I enjoy the exploration part of learning, but it can truly be trying to the patient of a teacher who likes to be in control. Allowing a class full of fourth graders the freedom to explore (within a framework) on their own is a brave venture indeed.
One student wants to to the same test to all 12 mineral specimens before moving on to the next test. Another would rather do all the tests to a single mineral specimen before moving on the next mineral. And the third kid just wants to be silly. The teacher must be prepared in this type of activity to give space while at the same time regulating. Like so many things in life, this requires balance.
It's hard to believe there are this many balls to juggle in a lesson about rocks and minerals. I suppose this career of mine is both a balancing and a juggling act.
And to think, I almost joined the circus instead.