A group of students entered the classroom and found multiple heart cutouts scattered upon each classroom desk. Someone noted, “It must have rained hearts in here over the weekend!” The children were challenged to create something from the hearts, using all the sizes and colors placed on their particular desk. Once the creations were completed, the writing and sharing commenced.
An activity like this brings out the clever, unique, and fun side of learning for students. Being able to have choice in novel ways creates ownership of the work and the results. Learners authentically engage themselves because they have the protection to create without the fear of failing—there are no right or wrong answers.
It is our goal to design meaningful and engaging work for learners everyday. We concentrate more on the WHO rather than the WHAT. We specifically think about the students for whom this work is intended by identifying their roles, responsibilities, and unique abilities or challenges. Likewise, our students are also able to make decisions regarding some part of the learning experience while providing a variety of skills, styles, and unique approaches to their learning, their interests, and their work. In the words of one learner, this combination definitely makes for “lovely learning and HEARTy creations!” Indeed! 🙂