I had the pleasure of taking part in the first ever #elemchat on Twitter. I did say at one point that I simply couldn't fit my thoughts into 140 characters, so I decided to start a blog.
I came into the #elemchat with questions and anxiety, as I knew the topic would be PBL, or project based learning. I just wasn't sure what the term meant, and was a little worried that I would need to add one more thing onto my LONG list of things I want to do with my grade two class next year! As the chat started to pick up, I discovered that I have already decided my Math time will spend a lot of time in this PBL setup... I was just going to call it "Investigations".
In fact, I was so excited with this, because I attended a PD workshop yesterday with Cathy Fosnot from www.contextsforlearning.com. We recently received kits that are fully based on what she calls "Investigations." She started off the day by having all 150 attendees participate in an investigation involving counting in a brand new number system she calls X-mania (based on a base-6 system using letters.) As the hour went on, we discovered the place value system that was there... we figured out what number would follow AAC, and what number would follow A--. Then we discovered that A-- was A- groups of A-... That our snap cubes formed a square... we progressed through by making discoveries, all guided by our workshop leader, but they were OUR discoveries. We owned them. What a great way to demonstrate Project Based Learning!
I'm determined to add some of her Math investigations into my instruction over the coming year, and I'll let you know how it all works! I'm so pumped about this, it's almost a shame I have to wait until September!