The groups had been working so hard over the last couple of weeks I really wanted them to present their work to the class. I sprung the presentations on them without much notice and they took it all in stride. I knew that speaking in front of the class was difficult for them and it would be even more daunting in their second language. So I prepared an easy guide for their short presentation that allowed them to just fill in the spaces with details pertaining to their community. They did great!
The city went first. After which the class got up to view and discuss all the things the city included and how it compared to other communities. My favorite things, besides the adorable buildings, were the cardboard skate park and the giant hotel.
The rural group, of course, had a simpler set up but the details they include were great. Their little farm animals were so cute! They were my favorite along with the trees and the boat that they managed to stand up on their own. This was a great topic during reflection as well.
The suburb group had the most things going on in their community, which led to an interesting discussion on teamwork during reflection later. They were clever enough to use the crayon box for a street light and I LOVED their marker box bus and bus stop.
Reflection is something I am working hard to figure out this year. I am having difficulty figuring out how to incorporate reflection in different ways with my students. This go round I went with the easiest way. Writing down what was easy, hard, what you did well, and where can you improve.
They had to lay out all of their things, from planning to the finished product. They talked about the materials they used, which worked better, which didn’t work well, how they could do it differently. They talked about teamwork, especially the suburb group who had difficulties with two students wanting to always add “imagine” things to the community, like slides from the tops of houses, tape bridges between buildings, and wild animals. I really appreciated the way they were able to vent their frustrations about this without being mean or getting too upset that it affected the final product. Reflection allowed them to say ‘next time, as the other members of the group, we will be put our foot down when they make inappropriate additions.’
As they reflected with each other, I walked around and asked more detailed and higher thinking questions. They amazed me once again with their observations and insight. The questions that seemed to trigger the most conversation were “How did you figure out how to make this?” and “If I asked you to do the same thing next week, what would you change? What would you keep the same?”
They did a great job with this first project. Little do they know, they set the bar pretty high for their work from now on. HA. HA. Poor things.