While today was a snow day for our students (2nd one this week), it provided an opportunity to spend some time with a student I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.
This gr. 8 student arrived at school today – unwillingly I imagine. She quietly fired up a laptop, and sat working while my teaching partner, Marc Westra, and I chatted away, occasionally bringing her into the discussion about future learning activities. When she asked for help on her 3D design, part of the City X Project, Marc and I were there to guide her through it. Despite her resignation that, “I suck at computers”, she finished the task with soaring success – a dual extruded design.
This student is a gifted artist. While we were waiting for her design to print, I shared Lisa Dempster’s resource with her on how to transform 2D art into 3D. I’d just discovered it last night on Twitter – thank-you Lisa! Our student asked detailed questions about the process and offered creative ideas on how to bring her own beautiful animal sketches to life in 3D. Problem solving, creativity, communication. She was engaged; we were connected. She left for home, excited to prepare and collect her work to bring in for 3D printing tomorrow. This is a student hoping tomorrow, a Friday, is not a snow day. Me too.
Would this learning have happened on a regular day with a school full of students and social distractions? Maybe, but not as deeply. I see today’s snow day as a gift.