I Took A Design Thinking Risk Today

5th graders share and record their ideas about peak learning, deep learning, and student engagement

5th graders share and record their ideas about peak learning, deep learning, and student engagement

I tried something completely new today, maybe even something that no one has tried before?  Could we train and engage 140 5th graders as ambassadors to their school community to gather input for a school-wide innovation design challenge?  In an hour?

Highland Ranch Elementary School is one of four teams selected to participate in this years Poway USD Innovation Design Challenge. Each team has created their own challenge specific to their site, and are now in the process of engaging their respective user communities to gather input and ideas.  The HRES team, all adults, thought: “why not get our students involved, both as users and members of the design challenge?

5th graders practicing interview and empathetic listening as ambassadors of the innovation design challenge

5th graders practicing interview and empathetic listening as ambassadors of the innovation design challenge

So today we gathered in the multi-purpose room; broke up into big groups; reflected on peak learning; discussed ideas like “engagement”, “deeper learning”, and “big, real-world themes”; generated ideas; practiced asking questions, listening, and recording.

The students will all engage their own parents in the work, and some will be selected to interview parents at the weekly flag raising, present and engage parents at a PTA meeting, and possibly go in teams to interview neighbors in the local park.

How might you engage your students and greater community in building a foundation of deeper learning at your school?

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