Learning boxes

This first term of the school year I have been presenting a workshop called Learning Boxes.

The “Learning Boxes” idea comes from a conversation with a friend of mine called María Gonzalez, a great teacher now finishing her PhD. She has participated in a Comenius project with a Scandinavian school. They used boxes with learning stories inside where they could manipulate objects and discover facts. In the project, students would create and exchange boxes.

Soon after this conversation, in a TV3 program about teachers, I saw a great educational experience from a school called “El roure gros” located near Barcelona. They use the scientific approach based on questions, predictions, experiments, investigation, conclusions… and they also use boxes – in each box there is all the material needed to discover a scientific fact, and pupils explain their discoveries on a personal scientific portfolio.

That reminded how ten years ago we used to include learning corners in our classes presenting little boxes with materials such as word games, memory games, etc. and how this learning corneridea had evolved over the last few years.

Not long ago I also learned about the Learning Stories idea being developed in the iTEC project coordinated by the European Schoolnet which is framing and designing the future classroom.

So… I tried to  join up the dots…what if we include learning stories in these learning boxes to train teachers in the use of the tools themselves and activities that can be done with them?

What if teachers could use those learning boxes to introduce PBL and IPBL in our daily sessions?

What if we include competence-based learning in each box?

And that´s how this workshop was born.

But then…I thought that since learning is so modular, I should publish it in separate boxes so that you can choose the learning story that best fits your needs and so we have created a section where we will put them all together, our own little Task-Based Learning space.

I was concerned about how to evaluate it, but my colleague Estrella López  taught me how rubrics can help when assessing tasks and projects, so my next move is to include a Rubric in each box so as to help evaluate all this. I´ve been trying iRubric and I really like it since it offers embeding options.

The next move is now to create the rubrics first and then the box…but I’m going to wait until the new educational reform is published for that one  😉

All this  has been a great learning journey! I hope you enjoy the results.

Let´s get real. Real competences for real life.

Last week I attended and participated in the “I Jornadas de Asesoramiento sobre secciones Bilingües”, held in a series of cities around the Castilla-La Mancha region.

On this occasion the workshop was focused on why and how to introduce Inquiry-Based learning in our lessons and how to include media making in the process as an answer to the real competences that our students will need to acquire in their lives. Here is the presentation (and at the end an interview with the organisers). I hope our non-Spanish speakers reading this get the general idea.

 

This region has a growing bilingual project and this was the first conference organized by the Administration. As they explain here, teacher training is going to be a key element in its success.