Friday, January 8, 2016

The Evolution of the Discovery Quest

During the past few weeks of discovery quests I have been stressing to the students the importance of involving your audience. When I submit a proposal to present at a conference I am now asked how the audience with participate. Gone are the days of listening to presentations from your seats. The passive audience now needs to be active and presenters need to look for ways to include their listeners in the presentation. Slowly this shift is occurring in our own classroom. Emily and Olivia took my advice and used the mutli purpose room for their presentation. Emily taught us some ballet moves and Olivia taught us some basketball handling skills. Oliver turned our classroom into a science lab where we all made something during an experiment. Lexie became a magician and needed student volunteers for her tricks. Some students include quizzes or BrainPOP videos in their presentations. The DQ assignment began as a way for students to hone research and public speaking skills but over time I have watched it evolve into a student directed learning experience where students are teachers and learners, growing with each other in more ways than I could have imagined! 

Over vacation I received an email from Maelyn.
Dear Ms. Freedman, 
I hope you had a wonderful vacation! I am doing cars for my DQ.  I am going to be doing an activity. The students will be in four groups of six. The activity is really simple. Groups will need some coloring tools, scissors, and a glue stick. They will be making an assembly line.                                                                               Sincerely,
I had to share with you all because she has taken the initiative and ownership over her presentation, teaching our students about cars, and then turning our classroom into an assembly line so her fellow classmates can really understand the concept of what car making was. Learning is alive during these DQs and students are showing the power of presentations beyond the slideshow! 

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