Self-Selected Inquiry Teams
At this stage in the year, students are beginning to become more independent. With that in mind, students grouped themselves into inquiry teams. We ended up having nine. In their teams, they determined their top 3 Global Goals. We went through a process, starting with goal one, to see which teams would represent the goal. It was easy when there was only one team with the goal. If there were multiple teams interested, students played “Rock, Paper, Scissors”. There was a touching moment of empathy when a team won, but gave over the goal to another team.
One of my favorite problem solving strategies when we start an inquiry is SolveInTime. (We are using an older iteration called SmashboardEdu.) The gamified process allows students to consider a real world problem, brainstorm solutions, and create an original piece to share their learning. For this experience, we added a research component before SolveInTime and we added a one minute presentation slam as a closing. For more, visit the official SolveInTime website or follow the creator, Dee Lanier and SolveInTime, on Twitter.
SmashboardEdu Inquiry Cycle
- Initial Independent Research here
- SolveInTime in Teams here
- One-Minute Presentation Slams here
The inquiry cycle went very smoothly. We follow the inquiry pool structure designed by Trevor MacKenzie and Rebecca Bathurst-Hunt. We are solidly at the Guided Inquiry stage. As a class, we’re all working on the Global Goals, while students and teams are making more and more decisions. Student confidence is high and collaboration and critical thinking skills are strong.
Digi Journal SmashboardEdu Reflections
ZB: “Overall, my Smashboard Edu about Goal 9 experience was a very exciting and new one. Although there are still some things I would like to change. For example, When we did the slam I felt my partner and I should have added more content to our slide. Another thing I would like to improve was to have more research about Goal 9 when we did the cards. Some things I feel like I did good was taking notes about our goal, and working with my partner. During the Smashboard Cards there was some questions that I did not really understand, and had a hard time finding an answer to. For example, on the purple card there was a question where it said, “When does it begin or when does it occur?”. When I had first read this question out-loud my partner and I had no idea. Then, our teacher Mrs.McAlister, brainstormed with us to find a clear answer. Finally, even though I had already researched about Goal 9 before there was still so much I could learn about it.”
EB: “So recently, I did an activity called “Smashboard Edu.” I worked with my Global Goal 15 partner again and this activity is where we write the answers to questions. We had been given an SOS card that is basically a ticket for help. The second card was the problem and the third card where the problem occurs and where it began. The third card was about our solution to the problem and the fourth was share. We had an activity that went to the card share. We were given 15 minutes to complete a google drawing all about solutions. My partner was on an app on an Ipad where she drew pictures of trees representing tree farms and steps showing artificial wood. I typed a solution on lowering the ads of cigarettes and some simple ways to help out. I had done one bonus fact about the amount of money that will be needed to help out the forests. Next, the fifth card and final card was Reflect. We had to reflect on new things we learned in the process. We also had to reflect on challenges that occurred. One challenge that occurred was when we tried to link the picture to our chromebook. It did not work. The final question on the card was what things we would differently in the future. Overall, Smashboard Edu is a very fun and interesting activity because you learn things that you may have not known or more about a topic in the goal that you did want to know more of.”
- Individual Game Design
- Team Game Design
- Build Games
- Demo Games
- Global Goals Carnival
In the past, I’ve implemented a Caine’s Arcade style carnival. With the Global Goals as our year long inquiry, we leveled up and now have a theme for our games. The purpose of their games was to bring awareness to our school community to the Global Goals. To be honest, this allowed for more creativity and purposeful game design.
The game design cycle took about three weeks. First, students sketched their own individual design. The next day, teams compared designs and developed one game. Most games were a combination of ideas. Then, teams created their games, informative signs, and even prizes. After their games were made, we demoed them with a small group of student players. Finally, we held our Global Goals Carnival.
District administration, board members, and families were invited to the carnival. Our students players were our third and fourth grade classes as well as our three Special Friends classes. Each group played for 30 minutes. Students were provided three tickets as they entered and could earn more tickets by performing physical fitness type tasks.
The sixth graders ran their games with enthusiasm. I was especially proud of all the Global Goals content they were able to share through their game designs. They were very intentional about teaching the student players about the goals.
Global Goals Games
- Shoot for the Goals (Soccer Game)
- Ski-Ball and Trash Sort (Toss Ball then Sort Item Inside)
- We Speak for the Trees (Ball Toss)
- Peace Pong (Ping Pong Toss and Memory Game)
- Gender Equality Maze (Inequitable Rules and Discussion)
- Take Action Below Water (Aquarium Plastic Cleaning)
- The Brain Game (Educational Trivia)
- Catch That Duck (Fish for Rubber Duckies in Polluted Water)
- Goals City (Lego City Infrastructure)
Digi Journal Carnival Reflections
AC: “The carnival was really entertaining and educating to the 3rd graders, 4th graders, and special kids. ZB and I we worked very hard for this game and it was nice to see the kids smiling and laughing while they were building the Legos. Our game as called Goal City and the rules were to build a building and when they would be done they have to put it into our city. In our Goal City all the kids were communicating while they were building the Legos. The carnival was very superior and all the games were very scholarly and educating. And all the kids who played the games learned a lot. The kids learned a lot because now they know what problems are going on in our world and how to solve it. When kids were coming to our game ZB and I would explain to them on what to do in our game and what Goal 9 is.
When the carnival was over, ZB and I were happy on what we did because many kids enjoyed our game. ZB and I worked very hard such as we worked hard on the cardboard, the painting, outlining, sketching, and ideas. And the whole class also worked very hard on their games and they all also turned out to be very good because they were all very scholarly, entertaining, and educating.”
AD: “We did our global goals carnival today and the goal I did my goal was #13 climate action. At first my group had no idea on what to do. Then after the first day we all had to come up with our own idea for each person. When I did mine, I originally wanted to make a ball throwing game but then I thought it was pretty lame so I had to come up with a new one. The day after, I came up with a game called “Catch That Duck”. You had to catch a duck using a fishing rod. But then I realized, “How am I supposed to get a fishing rod?” So I said, “Maybe it can work with magnets?” So when the big day came to present our ideas with our group I felt confident that I was going to win and I did. My group also had some pretty good ideas one of them was called “Killer Wave.” But we stuck with mine and started to work right away. On the first day of building our game, we just planned on who was bringing what. Our game consisted of rubber ducks, stick paint, and magnets. When we were done my team was saying it was rigged and that nobody was going to win. On Friday, it was the demo slam and we were going to have people play our game. One of the kids called the game the best and, another kid said it was impossible. When the big day came of presenting our game we did great everyone was at our game. It was a very successful day.”
Animoto video here