Friday, June 25, 2010

FUNdamentals of learning

While wrapping things up for the 2009-2010 school year I came across the projects files from the “Money Scavenger Hunt” activity conducted by the spring Economics class. I recalled how activities that are FUN can also provide simple avenues for instruction, and allow for students to break from the norm and be themselves.

This activity coincided with our money and banking unit and was a simple one period activity where students could visit individuals of their own choosing within the school building. Students were put together into teams of three with each team receiving a digital camera. They were then given a checklist of the different currency denominations utilized in U.S. currency. After receiveing their instructions and materials they were then dispersed to inquire as to whether or not individuals they came into contact with had in their possession a specific currency piece. If so, the teams were to take a picture of two team members, the person they met, and the currency.

After they had acquired all the photos from the checklist they were to create a VoiceThread utilizing the pictures they had take. This was the instructional aspect of the task. I had modeled the creation of a VoiceThread earlier in the year with a project of my own, but this was the first time for many of these students to utilize this technology. What transpired was fantastic. Students, who were normally shy, reserved, and distant suddenly became outgoing, sociable, and engaging. There was a laughter and electricity surrounding the teams that had not been there at any other point during the year. We were able to view all the VoiceThreads the following day in class, and the mood from the previous day continued. What a refreshing simple activity.

I was challenged however with comments directed to the content acquisition of such an activity and here is where the FUN from FUNdamentals comes from. While this assignment may have done little to introduce new ECONOMICS content, I consider it a huge success in developing technological and group skills. Furthermore for the students involved it was FUN! Isn’t that what learning is all about? Enjoying the experiences of education and allowing for students to have a pleasant learning experience.

Please view the following two projects and share YOUR thoughts.

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