“If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has, at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things.” ~Vincent Van Gogh
Hey again! After introducing my topic of LiD (Learning in Depth) last week, I would like to talk a little bit more about how to choose a LiD topic before discussing how to introduce this program,to your class. I would first like to preface by saying that LiD can be done with ANY grade level, it is a way of personalized learning and that is important for every grade. According to the LiD website http://ierg.ca/LID/how-we-can-help/topics/
, some experience has shown that giving early primary students a topic randomly instead of allowing them to choose is beneficial. Then, as they get older, allowing them to choose off a list of approved LiD topics that meet the criteria and lastly, when they are in the higher grades, allowing them to choose a topic as long as it meets the criteria.
Criteria for Choosing LiD Topics:
- Students will have easily accessible resources on the topic (e.g library books)
- The topic needs to deep enough that students are able to consistently learn new things and do not get bored of their topic
- Keep the topic general enough that students can research a lot of things but not too general (e.g the topic of animals is way too vague, instead given them a specific type of animal like bears – there are many different types)
- Keep the topics ethically appropriate to all students – their parents/guardians must be comfortable with the topic assigned to their child
- Topic will provide all students with a rich and deep learning experience
Introducing LiD to Your Class:
LiD is a very interesting and engaging program once it has been implemented but first, as a teacher, you must introduce LiD to your students and their parents/guardians (especially in primary).
First, here is a short video from Keiran Egan about LiD that you may want to show parents/guardians or your students before you start.
Last year I was in a K/1 class and my sponsor teacher has provided me with how she goes about introducing the program to her class. First she starts by sending home a brochure or flyer to the parents/guardians about what LiD is and how it will be beneficial to their children. Second, she sends home an letter inviting parents to come to a open house event in her class where the parents/guardians will get to watch their children choose their topics from a hat! I think this parent/guardian involvement is very important at this age level. Then, parents are able to look through books with their children about their chosen topic and help their children formulate questions and ideas to build off of.
Introducing the program is definitely adaptable to how you want to, as a teacher you may not want to host an event. This particular introduction method is more aimed at a primary setting as well. You may want to do things differently in higher grades. It is up to you as a teacher how you want to go about starting the program.
I have attached my teacher’s introductory letter that she shared with me to this blog post as an example. See below:
I am sure that many of you are wondering what is Regio Emila? When I first walked into my practicum classroom last year I was thinking the same thing. I felt calm immediately as I walked in the door of the room. The lights were half off, there was calm music in the background and the placement of everything in the room clearly had a purpose. I knew immediately that I wanted my room to be exactly like this. When my sponsor teacher told me she followed a Regio Emila inspired classroom I just stared at her. She told me to go home and do some research and let her know how I felt about it. The next day I showed up and was over the moon! All of a sudden everything in her classroom made so much sense. Every beautiful little detail had a purpose.
Regio Emila approach is named for a school in a village in Italy that was formed just after WW2. Residents of Regio Emila saw all the destruction of the war and wanted to bring a new sense of joy and happiness to the children would not have to live through the same horrors they saw. Regio Emila as a pedagogy is student-centered and constructivist. It uses self-directed, experiential learning in relationship driven environments. The program is based on respect, responsibility, and community through exploration and discovery using a self-guided curriculum. One of the main beliefs of Regio Emilia is that students have “a hundred languages” in which they can show their learning and what they want to know. Some of these languages are drawing, painting, sculpting, drama, building etc. These languages are used to help teachers and students to better understand each other.
Another important aspect of Regio Emila is the role of the three teachers. The first of which are adults, the second is the other children, the last being the classroom itself. The classroom would incorporate natural light and indoor plants as a way of bringing the outside world. The classroom incorporates aspects that increase the aesthetics of the classroom that increase the chances of students being drawn into the learning that will be happening.
Throughout the rest of my inquiry, I will be looking at how this looks in an actual classroom as well as if I am able to bring it to higher grades.
I have shared my interest in stress in the classroom and I feel that the website below clearly shows different forms of stress students have in the classroom. One thing I really liked about this link was that it did not just talk about students stressing about stress because of the classroom (grades and homework). It also incorporates family stress and stress due to media and environmental dangers. This is important to see as educators because not all students will worry about the same thing. We need to be aware of this because we want to be able to support the students and give them the ability to do their best knowing someone is there to listen and talk to them.
Another thing I found very interesting was their explanation of the different types of stress.
- “Positive stress response – is considered as a normal part of healthy development
- Tolerable stress response – activates the body’s alert systems to a greater degree as a result of more severe, longer-lasting stressors
- Toxic stress response – can occur when a child experiences strong and/or prolonged multiples stressful events without adequate adult support. It can disrupt early brain development and lead to many health problems.”
This is important to see because when I thought of stress I thought of the negative side and never thought about it being positive.
Can’t wait to hear what you all think about this article!
As we all know, ‘inquiry’ is a very large topic… We hear it almost daily in our education. I haven’t quite picked a specific area of inquiry that I’m interested in researching, so as of right now, I’ve been reading a small textbook named LAUNCH (Using Design Thinking to Boost Creativity and Bring Out The Maker in Every Student), by John Spencer and A.J Juliani, to see their take on it.
I’ve underlined a few quotes they mention in the book that resonated with me:
“Because ultimately, we believe that you have the power to inspire kids and create a ripple effect that last for years to come.” (p.14)
“What if instead of taking that piece of artwork created in second grade home to Mom and Dad to put on the fridge, we took our students to a nursing home and had them share their art with our elders?” (p.27). In other words, Make it WORTHWHILE and MEANINGFUL to your students.
“But understand this: Every time your students get the chance to be authors, filmmakers, scientists, artist, and engineers, you are planting the seeds for a future you could have never imagined on your own.” (p.30)
These are just a few things that popped out at me in the first few pages of the book. There’s a wealth of information that’s very useful and motivating! In one area they describe how technology is a huge part of our society today and we see students using it all the time. So, when you see a student who spends hours watching videos on their phones, why not teach them to create youtube videos and start their own Youtube channel? Or, when you see students who log in hours playing video games, why not challenge them to create their own video game?
Here is a link if you’re interested in buying the text: