The Armuchee area demonstrated that children and teachers there have a lot of SOLE as a young group of learners and their teacher, Jaki Day, were recently recognized as SOLE (Self Organized Learning Environment) winners. The Armuchee group was honored by TED (Technology, Entertainment and Design) and The Huffington Post as a grand-prize winner of the SOLE Challenge, a contest held last February. The contest challenged educators and parents to conduct a Self-Organized Learning Environment (SOLE) toolkit in their own schools, homes, or after school programs and share their observations with TED in the form of a 500-1000 word blog post.
The entry by Armuchee Elementary was one of only three selected for the honor from the United States and Canada. “The idea is to present students with a big question; something that can’t be answered with a yes or no or even a short answer; something that may not even have one correct answer, but may require further theory and thinking, “stated Jaki Day, gifted education teacher at Armuchee Elementary. “The students are then asked to discover their answers and even create more questions for further searching.” A SOLE occurs when teachers, parents or anyone, encourages children to work as a community to answer big questions, create more big questions and continue to search for answers.
The fifth-grade students at Armuchee Elementary took this challenge and began calling their efforts SOLE Searching. The group started the process with the following question, ¿Por qué no todas las personas en todo el mundo hablan el mismo idioma? (Translated: Why don’t all people around the World speak the same language?) Mrs. Day presented the question in another language in an effort to be as true to the original experiment as possible, the first challenge was to translate. Then students began discovering the many possible answers to the question. The students presented their ideas in class with answers that ranged from the Bible and the Tower of Babble to the function of dialect and human migration. “The project was far more advanced research and thinking than is found in the regular fifth-grade curriculum,” Day added. “If the students came across ideas and words they didn’t know they had to figure it out using more searching for answers.”
The students involved in the project are now sixth graders at Armuchee Middle School. Mrs. Day’s blog post and video can be found at: http://tedsole.tumblr.com/
TED is a nonprofit devoted to ideas worth spreading that brings together the worlds of technology, entertainment and design. "The importance of conducting the SOLE Challenge was to get a global community of involved and gather valuable feedback from SOLE educators to help us shape the future of learning." - Lara Stein, Director, TEDx & TED Prize
Armuchee teacher Jaki Day and the other winners from selected from Massachusetts and Canada will be flown to New Orleans this fall to attend TEDYouth 2013 "The Spark" which will be held on Saturday, November 16th, 2013. This day-long event gathers more than 20 scientists, designers, technologists, explorers, artists, and performers to share short lessons on what they do best.
Photo: Left to Right sitting in front row:
Sabrina Hood, Becky Fries, Connor Haney, Joey Sarge, Carson Powell, Hailey Sanchez, Brindley Richey, Cameron Espy, Madison Broome, Haven Alexander.
Kneeling- Left to Right:
Hamilton Ratliff, Aden Edwards, Reign Swanson, Alex Mutchler, Andrew Suits.
Back Row Standing Left to Right:
MacKenzie Reece, Kasey Barnett, Audrey Young, Claire Sentell, Maddie Judd, Gracie Williams, Abby Murphy, Mattison Hawkins, Caroline Abney, Whitney Sanford, Mrs. Jaki Day, Madysen Hurley, Levi Hammond, Rush Patel, Gabe Helms, Shiloh St. Claire.
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