Pauline Roberts teaches literacy and science together in an award winning new approach her students call sciracy. Using this approach, her 5th and 6th graders organize their own field trips and learning projects as they research sustainability in metro Detroit. In this episode of Every Classroom Matters, Pauline describes the power of sciracy and how her school has chosen to use this method throughout the school with a weekly 2 hour course for fifth and sixth graders.
With the sciracy approach, these fifth and sixth graders are playing the role of researcher, consultant, teacher, and learner. Not only are students learning but they are sharing and helping local businesses become more sustainable.
After seeing Pauline's success, the visionary leadership of her school, intent on scaling up best practices, created a course so every student in fifth and sixth grade would have two hours per week learning through sciracy. Impressively, this Science Literacy course (named “Sciracy” by the students — because it rhymes with piracy) is a student led class. Although Pauline says other teachers were nervous at first, they are sold on the merits of the course because curiosity drives the learning.
The best twenty first century schools have a student led learning experiences. If you're looking for best practices, sciracy is a best practice that also meets science and literacy standards.
Teachers were nervous at first because the course is student led. But after they see student engagement and that this is driven by student curiosity, they are sold.Pauline Roberts
5th / 6th Grade Teacher, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Show Notes ECM #43: Blended Learning: Teaching Sustainability and Literacy By Exploring Needs and Wants
This winner at the Microsoft Innovative Educator Global Forum 2012 award shares how she and her co-teacher meshed science and literacy together into the award winning “sciracy” approach. Originally from the United Kingdom, Pauline teaches 5th and 6th grade science in Michigan.
In this episode, Pauline describes the sustainability project which won her the Microsoft award. As part of the project, her students organized their own field trips into the community, with chaperones and business contacts, during the school day.
She describes “Sciracy” as a blend of science and literacy. Using this approach, she and teaching partners gained time usually used in preparing students for testing. During the projects, students worked at the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy, creating flyers for distribution and conducting interviews with business owners.
Add Teacher Pauline Roberts To Your PLN
Pauline will be presenting, “Teaching kids to harness technology to solve global problems” at the upcoming ISTE Conference in Atlanta, Georgia on Sunday, June 29, 2014 at 4:15 pm.
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