Moritz's Blog

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

There's a Story, of a lovely,no...anyway

Once again, fishbowl was successful, but I can’t help but feel the discussion was a little flat. Maybe it is because Story is the chapter that I identify with so closely and the discussion didn’t goes as I had hoped. Luckily we had Miguel Guhlin:, Lucie Stanish:, Ben Wilkoff, Dan Maas:, and Lori Soifer: in on the liveblog discussion and that seemed to go well.

I am also starting to have trouble with the lack of control I am feeling in the classes. This unit is completely student driven. As teachers, Anne and I are facilitating and hoping that students are doing what we are asking them to do. Hoping that they are thinking and learning about how we can apply the ideas in AWNM to their lives.

Many of the students are going beyond my expectation, but most seem to be waiting for something…and I don’t know what that something is. Do they need more direction? Are they struggling and are afraid to ask for help? Is everything under control and I am just feeling paranoid?

Monday, January 21, 2008

How DESIGN Transpired and Inspired

What an amazing journey this project has been for my students and I. Friday's fishbowl discussion and liveblog went very, very well, and I cannot help but to feel quite humbled by everyone who is involved. First and foremost, I have been lucky enough to work with Anne Smith for the past ten years and she has truly become my right hand. We have team-taught since the beginning and it is so great that we can work so closely together and accomplish great things for our students. Of course, our fearless leader is Karl Fisch. With his vision and passion, he has helped turn this project into an incredible opportunity not only for our students, but for many people across the world. Finally, my students are awesome. They have been ready and willing to try whatever I seem to throw at them, and they do it with a great curiosity and sense of humor. They have seen me at my best and worst over the last few weeks and they continue to give me the benefit of the doubt, which I am truly grateful for.

Amazing things have been happening in our classroom. On Friday we had Darren Draper, Sharon Peters, Jeff Whipple, and James Folkestad join our fishbowl/liveblog discussion. We also had several teachers from AHS come and observe our discussion, and a few of them jumped into the live fishbowl, as well as the blogging. Students thought it was "cool" to see our guests up on a big screen, compliments of MeBeam. Discussion was quite good too.

I have to keep in mind that I have two very different sets of students in my 3rd and 4th hour classes. One class is generally very chatty, while the other is quite reserved. I hope to encourage both classes to over-prepare next time so that we are not constantly re-hashing what has already been said. But otherwise, I have been thrilled with the progress so far.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Looking at the world through rose (Pink) colored glasses

Our students are off and running with Daniel Pink's book A Whole New Mind and I have to say that so far, things are looking really good.

We did our first fishbowl/liveblog discussion on Friday and I feel like the students did a great job. After debriefing on what they thought of it, there was an sense of accomplishment and lots of suggestions for tweaking the process. I was amazed at the insight that I saw, not only in the live discussion, but looking at the blog discussion afterwards. I have some smart cookies in my classes.

As this unit continues, I am ever-optimistic that the students will learn more from this process of reading, reflecting and writing than the more traditional ways of the past. Granted, I am a little scared. I'm afraid that I won't give them the instruction that they need to be successful. The assignments that we are doing are somewhat obscure, probably because we have never done them before, and none of us really know what they will look like in the end. But hopefully, they will turn out just as I imagine in my Whole New Mind.