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Learning engineering autonomously

learning autonomy Apr 22, 2022

Kelly Surber teaches STEM at Kepner Beacon Middle School. This year, the school started testing a scheduling dynamic called Block Days. These were unusual long stretches of classroom time, blocks of precisely 143 minutes, where students worked on a single area such as Math, Science, Reading, etc. Block days were challenging because students were not used to working on a single topic for that long, and teachers struggled to get steady engagement. But Kelly rapidly found a solution by using the Relational Learning Framework! 

After completing The Relational Learning Launchpad course in record time, she quickly put all her knowledge into practice. She created units of study, designed simple templates for her students, and set up her classroom to allow independent work in three stations: Robotics, Engineering, and 3D Modeling. A few weeks later, she shared with her colleagues how she was “Surviving Block Days” by implementing the six-steps Relational Learning process. In her workshop, students could learn autonomously during Block Days. “I can’t teach three lessons at once, she says, so students need to figure out what to do, and work at their own pace.”   


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Two Step - Dos Pasos