How Elementary Students Can Grow Through Collaboration and Peer Feedback

Christy Morris is a 2nd grade teacher at Manor Hill Elementary in Liberty, Missouri.

We recently completed our first PLTW Launch module. Our students were completely engaged in learning about how temperature can change matter and set about designing an insulator to keep their popsicles from melting. We focused on the design process and how inventors and engineers constantly explore, develop, evaluate, and redesign their products to make them better. We also began discussing collaboration and feedback, and how to give and take constructive criticism to make your ideas even better.

This idea of the design process and feedback has carried over into every part of our learning day. In writing, students are revising and editing their own work and then discussing it with a partner to make it even better. In reading, students are practicing reading fluently and setting reflective goals of how they can improve. Recently our students shared their Native American presentations with our 4th grade buddies, who gave them insightful feedback and encouragement.

I've been impressed with how PLTW allowed our students to think outside the box and take their learning deeper than memorizing words from a textbook. I also love how the research and problem-solving strategies they are learning carry over into other parts of our day. I can't wait to do our next module.

PLTW’s blog is intended to serve as a forum for ideas and perspectives from across our network. The opinions expressed are those of this guest author.