Our unit has been about Beliefs and Values. This is my first year teaching so I guess naturally, it is easier when you take a template the previous teachers used and work around their Central Idea and Lines of Inquiry. From our planning, I didn’t really feel like I had taken a risk or pushed the boundaries…
A confession before we proceed, I hate worksheets so I usually spend my evenings scouring the internet for alternatives. Sometimes I do find inspiration sometimes I don’t. Sometimes I have a lightbulb moment when stuck in Kampala’s dreadful traffic and its sweltering heat. Sometimes the best ones come when I jump from bed with nightmares of me running late to work.
From learning coordinates using chalk and our classroom mat to spray painting our beliefs and values on the walls, oil pastels have become our best friends. And by the end of the unit, I realised we had spent more time expressing ourselves and imprinting our personalities on the classroom walls and floors and less in our books.
Recently, my class did a survey on what they thought learning was . Needless to say I was beside myself with joy when 80% said they thought it was creative and challenging. This wasn’t a goal I had set going into the unit but rather an expression born out of my frustration with worksheets. I felt like we had achieved a lot from this unit. Our personalities came through, we challenged traditional learning and we evolved. I guess my take away from this is, learning should be enjoyable and fun. If as learners we don’t feel challenged and engrossed then something ought to change.