Authentic learning – making it high stakes

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Tonight is my class’ film night!! They have just finished making their films using skills they have developed from their English film study of “Cool Runnings” as well as their recent Geography topic, “Humans & the Environment”. They have also just finished making Science films and will be sharing these too. Our school has a Middle School approach whereby, middle school classes, apart from their choice subjects, have two key teachers for their core learning areas. This means we can develop consistent teaching approaches, discuss student/class concerns and adapt approaches accordingly, all of which has many benefits for our students. Back to tonight …

Some details about tonight:
1. Parents/caregivers are invited
2. The night is run by students
3. It is a fundraiser, raising money for a charity of the students’ own choice (Make a Wish Foundation).
4. We have a “red carpet” effect, an intermission, popcorn, drinks (water in wine glasses with slices of lemon!)ushers, announcers, fundraisers and technicians.
5. Other student work examples will be showcased around the room.

Our rationale for this film night:
1. Making learning meaningful and high stakes will move students from compliance to commitment. (It did!)
2. Using a collaborative learning approach enhances all students’ learning outcomes.
3.Differentiating aspects of the task (modality of the “film”) catered for all students’ previous experience with ICT, giving them “permission” to create a film using the modality of their choice.(Common criteria applied)
4. Students learn a variety of skills beyond the “content” of a particular subject area.

So … wish us luck! The premier of Pill/Rizz’ inaugural film night is on tonight! Am I nervous? Yes! Am I confident in the students’ abilities and commitment? Yes! Am I nervous? Yes! 🙂

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About Kate Pill

I am a Secondary School teacher who is passionate about developing students' ability to answer the "who, what, when, why, how, what if and what next" questions over the course of their learning. A "mature starter" (read as - late!) to the teaching game, I am still developing my IT street smarts. This blog will chart my own journey through the metacognition landscape as I facilitate my students' understanding of not only WHAT they are learning but HOW they are learning it. Wish me luck!

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