Title of Article: Giving Up Control
Author: J Bevacqua
Summary: This article is about giving the students an opportunity to create their own learning. The teacher did an experiment of having the students choose a topic that they want to learn more about. He gave them free reign from start to finish so they were able to completely choose what they wanted to learn and understand more about. The teacher never mentioned grades but did tell the students that they had to present information in a creative and interesting way. The results were unbelievable. The students chose topics that were interesting and engaging to the whole class including the teacher. They researched, used surveys, and incorporated different forms on technology to learn about their topic of choice. The teacher said that the students took great pride in their learning and retained more information than previous lessons. Using intrinsic motivation created lasting learning and meaningful experiences for all. The interesting concept that I learned from this was the lessons that the teacher himself learned. I have done this activity in my class before but because I do not give grades, I didn’t realize the impact that impending grades have on students. I thought this article was such an ingenious idea. I loved the questions that the students came up with and their various sorts of questions. I tried this sort of activity with my kindergarteners the 2nd to last week of school last year (when I had nothing else planned as I was finishing assessments). They LOVED it and had very unique and interesting questions: Do teddy bears float or sink? Where do lice come from? etc. It was very fun, memorable, and engagin. I plan on doing the same activity again this year!