I’ve been spending way too much time at my computer lately as I have been gathering ideas and information for a website and developing a UbD unit. Much as I hate to admit it, it has been thought provoking and productive. I’m working on a unit to meet 6th grade outcomes for reading (distinguishing fables, fairytales, tall tales, myths and legends from each other) and I find my head swimming with ideas. My goals are to engage everyone in the class and to have the students not only have some choice about the content of the unit but the products as well. I find I am not the only person thinking along these lines. I read a blog that was started last fall by Bill Ferriter that mentioned the same thing.
I have always believed in the student-centered classroom. My ideal classroom would be one in which the student learns from the teacher, the teacher learns from the students, the students learn from each other and the learning extends beyond the classroom in some way (on-line, connected with another school or classroom, etc.) That gives kids a real audience, which is critical for deep and intentional learning.