Friday, 30 August 2013

Throwing the idea of subjects out the window

It turned out that I got a lot of twitter support for the idea that this picture represents: saying goodbye to subjects.

Here's what I said:

Now I am not totally against subjects per se.  Hey, I like organization just as much as the next guy.  But my heart was begging my mind to look at things differently.  And I needed to do physically what teachers end up doing in their heads.  It all started with this:

For years now, my middle school team has been divvying up the subjects (and therefore divvying up the BC Prescribed Learning Outcomes) and teaching courses to our grade 6's and 7's.  This led to, I believe, an experience of being out of touch: out of touch with what was going on in other classes, and out of touch with the students themselves.  It was the latter that caused us to do things differently this year.  Going to a more project oriented class is a by-product: a by-product that feels right.

So what did I find:
Well two types of projects emerged as I looked through the PLOs and started combining them: term projects and year-long projects.  Here is what grade 7 began to look like: (excuse the goofy titles)

Classroom Meeting
Reading Plus
Anthology Panthology
Blogging Makes Me Happy
Math for Smarties (Math that doesn't fit anywhere else)

Term: (having a beginning and an end)
The Perfect Classroom
I want an Accent
Job Me
More Ancient than My Teacher
The Novel Novel
The Atrocity Project
They Lie!!!
What are the Chances
My Money Making Scheme
Media: It's more than Youtube
My Man/My Gal

These projects included all grade 7 PLO's except for Science and Art and those were left out for school organizational purposes.  They would have fit into this process swimmingly.

Where to go from here:
Really, the students should be doing this kind of organization themselves.  Valerie Irvine (@valerei) jumped on that right away.  Hoping to collaborate with her to make the PLO's accessible to students.

Then they can organize how they want to tackle them themselves...with support.  

Thanks to all who retweeted.