Moritz's Blog

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

There's a Story, of a lovely lady...no,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?

48 Comments:

At 8:46 AM, Blogger JSelzer said...

I agree, the design discussion totally owned the story discussion. I don't have an explanation for why though. Also, I think that the lack of work being done is due to procrastinators like me. If we are given a due date that is way in the future, we tend put everything off until the last possible minute. It's hard for us to "pace ourselves" with our work.

 
At 8:46 AM, Blogger matthewg said...

I thought Story was a bit flat, too. I think that, for me, it's because most of my posts are trying to convince people that you can use story anywhere anytime, and less exploring how design affects us and other ways we can use it.

 
At 8:47 AM, Blogger evand said...

Everything is fine. Moritz, you need to chill. Even I am not slacking.

 
At 8:47 AM, Blogger OliviaO said...

It seems that with every discussion someone leads it off topic and they go into a totally different topic, which may be what is leaving you unsatisfied with each discussion in the inner circle.If people can come to the circle prepared and stay on the topic they are supposed to be discussing the circle would be more successful. There are just a few individuals that wont let other put their opinions in because they wont stop talking, no offense. And those individuals tend to lead to conversation way off topic.So just try to help everyone to focus and stay on track. It's not really getting out of control, as a teacher you have most of the control, for now you are just letting us direct. Don't worry about it though, you might just be getting paraniod about that.

 
At 8:48 AM, Blogger emilyh said...

I think that maybe you could help up better apply the six senses to our lives because I don't feel that this book has changed my way of thinking Also I don't feel that I am absorbing the book as much as I could so maybe we could verbally discuss the book more and spend less time blogging because I feel that blogging creates a lot of unfinished questions and has little closure.

 
At 8:49 AM, Blogger AmberG said...

I think that we feel that we are supposed to run the project the way we want to. I actually thought the purpose of this project was to see how us students can run a class the way we want to. I don't think that any of us know what we are supposed to be getting out of this and we are not getting the same things out of this that teachers are so we are not saying what you expect us to.

 
At 8:49 AM, Blogger kennaw said...

I know what you mean. I don't think people realize what they are suppose to get done with this unit until it comes to the last week before the essay is due and it'll hit them hard. Honestly, I think one of them might be me. I really don't want to fess up to this because it's not something I do often. But I read the first 70pages over break and chose not to get ahead. Now, I’m behind on my reading. I have to finish the entire book by tomorrow night and that's two chapters. It doesn't sound like a lot, but I take a while to read and analyze it's going to take a while. I don't even have time to read the whole entire book in two nights because tonight and tomorrow I have danceuntil 9 at night. So, yeah I'm very stressed. I don't feel like I have a hold on things especially because I have no idea what to write my essay on. I don't really get what we're supposed to write about either. I feel like I have not used class time as wisely as I could of everyday either. So, we'll see what happens and I'm going to have to work as hard as I possibly can.

 
At 8:49 AM, Blogger Jennifer said...

I think that we are doing what we feel we need to do in order to accomplish the task of the project. We all learn in different ways, and we are now using those different ways to learn in this unit. I'm sure that at first many of us were unsure of what to do, but I think we understand what we need to do now. However, we may need a little more direction when it comes to the fishbowls, because we do tend to get off topic a bit and it's hard to get back on track. Otherwise though, we should do this project the way we want, because it will affect us more in the long run.

 
At 8:50 AM, Blogger Mikenn@R said...

Personally, I think that it's been easy for me to put this on hold in the back of my mind because you don't really require us to show you anything until March. With everything else required of me for school I feel like I don't have the time to really devote to this book the way I want to. I think for me, I just need to find a way and a time when I can really focus.

 
At 8:50 AM, Blogger Caryn S said...

I thought the discussion was a little flat, too. I really connected with the intro-ch. 3 discussion and in this one I just didn't connect with this one.

I think the student-directed unit is a good idea, but I think the paper has given me the most trouble. I think finding research to support an idea that hasn't really been explored is kind of hard. There aren't really a lot of straight facts about the topics we picked, if that makes sense. For example, you can't really find a study saying that story is more important than symphony. Research is hard to obtain about subjects that aren't black and white subjects.

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger MattN said...

Mrs. Moritz,
I agree that the discussion of Story was rather flat and it kept relating back to the subject of design. I really related to the topic of story like you did, and I realized that many people interpreted this chapter in many different ways. When I realized this I was shocked to see some of the people takes on this chapter. I related more so to my life then the other chapters like many of the discussors in our group. I think that many people also didn't relate at all to this chapter. I am excited to dicuss the chapter on symphony because I have related to this chapter the most so far in this book. : )

 
At 8:51 AM, Blogger kelseyl said...

I think that I personally learn better when I have more direction and more structure. So I do think that we might need a little more direction on what we need to do or what is expected of us. I think that this might help us to have more in depth discussions and to think deeper. I also think that if the presenters of each discussion should have more structure on what they need to do or how they should make the fishbowl better. I personally think that I would be able to go further in my understanding if there was a bit more structure to this unit.

 
At 8:55 AM, Blogger KelsieL said...

Sometimes, I think that we get too caught up in the presentation of the discussion rather than the content. People get so worried about the way their questions sound and how good their answers sound. Just ask the questions! And say what you are thinking, isn't that what this whole thing is about? So I would agree with Evan, that everyone just needs to chill.

 
At 8:56 AM, Blogger mollyd said...

I think this unit is a very self-driven unit. You gave us the "outline" of what to do, but each student is pretty much on their own. I can see how some might be waiting for something because the work is not set out for us step by step. We are each on our own in figuring out what to do. For example all our papers are completley different and we are all doing our PLJ in our own unique ways. So you don't have to worry. We will all figure it out on our own and do our own thing. If we have a problem, it is our responsibility to come to you and clarify it.

I also agree kelseyl and I like more direction and instruction. I am doing fine with this assignment, and I can do it, but I prefer a little more structure.

 
At 8:56 AM, Blogger CatherineD said...

I personally am finding this unit to be a touch hard. Maybe it’s just me and the way I think/work, but this whole project is overwhelming. I would like a little more direction of what should be done by when. Also, I'm finding the PLJ a touch hard because I don't know what to write about. I am also, a touch fuzzy on what is expected specifically overall. Furthermore the wiki paper still confuses me. You knows maybe I am being a total space case.

 
At 9:00 AM, Blogger Kalyn K said...

I feel that this being completely, well almost completely student driven is causing me to slack off a little bit. I feel that having a little more instruction is what I was waiting for. But now that I have my thesis statement written I feel I know what I am suppose to be researching now. Before I kinda didn't get why we were in the computer lab. Now I totally understand what I am doing now.

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger erinp said...

I think the 3 discussions we have had have so far been pretty good. People have been saying that they thought the story discussion was flat, and I don't know if it was just on the blog or the fishbowl too. But I think if you are feeling that it's flat, you should do something about it. Maybe it was because I was part of the fishbowl in story so I'm more biased, but if anyone else thought it was flat they could come in and say something that could have the rest of us thinking. So I think if people are feeling that fishbowls aren't doing so well, that they should take the initiative and do something.

I also agree with what other people are saying, about having a long time to do this unit. I'm not exactly behind on my reading but I'm not done with the book. Same with my PLJ. I think a lot of us won't really get started until we have to, myself included.
But you are doing a good job, I think it's just that we seem to have enough time that we don't feel the need to start or get farther along on it.

 
At 9:02 AM, Blogger catherinec said...

Moritz,
I felt the same way about the Story fishbowl. I had a hard time discussing about story because most of the topics we discussed were kind of shallow puddles of thought and were hard to elaborate on. I think we couldn’t find topics that we could dwell on because stories are mostly personal and it is hard to relate personal stories to metacognition. Seriously, I probably only have one, maybe two, miniature stories about metacognition.

I think the thing that students are waiting for is a connection with the book. I am having trouble finding a connection too because most of the points in the book are related to the business world and I don’t have much experience in that field.

 
At 9:07 AM, Blogger lisal said...

I feel like I’ve used the class time well to keep up with my Personal Learning Journal. I’m a little overwhelmed, however, with my wikified research paper. Doing the assignment on a computer just isn’t my thing. In regards to the live blogging, sometimes I feel like there’s just a bunch of adults looking over my shoulder and expecting me to love this book and come up with a bunch of brilliant comments and responses. I guess I just feel like the teachers are much more excited about this book then I am. Most of the time I have a hard time relating to all this hype about the future. At this point in my life, I’m more worried about my friends and activities then I am about my career. Maybe my attitude is horrible. Maybe I should be worrying about the future, I really don’t know! I feel like AWNM is a very insightful book and I know I can learn from it, but right now I’m a little discouraged.

 
At 9:09 AM, Blogger delaney n said...

You are just paranoid, Mrs. Moritz. I'm not going to lie, many people are slacking and procrastinating including me. But trust us! We will pull through for you and give you a discussion you will be proud of. Olivia, you said how some people won't stop talking. If anyone needs to get a word in, just talk. Say you have something really important to say and no one will care who goes first. Anyway, this is just typical teenage behavior. Since it isn't even February yet, it is difficult for us to see that far in advance. But I believe we will step it up soon. Not to worry.

 
At 9:10 AM, Blogger rrapp said...

I think people are doing OK, it's just hard to really put your nose to the grindstone and get work done when we're in the computer lab all of the time. But I think everyone still gets work done with all the freedom. On a more positive note I do think that letting us do this on our own is a good idea.

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger AlyssaC said...

This is Ashley but I am unable to sign in on blogger so I'm using Alyssa's.
In my opinion story went pretty well. I was discussign and still feel a little intimidated to talk. I realize I need to step it up and put my ideas out there, but I find it hard to join in the conversation when so many ideas are constantly being presented. I felt like the we moved along really well but I would like it if we could slow down a little and leave room for other comments.

 
At 9:12 AM, Blogger jeffreys said...

The story discussion didn't seem near as good to me as design on the blog or in the inner circle.

I agree with Caryn that finding research for something like this is not easy in any way, but otherwise the student-driven unit is going rather well.

Personaly, I don't feel like I need any more direction with this than is already given. To use your words, your just being paranoid.

 
At 9:18 AM, Blogger AlyssaC said...

Truthfully I like our topics; I think they get interesting at some points, and very boring at some parts. But I believe that you are definitely struggling with the lack of control, because I can see some times when you are stressing, it becomes quite noticeable, I must say. But overall don't let your expectations let you down. And don't worry about the kids, because at this point it’s up to them if there going to use their time right or what not. So don't worry...

 
At 9:18 AM, Blogger raelangas said...

I agree that the discussion was flat and I also would have liked to see it go to the next level. I find Daniel Pinks Book interesting but I am having a hard time wrapping my mind around it. My ideas are a little scattered but I think I am starting to gather my thoughts. I just hope that I can get all my thoughts down on my Wiki paper.

 
At 9:26 AM, Blogger hollyb said...

Personally, I think that have too much to do for this project. We have the blog, fishbowl, PLJ, reading and the wiki essay. I'm feeling a tad overwhelmed with it all. So far I'm up to date with everything, but when we start the Wiki page, I'm afraid that I'm going to get behind. The blogs and fishbowls are good, but students that are faster typers then other defiantly have the advantage.

 
At 9:42 AM, Blogger Madisont said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At 9:46 AM, Blogger Tasha P said...

Well I was only a part of the story discussion but on design I was blogging on the laptop. I guess the design discussion was a little more interesting and flowing, but I wasn't really listening to the discussion very much since I was focused on the blogging. I didn't really see a difference between the flows of the two subjects. I think that they're going fine, and that everyone is doing a good job. I don't really see any way that the discussion techniques could be changed because I don't think that they are changing my opinions on the six senses.

 
At 9:47 AM, Blogger Coled said...

I found this discussion to be a bore because everything either kept relating back to design, or was very repetative. There wasn't much detail or depth to the actual chapter as compared to design, and I think that's why the discussion didn't turn out well.

 
At 9:47 AM, Blogger stephanief said...

I agree the story discussion was a little dull. I think how this unit is student directed might work more for some and not as well for others. It depends on whether you are a procrastonator or not. I am having a little trouble with the paper though, because the topic is so wide.

 
At 9:47 AM, Blogger marissas said...

I agree that the story discussion wasn't as good as it could be. I think that we are still getting used to the whole idea of live blogging because we were not a laptop class last semester. I hope that our discussions can keep getting better and more interesting. I also think that on the actual blog, there wasn't much dicussion going on. We stayed on one particular topic almost the entire class period. People should prepare more questions for both the live discussion and the blog.

 
At 9:47 AM, Blogger Madisont said...

I feel a bit overwhelmed with everything- I know I haven't felt the need or pressure to get anything done because its not due for a while- also I am not exactly sure where I want to direct my paper- I haven't really had the time to devote myself to this book and I am worrying because the paper needs to be started pretty soon and I still don't know how I will go about it- plus I am not completely up to date in my PLJ and feel that I could write so much more but then I don't- its just a flat feeling

 
At 9:48 AM, Blogger matta said...

I do not quite know why disscussion was so flat. Maybe it was because the disscusion didn't evolve from one topic to another without the direct introduction of a new topic. Maybe the people presenting didn't have the right kinds of questions prepared, or maybe the people disscussing just hadn't studied the chapter enough to be able to delve into the topic the way you wanted. This is purely speculation, I really do not know why disscution was so flat.

 
At 9:49 AM, Blogger Oliviak said...

Mrs. Moritz to be truthfully honest with you I feel there is no control in this unit. I really feel that we have just been given a book and a laptop and told here go write a paper and we will talk about the book on Friday. I feel that we don't know what we are suppose to be doing everyday. I think we need more instruction and need to have more of a timeline to keep us on track. I feel you have the right to be paranoid.

 
At 9:51 AM, Blogger KiraW said...

I agree with Holly B. I think that we are swamped with a lot of work to do. Even though we have the whole class time to work, I still am a bit behind. Sure it can be distracting in class and I don't always get as much work done as I hope to, but I still am still a bit stressed about getting everything done and on time. I agree that the discussions are weak. We are only touching the surface of so many great ideas. I have been in the inner circle for the past 2 weeks and I feel like even I am not having so much to say about all of the topics. It might be just like you said earlier, a lot of this stuff is just not new information. We have been learning through stories, playing through design and singing in symphonic ways for all of our lives. That's all.

 
At 9:52 AM, Blogger jkeefer said...

I think that I am doing fine with my new environment. A few of the others can not seem to handle the new change without distractions. I feel that the people who have already buckled down and have gotten ahead of the game will do great in the second semester of this class. The people who seem to have distractions will need to focus or they will encounter trouble. By resuming control, it may slow down the people who are currently ahead, even though it may help the others. In my mind, I think of this situation as "the fittest survive". If you can't survive, your not prepared for an honors class.

 
At 9:52 AM, Blogger dermodys said...

I think that the story discussion was pretty flat but as that might be the case some important points were brought up. I didn't get see to much of the blog because I was on the inside so I don't know how that discussion went over but if it was anything like the previous blogger discussions where we got sucked into a specific topic and couldn't get off of that subject I am guessing not to well. As to the whole "freedom" of work and lack of work getting done in class- I am not to worried. I my own case I am not getting to much work in class done but on top of that I have been doing work at home and feel perfectly caught up. So take it easy and relax…NO WORRIES

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger Anna K said...

Mrs. Moritz, I find this unit very interesting but I feel like maybe I need more direction on what I am supposed to be doing. If there was a specific due date for each chapter, it would be easier. for me to become more focused on the unit.

 
At 9:53 AM, Blogger helenp said...

I am doing fine in the class, the only problem is the fischbowls. I want to hear what the discussers have to say and read everyone's comments on the liveblog, but everything goes too fast. There is no time for me to catch what is being said and comment myself. Maybe more of the questions asked should be focused on divulging a deeper meaning from the text and relating it to our lives holistically than giving brand names and examples to back up Pink's already backed up writing. I am a little behind on the plj, but that is because I keep rethinking how to respond.

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger jordans said...

I agree with Moritz. The discussions are disappointing to me and this can’t necessarily be blamed on anyone in particular. I just feel that they only go to the obvious and they linger on unimportant details. I think people are too worried about offending someone or about be challenged that they don’t say anything to jumpstart deeper topics. I feel that the topics we discuss are just texts from the book and the adults are the main ones who ask intriguing questions. Maybe I just expected people to get more personal with the discussions. I do however think that Moritz needs to relax about how the roles have changed and we now have control over what we do and do not do. We’re going to get out of tis only what we put into to it. That way we can do work how we like to and learn the way we prefer to learn.

 
At 9:54 AM, Blogger Dennis K said...

To be completely honest, I like this class, the book we are reading, and the project we are currently working on, but this class is not that structured. I would consider myself a very logical and analytical person, so no rules leads to stress and confusion. I guess the only to develop my "independent" time management skills/ working habits is to actually delve into the subject, so maybe this is exactly what I need. As stated previously, I would classify myself as having a dominant left brain; this might have contributed to the less than normal standards displayed in the story fischbowl. Because I don't readily exercise my sense of story, so most of the topics discussed were semi- alien to me.
The only way to learn effectively is through error; hopefully next Friday’s discussion will be more successful.

 
At 9:55 AM, Blogger rachels said...

I agree that the Story discussion was a little flat. It seemed like the discussion easily got off track, and I had trouble following the blogging. I'm a little wierded out by this unit because of the lack of direction. I'm used to knowing exactly what is expected in projects. Because we have a huge paper due in over a month with no checkpoints and little feedback, I feel overwhelmed. It's hard to sit down and work on it because I know it isn't due for such a long time, and we won't have to show you much progress. I think I have a basic understanding of what the paper should be about, and hopefully I’ll be able to finally finish reading, and get caught up on journaling.

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger HillaryR said...

I really love how his unit is low-stress. Lately, every class I am in has assigned projects and I have been staying up until the wee hours of the morning trying to get these things done. Also the tests have been piling up and I just think my pillar of studiousness would crumble if english was to give due dates as well. Don't be worried about the students keeping up- we are an honors class!! We do the work because we care about our grades. Rest assured, your students are doing their work. :)

 
At 9:56 AM, Blogger shannanp said...

I think that we really aren't going deep into the discussions and what Daniel Pink wants us to think about when reading AWNM. I think that in our discussions we just repeat what is said about a million times,just like in the book, but we seem to think its different. Also, I think that the laptops can be a tad distracting to have out all the time, but they are also helpful when writing our PLJs. I think that the hype to read and to discuss the book was far more better than actually doing it. I also think that when we are discussing the chapters, there is a real disadvantage to people not have finished the book. And also alot of people haven't finished the book, including myself, which makes the thesis really hard to write, but the book really isn't that intruiging. If our discussions are going to be really in depth and not flat, then we should be reading another book.

 
At 10:01 AM, Blogger RayS said...

I too think the discussions are a bit tuned down, they have a lot of repetition and few topics and i am not sure what would help. Every thing that is said is sorta obvious or the same thing Dan said in the book. I sort of like the student directed class because it gives us freedom to do what we need to do. Personally every thing is going fine, I finished the book, and have a thesis statement and a general idea for my paper. I have just started my research and so far so good. However I am a bit behind on my plj but nothing that I can make up in a class or at home.

 
At 10:18 AM, Blogger AustinD said...

The conversation on the live blog seemed to have some good comments, but a reasonably large percentage of posts seemed to argue whether story is related to math or not. Past that road block, the conversation was relativaly developed, but still shallow in depth.
I feel that, since the unit is student-drivin, a lot of people will fall behind cause they feel overwhemed with the amount of work and will not get down to it till the week before it is due. I'm not saying that I'm there (finished the book, little below par with the journal), but it will devistate thoes that procrastinate.

 
At 10:19 AM, Blogger Jacque said...

Well, my opinion probably isn't too much of a surprise to you, but I am not enjoying this unit. I will attempt to explain this with as much brevity as possible. Multiple factors contribute to the transformation of English from my favorite most invigorating class that I anticipated everyday when I awoke to the class that I dread and the homework I am inclined to do last and put less thought and energy into. The main reason for this is my deep and fervent loathing of the book, its redundancy, its overall message, its claims, its premise, etc. The entire book is a cycle of enragement and total boredom to me. I have trouble motivating myself to do any of the work that I usually love to do. I am also struggling with my lack of anything to write about “how the book has affected my learning,” because it absolutely hasn’t. In fact, I would rather beat myself against a wall than let its materialistic values, inane view of life and success, and skewed information affect my thinking. My intense dislike of the book leads me to sit writing horribly negative things for about two hours a day (in and out of class), and this also perturbs me as it causes me to feel exorbitantly pessimistic, cynical, and dejected for the rest of the day. Another reason this unit is difficult for me is the fact that I am an extremely verbal learner (basically my only left-brain characteristic), and this unit has very little verbal emphasis. Finally, I despise computers. Call me old-fashioned, but I feel totally disconnected with my writing and my work when I type. I cannot artfully transform my thoughts into words when staring at a glowing screen. In general, I am definitely struggling. These last weeks have been a “less than pleasant” experience for me, and I’m not looking forward to the next few weeks.

 
At 10:20 AM, Blogger Alexm said...

I think we are doing well. I think through this new method I am still learning the material. I understand that this book could be very helpful in the future. If the discussion seemed flat maybe it was the material in which were dicussing. It might have not been as exciting as design. Some things just aren't as exciting as others. This topic could have been less exciting than design.

 

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