Personalisation and Choice – “Planet Seekers”

Apologies for not keeping this site regularly updated! I am finding that I often sit down around 9pm with great intentions….the next thing I know, it’s midnight and I have been asleep for 3 hours!

Monday afternoons have now become our “Planet Seeker” afternoons in Primary 5/6. Part of the original forward plan for the topic of Space was to find out details about the planets. I decided to take a similar approach to that taken in Cockenzie. This time however I was at an advantage and knew the children before I began to work with them, I therefore made some changes to suit their needs.

Each child chose a planet that interested them, this was an informed decision and choices were made following a study of planets on the internet and in books. They then chose how they wanted to work; individually, with a partner or in groups. Forward plans were then made…again by the children. The children were given five key questions that they had to find the answers to and then chose five more questions to find answers to. They chose for all questions, how they were going to find the answers and how they were going to prove their learning and present it to Mission Control (the rest of the class and teachers).

The children have recently been taught how to create slideshows in ICT so it was interesting that many of them have chosen to use this newly aquired skill to present their information. Others are creating posters, doing a Drama or preparing a talk. Many children have responded to this challenge and are well on the way to being successful.

As before the challenge for me is to ensure that there remains a balance between direct teaching and active, discovery learning. So far however the children have generally been incredibly motivated and slide shows beyond my capabilities are being produced as proof of learning! This project is only a small part of the overall work on Space but it really is encouraging the children to choose topics and ways of learning that suit them.