My overall experience with my Independent Learning project was great. I had fun making all the little art projects when I had the extra time. During this, I learned that if I sit down and make put some time aside, I can get things done. I also learned that the time it takes me to make a project is much longer for an actual classroom. For example, the scarecrow project took my first graders longer than 30 minutes to create and that was with me already providing them with the sticks glued together and the pieces drawn out. All they had to do was cut them out and glue them on the sticks. It was interesting to see how as a student wanting to be a teacher I didn’t have accurate time management. I had assumed that the cutting process would be much easier for them but I didn’t take into consideration that they aren’t exposed to using scissors all the time like when I was younger.
I feel like because I chose an easy project and I like doing crafty things, it wasn’t hard for me to get motivated or once I started it wasn’t hard to get going and finishing the hours I needed to do for the week. Sometimes though, I would think about having the whole week and wait until the last minute to do it and realize I would have zero motivation by the end of the week to get it done. The only challenges I faced were when I had a busy week with work and school that I just wanted to not do anything in the afternoon. Like I said, the other challenge would be waiting until the last minute to do the projects.
I think the best part of my project was that I had the chance to be a kid again and re-create some of my favorite crafts as well having the ability to use them for my future students. I also liked that I could teach the popsicle stick scarecrow to a group of first graders and they absolutely loved it! My project can be incorporated in my classroom; it will make it easier for me to get class projects done without having to look them up or think of one last minute. These are also fun to hang up around the classroom or on a bulletin board.
In terms of having my students do an independent project of their own I think it would be a great idea. I think I would leave it open to them like it was for us. I think that this project helps know our strengths, weaknesses, what we need to improve on, as well as what we learned overall. We learn what things went wrong and what things went well along with what could we do differently in the future.