In my problem solving sessions students must combine different types of information, such as personal experiences and prior knowledge to complete tasks. One of which is the 'Who Dun it' stories where they must extract information from the text. Literal comprehension, involving recognising and remembering facts is easy for the students compared to inferential comprehension which requires them to deduce information that is not explicitly stated in the text (G. Jimenez-Fernandez 2015). The strategies needed to do this is modeled by me then practiced by the students.
In Escape Rooms the game provides an interactive and intuitive gaming experience based on various storylines. Normally players work in teams to find clues and solve puzzles within a time limit and ultimately escape the room. The goal of my lessons is for the students to develop persistence and to learn to problem solve on their own. In life, the students are faced with frustration and challenges that they will need to overcome to have success. The escape room is used to show them that they can use strategies, resources and other people to help to debug the problems that they may face.
The MakerSpace is a learning environment that enables rich possibilities. It allows students to be creative, collaborative, critical thinkers and problem solvers in a safe environment where these things are supported and encouraged. In the MakerSpace the students complete projects, create designs, built on their own ideas, or follow instructions to complete projects and complete stem challenges and task cards. In the MakerSpace the students can take risks and iterate from failures to success.
I deliberately put these activities into the timetable as curriculum activities in their own right without them being part of another curriculum area such as science. For two reasons; one, so I could see the progress the students made and two, the learning needed by other curriculum areas was not a distraction to my observations and reflections.
Jiménez-Fernández, Gracia. (2015). Detective Questions: A Strategy for Improving Inference-Making in Children With Mild Disabilities. Intervention in School and Clinic. 51. 10.1177/1053451215577477.
Maker Media. (2013). Makerspace Playbook School Edition. Retrieved from: https://goo.gl/uEtCUa
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