Matt Scully, Director of Technology and English teacher at Providence Day School in North Carolina, had a “fail” last year. But he turned it around to one of the best learning experiences his students had ever had.
“I’ve always liked the idea of a project-based learning classroom, a learning studio environment, but I’ve struggled with how to make it work,” he said. His Powerful Learning Practice experience a few years ago provided him with the tools to help “pull it all together.”
But when he began a unit on Romeo and Juliet, it didn’t go quite according to plan.
“I wanted the students to discuss true love-where we find it,” he said. “They turned it around and asked, ‘what is true love?’ and I had no answer.”
So he turned the students loose, telling them to figure it out. They invited speakers to class, created a wiki to enable community members to comment, and researched. The wiki included contributions from everyone from the biology teacher to the head of food service.
“Once the students had the information, they had to decide if Romeo and Juliet met the criteria for true love,” he said.
Matt, an NAIS Teacher of the Future, asked the students to create blog posts and videos, explaining their research.
The wiki is definitely worth a visit. You’ll learn all you need to know about true love!
Susan Carter Morgan
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