Friday, January 29, 2016
We're in the news again, this time for our first step in understanding the myriad systems that comprise our more or less beloved city, Ann Arbor. Click on the link below and scroll all the way down to the bottom to read about our latest adventures and see some smiling SK faces in our additional classroom.
Friday, January 22, 2016
Our view is that place-based education essentially means that we should not conceive learning as an event that occurs only at school. Here's how that looked for the 7-8s in the first three weeks of 2016.
We went to the Detroit Institute of Arts to view their outstanding 30 Americans exhibit.
We toured Ann Arbor with Mary Morgan, leader of Civ City, looking for systems (formal and informal, public and private). The kids filled up a butcher block sheet of paper with about three dozen civic systems. These will form the basis of the third round of Exhibitions.
We went to Community High School to quiz faculty and students, including SK alumni, on the transition from middle school to high school.
In PE, we went to the Ann Arbor Ice Cube to skate and to Buhr Park to sled.
The Summers-Knoll bus has always been viewed as an additional classroom. We are giving that room plenty of love and exercise these days, but that's nothing out of the ordinary. More to come.
Friday, January 15, 2016
Nik wrote a little account of Gabe's first SK Exhibition.
Gabe's Exhibition was about student-athletes. His goal was to determine how they view their identity as a “student athlete.” For example, do they see themselves as students first or athletes first? Gabe was very sure about the matter at hand and it was something that he cares deeply about. He did good research along the way. For a first Exhibition he did very well.
He made a presentation with graphs and charts about student-athletes and their daily routine. He also made it clear that being a student athlete was regarded as an extracurricular activity and that it can conflict with work.
This is a chart from Gabe's presentation about whether the people to whom he sent out his questionnaire consider themselves athletes or students first.
I haven't heard anything bad yet about Gabe’s Exhibition, and I don't think I will anytime soon.
Below is the electronic version of the Big Chart, tracking our homeroom plans for the semester. The brightly colored whiteboard version is up in the classroom, right at the top of the stairs, as a helpful reminder to pick up the pace whenever the days get slow, not that they do.
This plan includes five projects, three Exhibitions, six read-alouds, and sixteen other sundry items.
Bear in mind that, with the exception of the very first row, none of the work in the kids' specials classes is included--that's Latin, Math, Science, Art, Music, and either French or Mandarin (we call it 'Frandarinch').
|Science Projects||conduct||complete & exhibit||state fair||--||--||--|
|Science Exhibitions||schedule; prep||conduct||--||--||--||--|
|Polis Projects||Greek poleis||original poleis||--||--||--||--|
|Innovation & Systems Books||begin reading||finish reading||--||optionals||optionals||--|
|Lit Publication||revise fall prompts||4-6 prompts||4-6 prompts||big paper||final prompts||revise & publish|
|Athletics & PE||winter sports||tournament?||quidditch & track||bicycle week||mile weeks & meet||field day|
|Student Government||new goals||pursue||HHF week||new goals||pursue||--|
|High School 101||shadow days||lotteries||--||advice||advice||graduate|
|Our Whole Lives||gender||relationships||media||behavior||dangers||communication|
|Work Crews||second rotation||second rotation||second rotation||third rotation||third rotation||third rotation|
|Place out of Time||--||assign||engage||complete||--||--|
|Assessment||portfolios||prepare goals||conferences||--||complete portfolios||reflect|
|Maladies or Untwine||--||--||--||--||read||finish|
Emma wrote some notes about Lee’s Exhibition.
Lee’s Exhibition was on Class Identity. He sent out an online survey so people from other grades could fill it out. He has made a giant chart about how we think both about our own and the other classes. For example, some people said gardening as Chris’s homeroom's identity, BUT Chris’s class self-identified with a variety of things and NONE of them were gardening. I enjoyed his Exhibition, especially when he showed us how to use Google Docs to make visual charts out of raw data.
Now I will show you how Lee organized his data, with images to be your picture guide.
Let's say that this is your data that you have collected.
Now highlight the data, and then go to 'Insert' and then 'Chart'.
Once you get there, you'll see some different options for charts, like 'Pie' or 'Bars'.
Pick the chart you like best and press 'Insert'.
Friday, January 8, 2016
Ada wrote some notes on Marcellin's first SK Exhibition.
This was Marcellin’s Exhibition. For his project, he dissected and compared the organs of a mammal (a sheep) and a fish (mackerel). He looked at the sheep lung and heart, and the mackerel’s gills, heart, and intestines. Lisa (the science teacher) found the specimens for him, and he dissected them with her help. He had pictures and video of the dissection.
For his activity, he printed out blank diagrams of a sheep's heart/lungs and the entire organ system of a fish and had us label them.
He had video of the sheep dissection, and showed us the part where he used a pump and a plastic tube to inflate the lungs, which was very cool.
His presentation was well put together and displayed. Good job, Marcellin!
This is the powerpoint he presented: http://tinyurl.com/ze6u83m
He showed this video of a sheep lung inflating: http://tinyurl.com/zhwua7j
He had us label these diagrams for his activity: http://tinyurl.com/qzhyr48
I started off my Exhibition by bringing up a screen on the projector with all my research on dragons. I talked about dragons, and how they are portrayed around the world.
Eastern dragons are typically kind, and control the water. They have long, serpentine bodies, and often hold a magical flaming pearl, as in Bhutan's flag, which hangs in our classroom. Western dragons are almost always unkind, live in dry, desert like areas, and breathe fire. (Check out the Welsh flag we have too.) I also shared my research on German, Welsh, and Chinese dragons.
As an activity, I had everyone do a test, which asked what do you know about welsh, German and Chinese dragons, and what do you think a dragon is like. I then made them draw their dragon on the back of the paper. I used the tests, going over each one, and telling them what they got correct, what was incorrect, what was cool about each of their own dragons, and going over the answers that were incorrect.
For a physical project alongside the rest of the Exhibition, I made an amazing stuffed dragon.