Ah Friday. Time to learn, and apparently turn the sass-o-meter to 11. Right from the get go it was full of light-hearted whimsy and heaping spoonfuls of the aforementioned sass. It still boggles my mind that two months ago, we were all complete strangers. Below was the agenda for the day, which we got through and got through really well despite the energy overload of Friday. We didn’t get to work time but we won’t mention that.
First thing we did was a quick debrief on what we thought were some good practices used by the freedom school.
(I missed one, sorry about that…)
As a general note, Andrea, Michael and JoAnn, will post times when they are available this week for any help with anything camp-related, so look for that on Blackboard. A friendly reminder: goals are the big final step. Objectives are the little steps that get you to the goal. Activities are the thing you do to build the steps to get to the big goal. It takes me a few tries to get it too.
Next we discussed the Barton and Yang (2000) reading and our Critical Commentaries. This reading hit home for a lot of us. We felt horribly for Miguel, who was a driven scientific mind but he did not fit the system and the system and as Ceb pointed out, said no to the point they discourage and denied him form even taking science classes. Ryan and Jill agreed on the notion that while there should be increased access for all students outside of the culture of power, the culture of power should also be expanded. Next in the discussion was the solutions that we could employ to help the future Miguel’s we would encounter. One idea was to do an artifact day where the students bring in something that represents their passion and with that knowledge tailor the learning to fit rather than resist their passions. Along those lines we should embrace their culture into the academic world. One of Miguel’s dilemmas was that the formal notion of schooling ran counter to what he identified himself with, so helping students associate both as one and the same is a big step. Lastly we can always use the connections we make, both through Warner and beyond, to come and show that scientists are in fact real people and not just some unattainable goal in a lab coat.
After a short break (where the sass level took a dip, oddly enough) we went right into each group’s APK findings. Some common trends among our varied styles and topics were:
-The campers have a fairly solid knowledge base, so there is not as high of a need to scaffold as we thought
-They always went to be right, which is good, but sometimes can hinder open-ended discourse
-Discussion is a must, they love to verbally share ideas
-Skepticism is aplenty, which means they care
Speaking of the campers, camp is really soon… Which means what seemed so far away has now become just around the corner. The photos and names are on Blackboard, so get familiar with the name-to-face connection. And as Michael and Andrea pinter out, if you are unsure about names and/or pronunciations, ask until you get it right. Which also means get it right. We also got our camp group assignments, which was met with 45 seconds or so of silence. But we’re all one big happy family so of course the silence was followed by some joking about captains and such.
A few things we touched on before our reflections:
-We got the NCATE and Warner lesson plans, the Warner one being at a significantly higher level, and one which we will “suck” at. That’s okay because this is our first one and we’ll only get better at these.
-Objectives, goals and activities are going to change as camp goes on. That’s okay too! We’re gonna (sort of) have time to fix things day to day,
-Consider the culture of low expectation the campers may come from during the school year. In the time we have, we do what we can to reverse that. Through our APK’s we know that the campers are energized and thoughtful and eager and ready to go. Therefore, so do we.
I leave you with this little gem. Hopefully we don’t have this mindset but its still british humor at its finest and its moderately relevant to our class.
Alanna, I choose you as the next bloggerina.