"A Swisstastic Journey of Me and My Students"

Friday, May 8, 2015

S.O.L.E. in the 5th graders

I decided to explore the idea of S.O.L.E. (Self Organized Learning Environments) with my 5th graders this year.  I have incorporated it into  my 6th grade Media time for two years now but thought "Why not start it earlier" so that when 5th graders ventured into 6th grade they will have more experience with the process.  For those of you not familiar with S.O.L.E. the way it works is follows:

1.)  I present the students with a "non-googleable" question.  One that they may have a strong opinion on but that they can't find a definite Yes or No answer to on Google.  I share the question with them I will do in such a way that pulls them into the question and makes them want to explore it more.

2.)  They will then form their groups.  My only expectations are

  • No more than 4 in a group
  • You can't work alone
  • You must listen to everyone's ideas
  • You must WORK HARD
  • If someone asks to join your group and you don't have 4 people you must let them join
  • Finally,  you MUST support your opinion with RESEARCH
3.)  The structure of the S.O.L.E. lessons are as such:
  • 5 minutes- Intro. the question
  • 20 minutes- Get into groups and conduct the research and create the desired project that you will use to show your research (many choose Google Slides, some do posters, some just talk) this process is organic so I don't want to give too much direction on what they have to create
  • 10 minutes- Sharing/Presenting (each group gets no more than 3 minutes to share their research)  
  • REMEMBER I DO NOT TELL THEM HOW THEY HAVE TO SHARE...I ONLY TELL THEM THEY HAVE TO SHARE (many will use Google Drive but some will create posters)
The goal of S.O.L.E is to have the complete in one 50 minute class session

S.O.L.E. #1 :  Should we have year round schooling?
Here is some of their work:

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