Designing our Design LAB
2015-16: A Year of Learning, Making and Designing Together
Last Week at Design Lab
-In History class, students determining how to find an immigrant to interview and using our 15 Verbs Template for their assignment.
-In Art class, students imagining and developing their own version of the Northern Lights in pastels, and also using our 15 Verbs Template for their assignment.
-In English class, students were analyzing ACT answers to understand the Why of the wrong answer. There was also evidence of comparing/contrasting choices and students had to explain their answers.
-In Geometry, students had to evaluate the circumference of a variety of circles as they learned to interpret using PI.
-There were many more examples of our verbs in action. The more purposeful we are in using these verbs and explicitly teaching them, the better off our students will be.
The Week Ahead
A few reminders:
-Passes: There is no reason to give students passes at the start of 5th period. Students have had 40 minutes of lunch time to use the bathroom. Do not give passes upon their arrival to 5th. I recognize that students have developed these routines over time.
-Lunch: Please remember that it is perfectly fine to invite students to your classroom at lunch. But if you choose to have students with you at lunch, they must stay in your room. We cannot have students wandering in and out of classrooms throughout the lunch period.
-Uniform: It was a very difficult week for uniform last week. I cannot be solely responsible for addressing all out of uniform students. I'm fine with having the tough conversations with students, but unless students are in Art Class, where it's been sub-zero temperatures, there's no reason to be out of uniform in any other classroom. Let's all work together and finish the semester strong.
-Rigorous Lessons and Learning: Please keep teaching all week long. All of our courses are year-long, so there's no reason to be winding down and not teaching this week. I know the semester ends on Friday, but learning must continue through the end of the week.
After Lunch: Please limit passes to only those students who absolutely have to leave class during 5,6, and 7 all week. Whether I announce no passes or not, please keep passes to the absolute minimum.
I'm still going through the data, but we made tremendous growth. I've spent some time with the data this weekend, and I believe we have accurate scores that give us a real and valuable snapshot of where our 9th and 10th graders are right now.
One of the trainers at the Teacher Based Team training a group of us attended last week said that "Data has a shelf life." It's important to use it before it goes bad. I look forward to sharing this data with you and unpacking it to determine our next steps together. Feel free to start analyzing it yourself. I'm happy to share everything I've found so far.
As a reminder, we will have makeup sessions on Monday and Tuesday, and after that the number of students still needing to test will determine our next steps.
Robotics This Week:
Robotics is done for the Semester. There will not be any Robotics Sessions until the new year. We are building the schedule for robotics for next semester. If you have any suggestions, let me know.
Hour of Code
Ms. Yox brought in a programmer from Highland Software to code with our students last week. I watched them engage in creating a website and writing their own code. The programmer who visited us is willing to teach a coding course next semester.
I don't know exactly how we should bring coding into our school. But I know our 15 verbs are embedded in coding, and I know that our students are engaged. Check out the article I shared this week to see how Elon Musk imagines our world in the not-so-distant-future. There's a value for students who learn to code in this changing world. Can you help me think about how we can bring that value in a meaningful and purposeful way to Design Lab?
Staff in the Makerspace: Learning by Doing
When you are scheduled to attend something else, like an IEP or parent meeting, please make sure you have let me know in advance.
Also, please keep in mind that Sean and I are planning our Wednesday's and Thursdays as one meeting held over two days. So missing Wednesday, or Thursday, means you are at half of the Learning by Doing session.
Looking Ahead: How Elon Musk Plans on Reinventing the World (and Mars)
News and Notes:
-December 14-Personal Planning Time
-December 14-We will have two visitors from Pittsburgh visiting. They are designing a new school and are coming to us for a visit.
-December 15-Data Team Meeting(s)
-Eric, Rosemary, Seamus, Ken, and Rob will be out at Day 2 of 2 of the Teacher Based Teams Training. Janet Tribble will be in charge.
-December 16-Learning by Doing (Full Staff in the Makerspace)
-December 17-Staff Holiday Celebration
-January 4th-Full Day-Professional Learning
-January 5th-Personal Planning Time
-January 6th-Data Team Meeting(s)
-January 7th-Learning by Doing (Full Staff in the Makerspace)
-January 11th-Personal Planning Time
-January 12th-Data Team Meeting(s)
-January 13th-Learning by Doing (Full Staff in the Makerspace)
-January 14th-Learning by Doing (Full Staff in the Makerspace)
-January 18th-No School MLK Day
-January 19th-Personal Planning Time
-January 20th-Data Team Meeting(s)
-January 21st-Learning by Doing (Full Staff in the Makerspace)
-January 25th-Personal Planning Time
-January 26th-Data Team Meeting(s)
-January 27th-Learning by Doing (Full Staff in the Makerspace)
-January 28th-Staff Meeting and Staff Celebration