The many unforeseen branches of Adventure Time

Rockets launched today – with the most unexpected astronauts on board!

Travis, who has had absolutely no idea of what he is interested in, until a spark ignited last week, buckles up. His uninvited co-pilot, Leigh, jumps onboard with his maths skills just after Travis fires up – learning about conversions between pounds and kilograms. The two are using a calculator, reading numbers that go beyond any that they have seen before and are totally engrossed. I could be talking to Leigh about what he started last week, or the week before that, but I leave him, eager to listen in and hear what he is thinking. I am blown away.

Travis working out what pounds are.

Adventure Time has not been what I expected. Well, actually, maybe I had no clear expectations. But I did think that children would decide on what they wanted to explore and stick to that topic. Some have. Some certainly haven’t.

Georgia has changed her mind too. She’s brimming with excitement. She wants to design a “four star bus”. She thinks that she will only get the design done this year and the manufacturing will come later in her life. She heads off  to the bus office to ask (the extremely obliging bus manager) to accompany her to properly assess what the buses look like now. She comes back with heaps of photos and videos. Next week she will start her designing.

Jack has asked for a note book. He wants to start catching his bubbles. He disappears with his partner and they reappear some time later. Jack is extremely proud of what he has written. Jem, his partner, has caught bubbles in his own catcher, in a completely different way.

Jack's unedited, self initiated writing.

Jack’s unedited, self initiated writing.

Hayley and Georgie are still making meditation capsules. They are loving the fine-motor engagement that covering their plastic tubs in plasticine brings them. The other children are asking if they may buy the completed products. I’m not sure – should they be allowed to?

I reflect every week, wondering if I’ve guided the children enough. Have they learnt? Every week I am sure of one thing – and one thing only – the skills that these children are using and developing are ones that I could never have foreseen. I couldn’t have allocated the time, across the disciplines, to encompass acquisition of more skills in any way.

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About Jina Belnick

I am a full time learner - tumbling head first into education and joining my learners on the amazing adventures that we encounter daily at our PYP school in Melbourne, Australia.I am currently working in learning support, feeling the waters and seeing how teachers and learners are best supported, I am a listener and a leader, an inquirer and a follower. I'm loving the ride!
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