Teams and Stuff

"Iterate." "Revise" "Do it again." Things that I constantly tell my students. Guess it is my turn to take a bit of my own advice. To bring you up to speed, last year I had the opportunity to write a course in public health for high school students. The result was Disease and Society. A course created from scratch and piloted last spring. In retrospect, the first go around was pretty successful. Students created excellent projects that were presented around the school and city, we all had a good time, and I think they may have even learned something. With the coming of the fall semester, we enter into Disease and Society 2.0. I've had some time to think about what I would like to do differently this time around and hope to be making some changes as we go. I'm sure that as we move through the semester there will be more posts reflecting on shifts and tweaks, but for now I would like to turn the page over to our first installment of the week in review.

This week Aniyah Matthews and Maya Gouw take a few minutes to tell use about their experience during the first week of the class.

Aniyah Begins:

Disease and Society has been a lot a fun, and the school year just started. We have learned many things so far. For instance we have learned what PBL  (project based learning) is and how it is different from ordinary classes. I think the most beneficial thing we have learned so far is how to “correctly” create a project. We learned that there is more to a project than just  putting a whole bunch of things together, there is a well thought out  process. We discussed what is means to work in a group and what it is necessary for the group to be successful as a whole and not just individuals. We talked about the good and bad qualities of a team and or group member. As of August 16, 2013 we are creating  projects based on what the effects of today’s issues have on public health. We have also created Trello accounts and blog site that are very beneficial to us. Disease and society will ,in my opinion, be the best class of all. I can’t wait to see what’s in store next.

Maya Concludes:

On Monday, Disease and Society sat in for a presentation given by various teachers and officials, illustrating the effects of Hurricane Katrina on New Orleans.

On Tuesday, we wrote posts in our blogs about the worst groups we’ve been in and how we could improve ourselves for this year.

On Wednesday, the class took on the Marshmallow Challenge, with extra time and tape. “This is probably the first time every group has had a standing product at some point in time,” Mr. Kite remarked. Thomas and co. won, figuratively blowing raspberries at everyone else.

On Thursday, each student made 12 Clock Buddies, one for each hour of the day. We partnered up to research and discuss PBL before sharing out with the whole class.

On Friday, we held a brief discussion about gun control in relation to public health, sparking controversy around the classroom to inspire students for their first project of the year.

So, for those of you out there reading this post, we spent our first week working on the foundations of successful PBL work. How will you be working to build the culture of your classroom?