This week was quite an eventful one for the Get Real! Science cohort. We needed to turn in our final innovative unit paper on last Friday, a pretty sizable document. Mine was about 150 pages, including the appendix. It represents an amalgamation of much of the work we put in the course, Implementing Innovation in Science Education. From considering the successes and failures of our mini-unit paper through evaluating the feedback we received. Then we developed big ideas, goals, objectives, and assessments when planning our innovative unit, informing the activities developed for the classroom, and then implementation. Analyzing the implementation of the unit, student learning, and the unit overall was all that was left and thank goodness that it is over with!
Besides that, on Monday was our GRS Expo where we shared our story as a cohort through a collaborative speech supplemented with picture slides. Despite the anxiety among the cohort members prior to the event, we all did a great job with presenting our story and giving each other shout-outs. After that, we showed off our exhibits to our guests that came to see us. My exhibit was focused on exploring learning through modeling and revision. I had my guests draw a model of what is inside an arm with each guest revising each other’s models. It was a cool collaborative experience that showed the different ways that we envision what our insides look. There were also cool moments like when we compared my uncle’s drawing with others. My uncle is a doctor and has a stronger background knowledge of human anatomy than my other guests to my exhibit, and had a whole bunch of detail with many labels. This helped to reinforce how the differences in our prior knowledge affect how we perceive our world.
For the rest of the week, I went on a trip with 58 School to the Adirondacks for exploring nature through hiking and creative writing. The students and I hiked up 3 miles to reach the top of Mt. Goodnow. We also had the opportunity to take a college lesson from a professor from SUNY Environment Science and Forestry. The goal was to create a writing piece that helps to evoke a sense of place based on the surrounding forest.
The experience was really awesome as this was most of the students’ first time out in nature to this extent. Also, I defeated a group of students in a rap battle during our campfire circle, because my bars hit so hard.
And on Friday, I went to East High School for their staff conference because I thankfully got a job offer! I enjoyed the restorative practice of talking circles that opened my perceptions of the staff already at East and how they were dealing with the whole situation. We also co-constructed goals aligned with the mission at East, which we shared through a gallery walk. Through this work we got to think about what we want to put into the new East and what we hope that will do for the students, teachers, administrators, and local community. It is a very exciting time and I’m very hopeful for the opportunity for great work that can be done!