– Ava Williams –
Flipped Learning and project-based learning are significant in our classroom and have really made an impact on my education. I am a student in Mr. Jones’ class at the Richland School of Academic Arts. Project-based learning has allowed me, as well as my other classmates, to do what we love and relate it to the content we are learning for total mastery. The structure of our class allows for a productive time at school while still giving us the ability to learn at home. I have learned and retained more content in Mr. Jones’ classroom than I have in any other.
I have learned more in his class than I have my entire school career.
My passion is art, and project-based learning lets me take my passion and turn it into something that represents the lesson. I sometimes struggle with retaining or comprehending content, but when I make art or drawings about the content, it helps me to understand it. I don’t like taking tests because it doesn’t show what we actually know, but when I develop a project, I enjoy it because I get to express myself and my knowledge of the unit or lesson. For example, I made a pop-up picture book for the unit “Life in the Colonies,” and I used my project to guide my presentation. I knew about what I was presenting. Some of my other classmates have used their interests, such as Fortnite, Minecraft, and sports, to represent the content. Mr. Jones understands that school can be tedious, and testing isn’t always an accurate way for us to show what we know. By having a project-based classroom, we use our interests to really help us understand things. I have learned more in his class than I have my entire school career. I wish all of my other teachers taught like Mr. Jones. I could then engage in my education, doing what I do best in every class.
When we receive our lesson through a Google Doc, it usually includes a video, reading notes, an activity and a Mastery Check. Using our HyperDoc pushes us to have a full understanding of the lesson and activates different parts of our brain, helping us to remember things. Before this year, we just watched videos and took notes, but that didn’t really require me to think, and I went through the motions but didn’t fully understand the content. Now, with each document, we have to go through each step to move on to the next lesson. When we take notes, we draw a picture that represents the lesson, and we write questions. This activity helps me significantly when I have to brainstorm ideas for a project. After we complete the lesson and take a Mastery Check, we have a conversation with Mr. Jones regarding what we just learned. We have to study and know the content before we have a conversation. These conversations have made an impact on me because I really want to show my understanding, so I push myself to learn and retain the information. When I get to talk about the content with someone else and ask questions, I become more familiar with it. It also helps Mr. Jones because he can see exactly how we are doing and gets to answer our questions with us one on one. The HyperDoc lessons have been very beneficial to me; I have learned so much more, and they help me create a better project.
Working on lessons in the individual space, as Mr. Jones calls it, allows us to have a more productive time in class for asking questions and working on projects. There is always something to do at home, like essays or extra research. We also have accountability partners. My accountability partner keeps me on track and makes certain I stay focused. She keeps me accountable for my work, so I can learn at my own pace without falling behind. That’s one thing I love about our class, that I can work at my own pace to really comprehend our lessons.
My peers and I take our class seriously, and we work really hard. I can say with certainty, I know a lot about what we have learned in social studies. Our class also isn’t boring; we still get to talk and joke with Mr. Jones. We also listen to music during class as long as we work efficiently. Mr. Jones’s class is my favorite, and I will honestly miss it when I go to high school next year, but I know he has prepared us well.
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