Want to know what Leon County Virtual students and teachers learned during our Tree-to-Tree adventures today? For us, it was more than just fun… We learned life lessons!!
The idea behind the trip was to get students out and interacting with one another. We chose to do the tree to tree adventure because no one had prior knowledge about the systems of climbing/ziplining/etc. It would be new information to all students, and we wanted to discuss how we process new information.
We compared the introductory tree climbing/ziplining lesson to an online lesson that students would encounter with all new information. We listened to the new information, watched a demonstration, learned new vocabulary words, and then had to demonstrate what we learned in a mini-lesson before we were released into the trees to do it on our own. We discussed with our students our abilities to learn new information and interact with new ideas and concepts and the reasoning behind lesson modules which require students to demonstrate what they have learned. Whether it is in a math course, an English course or an elective such as creative photography, our online classes require students to demonstrate their learning. We made many comparisons based on our online classes and the preliminary lessons.
We discussed facing our fears… some students were not able to complete the course. They ended up getting scared and having to come down from the trees. Our students cheered them on and even applauded their bravery for even trying it out. We noted how we responded to other people’s challenges and struggles and made sure to note that everyone was positive. We talked about trying new things and encouraging others.
We discussed going at your own pace… some teachers and students completed the course quickly while others took longer to complete. One student related it back to his online classes and said that’s why he’s in online classes because it takes him more time to complete the work, and that even though he meets his deadlines each week, he can work for longer periods of time on assignments at home.
We related a lot of the course to life lessons and discussed looking down from the very top… gaining a new perspective – that it’s important to gain a new perspective at times in order to see the bigger picture. We discussed ‘waiting between the trees’… that sometimes life makes you wait between things and instead of being miserable you might as well sing! (We sang together while we waited for others to complete the course so we could move to the next tree.)
And the final thing that we learned… is that you never let go of your life line! The little cord that holds you up when you fall. That can be related to many different things, we allowed students to make their own internal interpretation of what that might mean to them.
As teachers, we discussed Domain 1, DQ2 and DQ3:
Identifying critical information (not letting go of the life line) organizing students to interact with new knowledge (our groups were purposeful here) Processing new information (being able to demonstrate so quickly after learning it) Reflecting on learning (after-course discussion and reflection on what we learned) Organizing students to practice and deepen knowledge (intentional groups at the zip line)
Then we created this list together after we discussed the metaphors and the purpose of completing the course.
The top ten life lessons that we learned today:
10. Always listen.
9. It’s ok to be scared. We all are scared at some point.
8. Do not let others influence your decision making. Be your own thinker.
7. The important thing is to keep moving forward.
6. When feeling overwhelmed, tackle one small task at a time.
5. Encouraging others is important and should be done often.
4. Sometimes we must wait to travel from one tree to the next. While you wait, you might as well sing!
3. We are never alone- support systems exist all around us.
2. It’s always a good idea to get a new perspective!
1. NEVER let go of your life line.