Yesterday when I met my rising fifth graders, I asked each child to share one learning experience in their life that they truly enjoyed. All students shared experiences of deep, satisfying learning. The kinds of learning shared included learning to sail, reading a good book, writing stories, engaging in STEAM projects, and computer-related learning.
Similarly, the projects that students enjoyed most this year were the deep, rich projects they engaged in. No one is saying that they really enjoyed learning lots of facts or taking tests as that's not rich learning and teaching.
As I think of this, I am cognizant of the fact that I want to include these rich learning experiences in each subject area next year. These projects take time and require lots of teaching/student investment, but they are the kinds of projects that stick since these projects are rich, memorable, and real-world. Students get excited about this kind of learning. They talk about it and extend the learning well beyond the school hours. This is the kind of learning we want to reach for in schools everywhere.