Kim Dawson is a technology and robotics teacher at McKee Elementary School in Oakdale, Pennsylvania.
As a lifelong learner, Kim frequently talks with other educators and attends various professional development opportunities in order to provide the best learning experiences for her students. She strives to provide opportunities for students to use the 4 C’s: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. She looks forward to working with other teachers and gaining new skills during the HP Teaching Fellows program.
Kim on Powerful Learning:
What’s a strategy teachers can use to incorporate powerful learning?
“Use the design process to solve real world problems. For example, students could use their knowledge of building simple machines out of VEX pieces to build a compound machine that could move an animal that is trapped in a hole. Powerful learning happens when students work to solve real world problems. They build habits of mind as they work collaboratively to make a plan, build a prototype, then reflect and refine their designs.”
What’s one student project that demonstrates powerful learning?
“My students love to build with cardboard and other recyclables. After learning just a few cardboard attachment basics they were able to create a cardboard zoo and playground. They were so excited and proud of their work. By using the engineer and design process they worked as a team, made a plan, built a prototype, then reflected and refined their masterpieces.”
What book has influenced your thinking on powerful teaching and learning?
“The Smartest Kids in the World and How They Got That Way by Amanda Ripley suggests kids learn best in a cooperative environment where basics are the priority and students know they have career or college options.”
Learn more about HP Teaching Fellows.