I received a question from a reader regarding some unstructured time in the mornings:
In the morning, there’s a half hour when my students arrive. Some are there a couple minutes before announcements start, and some are there for the full half hour. Beyond “reading quietly” what could they do (that requires minimal preparation).
Oh! A half hour of unscheduled time? What a wonderful luxury 😄 My first thought is that this time is perfect for independent studies, experiments, or research.
Here are specific ideas:
- Make some puzzlements available for them to browse. These are your amuse bouche – they whet students’ appetites to explore interesting ideas.
- After watching a few videos or looking at some images, they should have questions. They should be wondering or feeling inspired to try something.
- Now your half hour is all about satisfying their wonderment. Let them answer their own questions. Let them build an interesting piece of art. Let them film a stop motion video.
- One day of the week could be: “show off what you’ve made” time in which they can browse each other’s projects.
No grades. No rubrics. No standards. Just developing and satisfying curiosity.
Obviously, you’d need to work out some kinks as you go, and establish some behavior expectations, but the general idea is:
- Inspire them with something interesting (this is what Puzzlements.co is all about).
- Then let them follow that inspiration.
- Finally let them communicate what they’ve found.
Check out these resources: