Thursday, January 29, 2015

Debating: Redefined

Working across 8 different buildings, I have the opportunity to collaborate with several teachers across the district. One teacher in particular that I have been working with +Paul Norwich has just recently taken over the Accelerated Learning Club at Heritage. I sat down with +Paul Norwich a few weeks ago and we got to brainstorming on a fun STEM/STEAMY take on AL Club. Since Paul is a Lit teacher, he felt passionately about teaching the students how to critically examine books and provide expert feedback to authentic audience. As we were talking, the SAMR model got thrown around on how we could move this club 'above the line' into Modification/Redefinition. Our goals were as followed...
Through Siskel + Ebert Style Debates of Books vs. Movies
Last week, +Paul Norwich gathered the club together for their first meeting. In this meeting, they discussed what debating through Siskel + Ebert clips. In addition, they discussed how they would learn to debate and how those debates can be show to an audience.
After they had the background knowledge on what debating was, we decided to teach them about the SAMR model and then have them come up with ideas on how to 'redefine' debating.
Who says SAMR is just for teachers?
This week, we met with the students again. However, this time we had a focus on the SAMR model. I walked the students through a lesson on "What is SAMR and why is it important?" We had conversations on SAMR and walked the students through a SAMR card sorting activity. After the card sorting activity, we discussed how we can 'Redefine Debates.'
Here are the examples that the students came up with:



The goal of the gifted and accelerated program is to push and support each of the students' skills outside of the classroom.

If I do say so myself, I am extremely impressed with these 6th/7th/8th grade answers on redefining debates! They were so an engaging, enthusiastic and hardworking group. I am eager to see what their end project becomes and to continue the conversation on SAMR.