teams or pods. This week we gathered together as a pod and listened to some podcasts (Radio WillowWeb and DownsFM). We talked about what we thought we could do as a team of about 50. This started with some topics that we thought we would be able to do -- remember, every goal must be achievable! We had the white board covered with ideas. From there we pared it down to a few easily doable things. The students did a fantastic job of recognizing hierarchies and categories. From there we broken into groups, with each group picking one of the topics. The students then began making lists of talking points and spinning that into paragraphs. This continued the next day with the groups deciding who would say what and practicing. From there we recorded using a mic attached to my laptop. You can listen to our first podcast here.
After we presented our podcast to the principal the pod discussed what it was we did, what we liked about it, etc. One of the students pointed out it was like our writing poster (Six Traits + 1). Interesting observation. Another student then commented, "Hey, this is like doing work! I'm not sure I like this anymore." It was kind of a surprising comment for me to hear, but with 5th grade nothing should surprise me.
However, what a great discussion happened next! We talked about how what we do in school is exactly what is done outside in the real world. Math is used to balance checkbooks, calculate tips and in almost every job we could come up with. Even people who don't like to write have to write as part of their jobs.
I wish every lesson could have gone like this!
My 21st Century Classroom podcast