Decision Time

As you will read in our Week in Review below, last week my Disease and Society class had a decision to make. Sofia is our weekly reporter, so I will let her tell you about that, but I would like to take a moment to talk about the broader idea of democracy in the classroom. For the last several years I've done my best to give my students choice in how the class is run. Obviously it isn't something that I can do all the time, but I like to do it whenever possible. I've found that when students realize that they have some control, they automatically become more invested in whatever it is they are deciding. I've given students the power to decide things as small as which video clip we will watch and as large as what unit we will pursue next. For me, it's fun to see what they decide and I think it allows them to feel a bit of the respect that I feel for them as students.

Ok, enough babbling. Here's Sofia:

Last week in Disease and Society was decision time. Why? Well, our 3-D printer (you know, the one who got the media to swarm in), unfortunately has broken down. Although Mr.Kite made desperate attempts to get it fixed, we had to move forward to our next unit. By a class vote between a STD or poverty project, we decided our final unit was going to be on STDs and the true consequence of not being cautious. Our challenge? Create a PSA illustrating a clear message of what one night can truly cost someone. To introduce the project, Mr. Kite used his knowledge of chemical reactions to demonstrate the spread of STDs. Each of us got a vial with clear liquid.. One of us was unknowingly infected. We then mixed our solutions together by going to three different people to illustrate the spread. At the end, we saw who was "infected" when Mr.Kite came around with another solution that made the affected vials purple. Only 3 people were safe. There was pointing of fingers, but there was no exact answer as to who was the first STD carrier. Needless to say, it accomplished its purpose. I am pretty excited about this unit, but let's keep our printer in our prayers.