“History shows us that the people who end up changing the world – the great political, social, scientific, technological, artistic, even sports revolutionaries – are always nuts, until they are right, and then they are geniuses.” – John Eliot
Utopia Posters: Finished Products
Over all, one thing I kept noticing in each group as they were creating their utopian societies was that they each seemed to have an "ah-ha" moment or revelation in which they suddenly realized how complex the differences and options in our society and world are, and then how they could possibly fit everything necessary in it. Through frustration, brainstorms, large and small discussions, and a lot of playing the what-if game each group seemed to finalize their plan, put it into action and then begin to reflect on the bigger task of applying the idea of utopia to today . Students discussed and wrote about whether or not a utopian society could exist today or ever. Overall, the majority kept coming back to the idea that the word utopia comes from a word that means "no place" for a reason, but that doesn't mean that we shouldn't try to create it. (beautiful right?) It was so interesting (and really cool) to hear their conversations about what should be included, what should not, what is most important, what can be taken out, etc. I was continually trying to bring them back to today, our world, THEIR WORLD, and how this idea of creating a Utopia can be applied to our government, society and world. Overall, the project set up the themes of growth, confrontation, and most importantly change. It got the students both talking about and applying these big ideas to then, now, and hopefully the future. This idea of change is a constant, whether being applied to Italy in 1519, America in 2008, or Egypt in 2011; and the ultimate purpose of the utopia project which was getting students talking, working with, thinking about, and applying their ideas and connecting them to today. From the above pictures and recall I think it is safe to say they are well on their way...
Block- Renaissance and Reformation i-movie viewings are in full swing this week, will be posting some to view later in the week.
11th Grade- videos/pictures of Imperialism debates to come
9th- Enlightenment to Revolution reflections. Tomorrow we will be comparing and contrasting the Egyptian Revolution and the American Revolution, cannot wait!
Now on to the fun...using the weird weather as a PBS strategy and motivation! Both block, and 6th period were rewarded with a 10 minute snow ball tag game for focusing and working hard throughout the week. I refereed, and will say that 6th period got way more into it than block, (who just wanted to pose for pictures) haha. Thus why there are plenty pictures of block, and none of 6th period's awesome game (because it was way too entertaining, and being a ref is harder than it looks!). How crazy is all this snow anyways?? This Nebraskan isn't complaining! :o)
and now 6th period on picture day :o) and most of the freshman class! Class of 2014!
and now... Jefferson County Government Day Fieldtrip. 2-14-2011 the American Legion of Jefferson County sponsored a day for students to learn about various aspects of Jefferson County's government. Students heard from several different judges, city commissioners, city planners, and various local government officials, as well as, toured several different government buildings downtown...including the county jail, wowzers! Needless to say we all have plenty of stories! We were jam packed with information, met some very nice, educated, and dedicated Birmingham citizens, had a great lunch, and surely made Tarrant City proud with the representation of our intuitive students!
....and lastly, I am excited to report that i-touches are in full effect! The schoology app has by far been the most beneficial for multiple reasons but mostly by using the discussion feature, formative assessment is highly effective, engaging and quick! The discussion conversations allow for timely feedback and create a conversation between both teacher and student, as well as, student and student! photos and more to come soon...Meeting tomorrow night with parents, 6pm THS media center.
ok, for real.... lastly, if you have not had the time please rent Waiting for Superman. Understanding and involvement are key to creating and maintaining lasting, positive change for our education system.