4 years, 7 months ago Heather KleinerParticipant
The North Louisiana STEM Alliance collaborated with the Central Oklahoma Regional STEM Alliance and the Tulsa Oklahoma Regional STEM Alliance for a Self Organized Learning Experience (SOLE) on November 3, 2016. Sci-Port staff (Heather Kleiner, Steven Nicksic), the Caddo Parish Educator (Kim Solice) and the Bossier Parish Educator (Charlene Cooper) went to North Caddo Elementary/Middle School to host the Hour of SOLE. There were 4 classes of third grade students split into two separate hour-long sessions, for a total of 79 students served and 3-4 teachers. Ms. Kimberley Warren of North Caddo was the Point of Contact.
The topic was centered on energy since this is an issue that affects both states, and was aligned with Grade-Level Expectations. The session began with introduction of the topic (5 min), and students formed into groups of 5-6 each. Students took on roles of Researcher, Writer, Presenter, and Spelling/Reading Assistant.
Groups of students used one device (iPad provided by the school) and conducted internet searches. They were tasked with finding at least 1-2 pieces of evidence for the big question (30 minutes). Students presented their findings orally during the last 15-20 minutes of class. Based on teachers’ and staff observations, students practiced many 21st Century Learning Skills, including collaboration (working together in a group to address a topic), critical thinking (considering the sources of information they were looking up; deciding whether to use that information for their presentation), and communication (with each other in the group, in front of their teachers and peers during the presentation). Furthermore, students incorporated other subjects in their practice, as they encountered history of energy use, environmental impact, job opportunities, and social responsibility.
The Hour of SOLE exercise also demonstrated that rather than providing content materials to students, students are empowered with the ability to access information on their own, with guidance as needed. Students were very curious about the information they gained, and wanted to know more, not just about energy but other topics as well. Students wrote down suggestions for future Hour of SOLE exercises, saying they would like to try it again. The Hour of SOLE exercise is an activity that can be mentored/guided by properly trained volunteers. This aspect of Hour of SOLE lends itself to the possibility that volunteers in the community can help teachers and students at a broader level. Such an activity, as long as the topics are carefully considered and aligned with Grade-Level Expectations, may be good to try at a larger scale with the North Louisiana STEM Alliance.
Students wrote down recommendations for future Hour of SOLE exercises, including:
• Parts of the earth
• Research on money
• Prehistorical animals
• Animals, including cats, kittens and sharks
• Countries in the world
• Types of energy
• Fossil fuels
• Solar energy
• Chicken eggs
Of these suggestions, the topic of animals was the most popular.4 years, 7 months ago Heather KleinerParticipant
Photo of the event:
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