Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ideas For Meaningful Choice Time In The Classroom

I've never really had choice time in the class room because I wanted to have a lot of options, and I needed every option to be meaningful. It came down to not having enough time to design it. But this summer I started really thinking about choice time ideas, and how I wanted it to look. There is a big push right now in education to give kids time to create and tinker and build. 
Like a space drill that shoots fireworks

I don't disagree, and have been looking at choice time as giving kids more of an opportunity to create. Here's a look at some of the current fads:

Genius Hour
I'll say right up front that I hate this name. 
I think this is because of Louis C.K.

All these words we use, anybody can be a genius now. It used to be you had to have a thought no one ever had before or you had to invent a number. Now, it's like, "Hey, I've got a cup in case we need another cup." "Dude, you're a genius!" 

But I've always liked the idea, even before it was borrowed from Google:

I've done something similar to Genius Hour at the end of the each year. I call it "Independent Projects." Not as hyperbolic as "Genius Hour," but it would be cool to extend this so that it could be implemented year round.

There are tons of versions of these spaces. Even the name varies. It could be called a Maker Playground, Maker Party, Maker Camp, or, if I had my way, Maker Smackdown.  It depends on who is running it and how often it's available. "Maker" seems to be a key word though. I like the definition from this Makerspace website: "Community Centers With Tools." That gives a lot of leeway on how each of us specifically defines the space, given our structure and resources. It can be as low tech or as high tech as you want, or a combination of both. Makerspaces are typically found in a public education space, like a library. If there is not a regular Makerspace in a school library, then the library could hold a special event, like this one:

Cardboard Challenge
I've seen a lot of tweets from educators who went to ITSE 2014 mentioning the Cardboard Challenge. The Cardboard Challenge is an annual event. This year it takes place on October 11th. Apparently it was inspired by this cool video:

I don't think I'll participate in the annual event, but I do like the idea of constructing imaginative cities or arcades or robots or whatever from cardboard. 

These three ideas have given me a lot to think about, but I don't only want my choice time to be about creation. In the upcoming blog posts, I'll detail the stations I've put together for choice time.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...