Innovation Day is one of those projects I wish I had imagined, but instead that honor goes to many corporations before me (Google FedEx Day), in fact, I cannot even take credit for bringing it to a school setting, other teachers I follow on Twitter have already done it. And yet this will be the first one for me, for my students, and I am more than thrilled. The idea is simple and can be adapted to any setting.
On May 9th, my students get to work on whatever they choose. The requirements are simple; they must learn something, they must produce something, and it has to be done in one day. All year, I ask my students what they would like to learn about and although I have been able to incorporate many of those items into my teaching, there are some I have not gotten to – Irish Castles, Big Ben, and more about animals are some examples. Here is their chance. The preparation has been minimal, students had to fill out this sheet (which is created by Josh Stumpenhorst and minimally adapted by me) and they need to think about their product. In class we have been discussing various ideas and students have sought me out to discuss process. That’s it.
My job this day will be to document the learning through video and pictures, and also to be of assistance if needed. The students are supplying most of the materials, and are doing all of the work. Ideas being floated around are varied such as researching snowflake patters, building a t-rex model, or creating a paper zoo – whatever they can imagine and build. And me? Well as my students reminded me on Friday; we don’t really need you Mrs. Ripp. Ad what a glorious thing that is to hear.