I sat down for a bit over the weekend, and began to look at the plan I am laying out for my students up until Christmas Break. I was glad I was doing this because, I began to tweak some of lessons. There are some things that I felt was lacking in my lessons that I had over looked when I was outlining my Project Based Learning units.
One aspect I felt was missing or rather needed strengthened was designing my lessons with no right answer. I want to push my students to see there can be mulitple answers for the same issue. Allowing my students to see and discuss with each other the different ideas for answers they can come up with I feel is a great tool. It’s something that may happen to them in the real world. Divergent thinking is important.
The other aspect I feel that I need to always be cognizant of when I am designing lessons is the fact that 21st century skills need to be everywhere. Some of the most important elements I feel I always need to incorperate are the 4C’s.
The 4C’s are:
- Critical Thinking
Giving gifted students a chance to use some real world elements in the classroom is very important. Many gifted students don’t like to work with others. These elements are are important in lessons, and need to be taught to our gifted children. All 4 elements are important. Spend time teaching the importance of each element before you expect your students to do it effectively.
When reflecting on our lessons, I think you must ask yourself the following questions:
- Did students have the opportunity to collaborate on any part of their project with a person in or out of the classroom?
- Did students have the opportunity to be stretched, and to think critically during the lesson or the unit?
- Did students have the opportunity to communicate their ideas and projects to others in the classroom, on-line, or at another venue?
- Did students have the opportunity to be creative during the lesson or unit?
If you aren’t sure if those are the central elements (next to your content) of your lessons, then I would suggest you also follow the 4C’s yourself. Collaborate with others to make your lessons have depth, creativity, and stretch your students to think critically. By showing your students through example that you also follow the 4C’s will show them as well that is it an impportant aspect they will encounter in the real world.
So, how are your lessons? Are doing the 4C’s in your lessons, or in your lesson designing process?
As always, comments welcome below.