One of our requirements at iCreate as a new hire is to attend an iCreate teacher workshop and also observe a classroom in action with SAM Animation. On Monday of last week Rich, Kristi, and I visited the 4th grade classroom of Michelle Scott at the Field School in Weston, MA. We had no idea that we’d be entering a battlefield – several of them actually – resurrected from the Revolutionary War.
This typical 4th grade classroom of 23 students had maybe 3 students sitting, and everyone else was standing, moving about, helping eachother, checking out other groups’ dynamic sets. Cardboard, toys from home, felt, construction paper – you name it – were scattered across the desks. It was chaos to say the least, but there was so much learning happening – in both content and soft skills – that I was gently reminded why we are building iCreate!
Mrs. Scott runs the show as real-world as can be. Each group is comprised of 4-5 students, and each student in a group was tasked with creating a storyboard of their assigned revolutionary war battles. Then, they had to share the storyboards with each other and work together to come up with one storyboard that would define their movie highlighting the battle. And it was evident that was probably the toughest part of the whole project. Computers weren’t even in the picture at this point and already students were challenged, which is what’s exciting. Yes, there was a lot at stake because each group was about to embark on creating a movie and they wanted that movie to be top-notch. So technology certainly had a play in the motivation factor, but the little observational nugget that I took away was that the challenges in working together, dealing with co-creating and being forced to nail down a final plan within the class period was an invaluable learning experience for all the kids. And there was no technology involved!