Earlier this week, I told you about Emerald’s kokiriko project. The day after she turned it in, Jim and I had a regularly scheduled end-of-the-first-nine-weeks conference with her teacher. At the end of the conference, I mentioned how cool I thought the science project was.
And I watched the teacher’s face light up. She started talking excitedly about how this project helped her students better understand the concepts of sound and how high their science tests scores were that day because of it.
She then mentioned how families had worked together on this project, just as she’d hoped they would. She showed us many of the projects and told us about the contributions of various family members to some of the instruments. “This girl’s grandfather helped her with . . . while her dad did . . . and her mom showed her how to . . .” Her excitement was infectious to us, so I can only imagine how infectious it must be to her class.
She went on to tell us how thrilled she was with the thought process some of the students used to make their projects better. She told us of one student who began with rocks in a cardboard cylinder to make a rain stick, but the sound wasn’t as good as the student hoped, so she added coins and another material, until she was happy with the music of the instrument.
We asked if she was planning on assigning more projects since this one worked so well. She said she was thinking she would assign a project for every unit and added that we would probably be sick of all the projects by the time it’s all said and done. Never.
We love that this teacher is so attuned to her students. We love that she found what helps them to learn better and adjusted her plan for the rest of the year accordingly. We love that she found a way to involve — and even engage — her students’ families in such a way that not only was this a learning experience for the kids, but a family bonding moment, as well.
Most of all, we love her excitement at the creativity of her students and their high rate of retention as a result. Hey, I’m still excited from the conversation and it was almost 48 hours ago.
Way to go, Ms. T! Thank you! We’re watching for the light — the project on light that is. 🙂