Innovation Does Not Require Technology
Throughout this school year we have recognized 16 FISD teachers at school board meetings who have met the challenge to be innovative as they educate our students. It just so happens that every one of these examples have involved technology. As I shared in an earlier blog, innovation is the act or process of introducing a new idea, device or method. Innovation can be teaching a very old concept in a new and engaging way. That is exactly what 1st grade teachers at Floresville South Elementary had in mind when their students entered their classrooms yesterday morning and walked into a crime scene. Their job was to make inferences about what could have happened based on the crime scene evidence.
An inference is an educated guess. We learn about some things by experiencing them first-hand, but we gain other knowledge by inference — the process of inferring things based on what is already known. Making an inference is a challenging yet critical skill all students need to develop. Reading a story to students and trying to get them to explain what they know about the story without actually reading that specific detail can be frustrating for teachers and students alike. Instead, as a result of their crime scene investigation, 1st grade students drew pictures of the evidence and identified things they found like a big footprint, a paw print, a swan with confetti, and an empty starburst box. Students finalized their investigation by drawing a picture of their suspect and provided a brief statement describing the key evidence used to create the drawing. Were the students’ stories in complete sentences? Absolutely not. Were their words all spelled correctly? No, they were not; spelling was creative and not the focus of this assignment. The earlier that children begin to experience reading and writing, the stronger their own reading-writing connection will be.
This innovative approach to teaching inferences is a great example of how FSE teachers are working hard to ensure our students are future ready by allowing them to work collaboratively, creatively and think critically, while making connections between reading and writing. Not only are we developing great readers and writers, but get ready, CSI, FSE is honing detective skills as well!