Maybe I am growing as a teacher and being more aware of the needs of my students or NGSS forces me to allow more student voice into what we are learning/doing in class. Whatever the case may be, I am being challenged in new ways.
As we plan out a unit we have very predictable and logical path we see it going. Starting with an engaging phenomena, students are engaged and begin to ask questions. As their discussion continue and they build on the comments of others it becomes very clear our unit just got turned on its head. Or did it? This year I have allowed student’s conversations and their interest to become the new focus of the unit. (I guess I could just listen and just continue to teach the plan but that’s not right). It has been so great to see their excitement and the connections they are making because they see how the topics are relevant to their every day life.
The problem, I can’t get materials and resources quick enough for them to truly explore the topic. We end up talking about things in theoretical terms rather than students actually creating. While the conversations are amazing and the students are making connections that make me look smarter than I am, I still feel like I am not providing them with the true learning experience.
Am I the only one running into this issue? How are you dealing with students running with the topics?