Join us on our journey.
Identify the Problem
We started with the essential question, “What are some issues young people face today?”. We gathered around our chart paper and two student leaders lead the brainstorming session. We talked about trust, privacy, and maturity as the topics got deeper and deeper. I have to be honest, I was surprised at the level of knowledge, empathy, and self-awareness the group had.
During Station Rotation, we revisited the topics and discussed issues that students were drawn to. At the end of each 20 minute session, students wrote down 3 topics on index cards they were interested in diving into deeper. From there, students were grouped by interest. The topics included immigration, face to face bullying, cyberbullying, racism, gaming and too much internet, making wrong choices, depression, self-harm, and anxiety.
One of our favorite problem solving structures is #SmashboardEdu. It is a gamified process for solving problems. Over the course of two class periods, students identify the problem, research, solve, share, and reflect. Shout out to Ed Tech Team leader, @DeeLanier, for his fabulous bank of resources here. We used this slide deck to guide our sessions. With the use of cards, a timer, and a student reflection sheet, students were guided through the problem solving process. The culmination was a gallery walk with groups sharing their digital creations and solutions with the class.
The amount of engagement and collaboration was high during the sessions. Because the topics were student driven, their discussions became personal and reflective. With the use of the cards, discussions stayed on topic. The timer kept the pace moving and the reflection sheet provided accountability. The protocol for creating calls for 15 minutes. We did 15 minutes the first day then allow 10 minutes the second day for final touches and inserting their creations onto this collaborative slide deck.
After our initial exposure to social awareness concerns, students were introduced to our bigger project. Students will continue to research a concern and give a 10 minute seminar to our 5th and 6th grade classes focusing on solutions. Students were given the opportunity to stick with the topic they have or change the topic. The majority of students kept their current topic, with a handful changing topics. New topics include homelessness and students with disabilities.
I’m so excited to see where their projects take them. The Social Awareness Seminar will be EdCamp style and will include a hands-on activity. Groups will be able to write a proposal for supplies for their activity. As part of the research process, groups will be asked to interview a professional in the field or a person that has personal experience with the concern. If you are able to be a resource, or know of a someone that would be willing to be interviewed, please let me know. We are working on learning and collaborating with others outside our four walls.
Thank you so much for joining us on our social awareness journey.
#MuchLove . . . Marilyn ❤