It all started with the word “music.” Yorba Linda Middle School 7th grade students were recently given a topic to explore, independently or in groups, and they needed to decide what intrigued them — what they wanted to know more about; this would become their essential question.
Throughout the process, students were given the opportunity to change the direction of their research based on new ideas and interest. To add to the cognitive demand, students were expected to incorporate one of these ideas — power, conflict, change, patterns, relationships, etc. — within their essential question. This question would drive the research and ultimately be answered in a collaborative Google document. With all the research, came careful analysis and strategic organization to bring students to an expert level of understanding.
To be able to show their learning, Bobcats were given the opportunity to create a piece of art using technology. To kick off this project, students needed to determine their “why” — what was their “aha” from their research. Then came the exciting discovery of what is possible in the world of art and technology. Students had the freedom to explore and try new techniques, applications, and mediums. The space then became a hub of creativity.
The students carefully followed the project management process. This was documented to ensure they accomplished what they set out to do. To show off their creations, classroom became a museum and they were able to spend time enjoying and learning from their peers. Students finished the class period by writing notes for specific projects that needed suggestions for improvement and projects that deserved a compliment.
In the end, the whole experience was driven by the students — in the ultimate pursuit of creating self starters and self managers.