One of my finest students said to me this week “Sue, are we always going to have tests, or are there going to be any projects, like we did last year in Biology?” My response was. “In Chemistry we have tests!” How ridiculous and unimaginative can I be? A few hours later I realized once again, that my students have the best ideas.
That evening I had to write an e-mail to the class saying “Of course we should do a project instead of a test! Let’s do one for the next chapter!”
So now I must get to work creating the framework for such a thing. This is not easy though. The design for the assignment must guide them along just right, not too much guidance so that it resembles mindless map-quest directions, but not so little help that they are left lost. The assignment must activate the “seeking circuits” in their brains, to keep their interest and create those dopamine releases as they learn. Ideally it will also involve working with other students, because we are social primates, and learning together is intrinsically enjoyable and motivating!
Get off the blog, Sue, and get to work!