Friday, 6 September 2013

KidsAKO - amazing student led learning!

Wow - after hours of students determining their workshops, writing detailed plans, testing and adjusting their plans, the day of KidsAKO arrived.  A day of workshops where students taught students - AKO = teaching and learning.  Sadly it came with a freezing gale and torrential rain, which resulted in many of the outdoor workshops being cancelled.  On the positive side, it gave the students an opportunity to be A+ adaptable and live with disappointment, so being A+ accepting.

KidsAKO Smackdown Presentation:  all the workshops available, run mostly by students.
Movie of the day - as prepared by Jennie from Weedons School.

What impressed both Jennie (Teacher of Weedons Kowhai Conversation) and myself, was the adaptability of the students in dealing with both the terrible weather and over or under subscribed workshops.

Students stepped into a very different role.  I saw one of my usually very distracted boys check that all of his workshop members were settled into their Minecraft games and help them with issues before thinking of signing on himself.  The sense of responsibility and creative problem solving was evident when he turned the 'monsters' off on the server so the workshop members didn't keep getting killed!
People came prepared with all the materials and equipment they needed.  One even had a horse and helper ready and organised to come, but is happy to reschedule for better weather.

What blew me away was the reflection at the end of the day.  One of Jennie's girls identified the joy of running a workshop and the need to give the learners choice and an opportunity to follow their interests.  This is a lesson to all teachers - from the lips of a child!
Students who participated in the workshops identified the strengths of their leaders and thanked them for clear instructions, lots of help and exciting activities.
Another thrill was seeing our principal Liz attend a workshop for Minecraft Beginners run by a student.

KidsAKO has been a reminder to never forget how much these students have to teach both us and each other.  We need to let them lead their learning and use their interests as a platform.
I am really getting a clear picture that my job as a teacher is to support students as they make amazing things happen!


  1. It was a fantastic day - the thing that blew me away was how independently organised they were - things I hadn't even mentioned, they had thought of - like at one workshop one of my clever cookies had even thought about her lesson plan - started off with a 'get to know you' activity / icebreaker, then went through her rules - which she had typed up at home, and had a tip sheet for her students to take home at the end of the lesson!

    I loved how adaptable they were - Kowhai Kids learned a new value that day because of their Springston buddies.

    Would love to try the Google doc shared writing idea now...

    1. My kids have talked about the starter activity. It was a really well planned workshop. Well done to her!

  2. I am in awe of you and Miss Lyall! What an amzing collaboration this must have been! I would be keen to set up some face 2 face conversations now that we have UFB. Please let us know if you are all keen!

    1. I am sure we will share at the next Educamp. If you want to chat earlier - just let us know.


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