Sunday, March 4, 2018

What if?

“The power of the teacher comes not from the information she shares but from the opportunities she creates for the students to learn how to learn, solve problems, and apply learning in meaningful ways.” -Katie Martin

This past week I had the opportunity to sit down with my principal Matt Arend @matthew_arend to plan an opportunity for my students that would challenge them to wonder, brainstorm, and create while colliding all four subject areas together.  Providing the students with an opportunity to apply their learning and to preview new learning was our focus. There were no barriers between principal and classroom teacher when we were “aligning learning experiences to authentic tasks.” I am not sure that I have ever sat down with a principal during my career to collaborate on upcoming lessons. I was pushed beyond what I thought I could achieve because he took the time to sit down and plan. I value the expertise and guidance he was able to bring to the table and ultimately to our classroom.

During Camp Wonderopolis, my fifth graders rotated through wonder stations that called for them to read an article from and brainstorm ways to solve a related problem or task. The next step was to create. The students worked in teams to approach the task, and the final step was to reflect on the process. They had the opportunity to articulate the reasons for their creations and describe all the details. Students were exposed to new knowledge to preview upcoming topics and previously learned material in ways that ignited new wonder.

Our classroom is full of wonder 100% of the time. The intentional learning experience like this one was created to give my students the chance to apply skills from all subject areas and combine them with wonder. I think it is safe to say we successfully “ignited passion in their learning.”

As I have been reading Learner Centered Innovation by Katie Martin, I have felt a drive toward “creating the conditions that inspire learners to continue to wonder and figure out how to learn and solve problems and seek more questions.”

I want to change the ways my students learn and offer experiences that allow us to be lifelong learners together. I look forward to giving my students more opportunities that empower my students.

“What if I begin to create the change that I wish to see in my class?”


#IMMOOC Four:Week 1
Learner Centered Innovation by Katie Martin


  1. Hi Lorie,
    This is so wonderful. You make me want to go back to fifth grade. I appreciate that you reached out to your principal for help and created something truly authentic and meaningful. I train horses and don't work in a classroom. Authenticity is so important in my job, but I find that it is absent in the careers of so many. Your teaching is filling your students with curiosity, and that will carry them so far. Bravo!

  2. Thank you, Sarah. Your words mean a lot and I appreciate your feedback. I feel very blessed to work in an environment where students and teachers are valued and heard! I only hope that my students leave more curious than when they arrived!


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