Over the years, I have made a powerful discovery about learning, particularly BOYS’ learning. You see, I have discovered that most boys have an ‘IT’. You know - a ‘something’ that they are into, driven by, passionate about and totally immersed in.
Now at the risk of this sounding extremely sexist, I would like to justify my cause by saying that girls talk about stuff, emotions, events, problems, solutions. Stuff. But boys seem to have an IT. They have to have something they love to do, to be able to talk about it. Girls are happy to talk about almost anything!
In our classroom last week, we had one of the boys bring his collection of rocks in. He is totally INTO rocks. He loves to look at them, describe them and find out all he can about them. It was therefore the perfect time for me to ‘carpe diem’ - seize the day. He and I set up a blog for him (he loves to write) and he started to take photos of the rocks and add details about them. This got the ball (or rock) rolling!
At our class campfire (meeting in a circle), we asked him questions and I began to notice some interest generating inside some other boys in the class. The following day, the iPod was quickly seized by the lads and the photos were quickly snapped, uploaded, downloaded and embedded on the blog. NOT by the original child, but by him and a group of the boys. SNAP! He had made new friends and was suddenly collaborating about the blog, how they could get access to more information about rocks and more.
Well, update as of yesterday, day 5 of the geology craze, and the wiki is revving up, they have found some great books in the library yesterday, set up a table with their growing collection and have now got the dyno-lite (microscope camera) set up for Monday so that they can check out the features of the rocks close-up.
My job now is to foster, nurture, plant and grow this passion in those learners. PHEW! Don’t you love curiosity and passion? The food of learning!