Learning is an experience…a unique and personal journey that is not always a neat and tidy presentation. It is true that one can learn by seeing or hearing, but the real breakthrough learning happens when students are immersed in the process. It happens when they are presented with challenges that push them a little out of their comfort zones and where they have to think to find solutions. It happens when students are given a variety of resources and avenues to explore and the availability to pertinent content knowledge to reinforce their learning. It happens when they have to navigate working with others in a group, when they have to design and create, when they have to reflect on and improvise their original thinking. This type of learning is real and hard and messy but there is magic in those messes!
Over the last month or so, second graders have been working on a variety of projects. They’ve worked individually, in partnerships and in small groups to create poetry, presentations, interactive story boards and stop motion videos. And throughout all of these experiences, there have been messes aplenty. From the literal spilling of paint water to paper scraps everywhere to the more abstract messes that occur when group members have differing opinions or a piece of technology isn’t working just right or they face a challenge they are unsure of how to tackle…there’s real and authentic learning involved in all of that. See if you can find the learning and the potential in the images below…the magic in the messes!