I remember when I was in 5th grade I hated reviewing for tests. It involved opening up my text book turning to the questions at the end of the chapter and answering them on paper. I’ll be honest and admit that I memorized the answers for a test then promptly forgot all of that information right after I took the test. I made As on the test, but didn’t really learn anything. I was just going through the motion.
Fast forward 23 years, and our schools look so vastly different. Students learn by doing hands-on projects, working in groups, skyping with experts around the world, and going on virtual field trips using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality. They aren’t doing mindless activities where they memorize the information but instead they are actually experiencing and learning.
Our 5th graders needed to prepare and review for their science test on the human body. Instead of reviewing the way I did 23 years ago, we had students jump into a couple of Google Expedition virtual field trips of the human body (circulatory system, nervous system, skeletal system, muscular system) and review by experiencing. We asked students to look at specific objects, asked questions, and reviewed key vocabulary words. Students walked each other through the different systems and I retaught where there were some misconceptions. The students were so engaged, excited, and loved it!
And to think some people say schools’ haven’t changed in 20 years…