|Image from Krissy Venosdale at venspired, downloaded from: https://s3.amazonaws.com/storage3.magcloud.com/image/e52cb461b8c3464db675a746f3d39ece.jpg|
A few weeks ago, our principal was scheduled to stop by and observe my class (this had been on the schedule for months). When I looked at the time slot I cringed---this was the first day of student interest driven projects in second grade and we were scheduled to do kitchen chemistry! I had already spent a lot of time wondering what this lesson was going to look like (my classroom in carpeted!) But I also knew that it was a great opportunity for me to get feedback on classroom management on a brand new lesson to me, and one in which there would be a lot of energy and messy materials!
The lesson was a ton of fun, including when students cheered at the beginning of class when they found out the topic. I am honored that this lesson was then embedded into a weekly school podcast, which you can find here:
When I first listened to the audio from my lesson I was nervous that the volume was going to be too loud, or that it would be hard to hear the sound of learning. I was wrong! Students were engaged in conversations, I was able to ask open ended exploratory questions and we were all having fun! Clean up was a bit of a mess that day (several of our chemistry concoctions spilled over as they foamed and expanded!) but as students left they asked--when will we do that again?? To me, this is the greatest sign of a successful learning experience!
Learning sounds different in different contexts.....but I think it is important to embrace the noise and the mess to encourage student engagement, fun AND learning!