Best Idea Ever: Owning Knowledge
My best idea ever has been allowing my students to conduct research on questions we cannot answer in class. I teach at the Baltimore Talent Development High School in Baltimore Maryland. For the past three years, I have allowed my 10th graders to vote for a student researcher every Monday. They love it and so do I!
Every Monday, a new student is voted as the class researcher. They can earn one service-learning hour per day for their services to our class. Talk about owning your knowledge! They report out the next day or by the end of the week. Sometimes I use the information as bonus questions on a test or quiz.
This instructional strategy has been instrumental in getting my students involved in community events, planning fundraisers, and other service-learning projects. I also have found it to be helpful with students who otherwise would be disinterested in the class. They seem to love the fact they can be a leader in the classroom. My high school assessments scores have increase dramatically as well. Students seem so eager to learn American Government and World History in my class now!
I would encourage all teachers to use something like this in their classrooms.