I always look forward to those occasions in a unit of inquiry that you know are going to yield great formative assessment evidence of students thinking. Today was one of those days in grade 2.
During our unit (“peoples needs and wants determines how a city grows and develops”) we have spent a decent amount of time tuning in to the concept of interconnectedness through the context of people in cities. Most students had idetified the systems within a city that serve to connect people and maintain our way of life. Today we wanted to see how many connections between the systems the students could make. Most students wrote down the systems they had learned about on small squares of coloured paper. Next they attempted to analyse and find relationships between the systems. It was interesting to note that a number of students were still not able to think conceptually and identify the different systems (great formative feedback). For example, instead of writing transport they reverted back to more concrete examples by listing the different kinds of transport.
Wondering around the room I was privy to some great conversations and heated discussions as to whether different peoples ideas were really authentic connections – very critical! And, obviously being 7 and 8 years old there is still much to learn about open-mindededness when working in groups.
Instead of doing a regular gallery walk at the end of the session we asked the students to find two new connections from the other mind maps and add it to their own. This encouraged the students to view other peoples work with a more critical eye. In the following slide show you can see a few examples of students “uncovering” the systems and then in today’s activity, connecting the different systems.