Today the students had the opportunity to explore and experiment with science concepts in deep and meaningful ways. In fact, one child at the end of the day commented that he liked the independence of the science lab.
Most children at fifth grade have the self regulation to study in deep, independent, and meaningful ways, but some do not have that kind self regulation. Because of this, sometimes teachers choose an easier path to learning--one that doesn't require as much self regulation and one that is more prescribed. If you choose that route, you have a better chance of keeping everyone on track. But sometimes, we have to push forward and let those who are ready for the deeper study explore in ways that result in truly exciting, memorable learning--the kind that makes you want to go home and continue exploring. Those kinds of deep explorations are messy and often challenge students in ways that bring about strong emotions or challenge as well as good learning too.
I am going to think more about how I can coach those who struggle with these deep learning events and the self regulation required. It's a steep curve for some, but a curve worth working towards.