Sunday, February 22, 2015

Day 22: The Buzz of Learning #28daysofwriting

Something strange on the playground....I wonder...
At our place, we are working on strengthening our collaborative opportunities and providing our students with learning experiences that ignite their sense of wonder, curiosity and inquiry.  So today, to kick off our whole school inquiry, something strange happened.  

Watching the Video of the 'incident' in the hall

Initially, all the students met in the hall, where they watched a video one of the staff had made during the summer break, of the school from above (one of our teacher's has access to a Drone, which made filming from above a breeze).  Cue eery music, and shots of the school from what can only be from a Unidentified Flying Object, with a final scene of the ground (implying a crash landing).   At this point, students are curious (some a bit worried) and teachers are asking students what they think might have happened.  

More music, this time from the schools PA system, and then class by class, students made their way outside to 'investigate' - nb: But not until the all clear that everything was safe and secure! 

The following pictures tell the story.  What will be interesting is how this pans out in the classrooms as teachers and students explore the various clues.

An old suitcase, and various bags with poppies and scrolls....

Students observe the 'investigators' at the scene of the 'landing'

The 'investigators' explore the scene for clues 

Where did the suitcase come from?
One observant student notices where the branch came from!! NB NO branch was harmed in the making of the 'incident' as it was broken off the tree several days ago during a storm.  Promise!
What clues can we see?  Why are there poppies? What is the colour on the ground from?  

Each class had a bag with a scroll and a poppy?  Why?  All these questions...

It is interesting that this morning I was participating in a #BFC630NZ 15 minute spark chat on twitter, and the topic was about taking risks.  I have to say, that to do something like this across the whole of the school is a bit of a risk.  It is not the kind of learning activity that will appeal to everyone in our community, and I expect some will be a little bit unhappy.  It is the possibility of the things that can go pear shape in an activity like this that makes teachers and principals/administrators reluctant to do things out of the box.  

In situations where the risk taking could lead to some angst, I guess the important things to remember is why you are doing what you are doing and to mitigate any potential fall out in the best way you can.  In our case, the pay off to have our students buzzing about learning and jumping with joy to come to school tomorrow to explore 'what next' is the pay off.  

As the head leader, I do believe it is my responsibility, with the team, to weigh up the pros and cons and shoulder the potential risks, because at the end of the day I am the one that sits in the big swively chair, and I need to be a role model for us all.  It is my job to create the conditions for which risk taking is fostered and to encourage a GROWTH mindset in our teachers and our students.  

Today, if you could see the faces of our students, even the ones who were a bit anxious, then you would see that they were excited about learning and that is the most precious of things and a risk worth taking.  

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