It seems like it's been a long week. My dog has generally been really good. In fact, the dog has been so much fun that I hardly want to think about school. I have to specifically set aside time in order to get things done. Anyway, I don't feel like writing in the blog. I really don't like that other people - actually anyone - can read my crazy thoughts. I keep a journal for the specific reason that no one else needs to be exposed to my crazy thoughts. I even felt uncomfortable reading other people's blogs in class yesterday. I thought "Oh! That's their internal dialog! Isn't it disrespectful to read it??" However, the presentation was fantastic yesterday. I am still thinking about the role of moderator. I am a thinker and would really appreciate the time to consider the online discussion and then craft a post. In my classroom discussions it's much different. I find that many times we just need to be in "idea generation" mode. I bring up questions that don't have a specific answer or resolution and the class generates far reaching ideas or questions about the topic. I think it would take a lot of scaffolding for them to reach the point of commenting on other's ideas in order to craft a solution that is acceptable to all. Or maybe in online discussions there is no solution. I guess it could be both.
Ok, so the food around the world would also be shared with the school community due to my involvement in Falcon Flash. I would have my video production crew create a 15 minute iMovie featuring not only the group eating food, but also music from the region of the world. This would tie directly into an event I've been involved in planning with the school - Multicultural Festival.
For the service learning aspect my students would decide how to get involved in fighting hunger in their community. With a topic such as hunger, the possibilities would be endless. Feeding the homeless at a local shelter, collecting money and canned food, helping out at Shared Harvest with packaging and delivering food, examining government $ allocation to hunger, writing letters to government leaders, etc. There's so much to do!
I think the students would be involved in the Adventure Learning aspect for many reasons: 1. they chose my food and planned my menu ( i would need to avoid the fear factor type of menu, but since they would need to plan my menu from the selections of local restaurants, I should be ok :) 2. seeing their fellow classmates coming to the restaurants with me and having those students write a reflective piece about their experiences there. 3. having another teacher join us would also get a lot of kids interested
I know I need to think out and plan a lot of the nitty gritty details in order to make this idea effective, efficient and fun, but I'm so excited! I can hardly focus on anything else - I just want to plan my adventure! :)
I am so excited. yesterday in class i had an idea and this morning on my bike i felt like a ray of sunshine was on my head as the idea clarified and became so exciting to me!
Here's the idea: Food and Hunger around the world and locally.
Objectives of learning about food are:
1. Compare and contrast food from around the world.
Coastal areas vs. Inland areas
Coastal area 1 vs. Coastal area 2 etc.
2. Determine the extent of hunger globally
Objectives of the Adventure Learning:
1. Inspire kids to try new foods.
2. Show food connections between the world and twin cities region.
Objectives of Service Learning aspect:
1. Determine extent of hunger locally.
2. Research resources to deal with hunger.
3. Decide effective methods of becoming involved in the fight against hunger.
4. Do something.
Logistically, I would allow the students to decide the adventure learning project. 1. STudents would choose a region. 2. Research food of the region. 3. Find a local restaurant that serves these foods. 4. Decide what I would eat, based on me spending $20.
Monday evening would be my night to go out to the restaurant. I would take the following people: my falcon flash crew to film the event and take digital pictures, choose 2 or 3 kids and 1 parent/teacher to go along with me and they could decide if they wanted to try food or not.
The following day I would be able to share a slideshow of pictures and movie clips of eating the food
Question to consider:
I'm not sure if I'm going to do this when I teach thematically about food as one of the 12 universals of culture or if I should try to do this when I delve into regions of the world.
My first blog. This feels very odd to be posting my thoughts and reflections online.
Anyway, there was a lot to think about from the first day of classes. The main idea I keep coming back to is the constructivist approach to teaching and trying to asses where I might be on a constructivist scale. I know my teaching allows for a lot of student choices in assignments and projects, however, I think many times I limit student ability to choose by creating lists of options. I think options lists can be really helpful for many students to see examples of what type of project is expected of them and it can help lower level students who might not have come up with any project ideas. On the negative side, it may stymy creative potential by making it too easy to choose a topic. I think allowing for more student choice and complete student led units is a goal I will try to work on for next year.