NARRAGANSETT–In Judy Grisevich’s class students have been researching frogs, toads, bats, owls, and polar animals. For each study, students research using the Independent Investigation Model (IIM) and show what they have learned in a way that interests them—choosing from a tic-tac-toe menu of choices.
“The students love the independence of choosing projects that interest them,” said Carol Batchelder, an enrichment teacher at Narragansett Elementary.
Some of the choices include making a poster, taking a survey, or writing a story. Still, there was one choice that everyone wanted to try: Creating an origami animal.
“Not only did everyone want to try it,” Batchelder said, “but they learn academic concepts about fractions, symmetry, and angles.”
One student, Tate Costa, arrived to class with a handful of origami animals and began learning about them at home and bringing in new ones he had made each day to school.
“He was so proud,” Batchelder said. “During the bat study he came in with more bats each day. He made a bat house which he had his grandfather made. It was really amazing. This is the kind of response we can get from students when they are given the opportunity to find their talents, strengths, and interests—and when they’re young, that’s the best time to spark their curiosity for life-long learning.”
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