Classroom Outlook by Andrea Graham

Even though it’s only been 3 weeks, I feel like I have learned so much.  One idea  that has really stuck with me has been that of a progressive classroom.  Progressivism is one of the four main Philosophy’s of Education.  It focuses on actively engaging the student through student lead learning and applying it in real world scenarios.  This is something that can be put into place in today’s classrooms!  I love the idea of students getting to add input of what they’d like to learn and then being able to get hands on with their own ideas.  I also recognize that being able to bring our community into the classroom is something that is integral to moving forward and helping students become great citizens.

By asking students what they want to learn it helps to put them in the drivers seat.  Some kids really enjoy science.  There are many educational groups that provide science labs for classrooms.  In one class I was able to visit they got to study the life cycle of a crawdad.  During this unit the students got to observe the crawdads and hold them if they wished.  They also got to learn about their biology and what they ate.

Another class I got to assist with really wanted to do a science experiment that included an explosion, so I got creative and was able to come up with a foam “explosion” for them! (See photo of students with safety goggles)

Another way I can lead my class to be progressive is by asking what type of community projects they’d like to be involved in.  These could include cleaning up a park, making valentines for residents of long-term health facility, organizing a clothing drive or helping in a local community garden.  I also plan to structure my classroom in a way that promotes group learning.  Instead of placing desks in a traditional setting I’d like to group them together to encourage students to work with another, especially for brainstorming.

I feel if a student can see the work that they have put forth and the impact they have made that it will greatly increase their self-worth.

Foam Experiment

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