There are always those moments in a teachers day that you wish you could just bottle up and experience over and over again. Those moments that you feel their passion for learning, for wanting to learn. Those moments where the students are so excited to just "get it" and understand a new concept or idea.
Those moments that they teach us something about ourselves as teachers and learners.
Today was one of those days for me.
I introduced the Safety PBL project to our first graders by sharing the topic and showing them the Safety. Safety. Safety. Smore that I created to be used while researching, learning, and creating during this project.....or anytime.
I wrote about pulling this together on my blog a few days ago....you can read about it here.
As we walked through the Smore, we also visited the shelves in the library where these topics are contained and the online resources and websites about Safety.
We then had a conversation about keywords or words that help us with our research. They immediately made the connection and started using their past knowledge to build on what they already knew about safety. Especially as we went to the search box on each site and thought of all the different keywords we could look under. It was like a game to them....shouting out the words, waiting to see what popped up, and stating proudly....
"We are great researchers! Just like solving a mystery when you don't know if something will be there or not."
They were so excited to see eBooks and databases in MackinVIA, their go-to place online. They love logging into their MackinVIA Backpack and were happy they would be adding to it during their safety research.
As you can see from the note at the top, they came up with lots of ways and topics to research.
At the very end of class, I had them all close their eyes and think about that "driving question" they wanted to know more than anything else. It made me smile to hear them whisper those questions in my ear.....like they were holding a huge secret within them that only they would answer.
We dug deep.....We had fun.....and they took and felt the excitement that true researching brings to you.
I love this so much because one of my main goals for the children is to embrace, enjoy and love learning in any way.....Research being one of the best! If we can hook them when they are 5 and 6 years old, just think what that will bring to their lives and those around them.
We need to encourage, foster, and help them develop passion for learning, for sharing, being creative, and relationships they have with these experiences.
And when we have moments like I had today......Take it all in, capture it, and bottle it up. It is the sweetest thing there is about being a teacher. We get to help grow creators, learners, and people. How lucky are we.