Friday, April 28, 2017

Week 30 -- Choose your own adventure

This week has been a whirlwind of collaboration. On Monday, we began working on an all-class choose-your-own-adventure story. We began by composing the first portion together as a whole-group activity, projecting the story on the big class TV. We took turns offering ideas for plot points and dialogue, finding our way to the first big branching point. We continued on and wrote the first parts of each branch as a group. At that point, we had four stories to continue, so we broke into smaller groups. Those groups continued autonomously, each coming up with their own subsequent branching points and splitting into smaller and smaller groups as the stories progressed. Eventually, everyone will be writing endings individually (and contributing to other storylines as they develop). It’s all being recorded in a crazy shared Google document. It's been a delight to see how the kids have taken the stories in radically different directions. You can sneak a peek of it here, with the caveat that it has not been completed or edited yet.

Thursday was a day that was particularly full of excitement, as we had two dramatic arrivals in our classroom. First of all, sturdy new tables arrived to replace the rickety ones that we had been working with. The class reacted passionately against them. (They sometimes fear change.) Eventually, an elite tiger team of go-getters took it upon themselves to start cleaning the tables off and getting them integrated into our space. Then, at the very end of the day, the very first sets of professionally printed cards from our Into the Biome game project arrived. They look great, which was a powerful motivator for the other three groups to get theirs completed and ordered as well. (Everyone is getting very close!)
Rachel works with the combined 5/6 grades every Thursday for library and technology. Here, they are discussing an article on the appropriation and alteration of Michelle Obama's image for a mural

An assortment of other things filled in the rest of the week, including a visit from Violet and Abe (complete with age appropriate read alouds), some background on how caves form, and a decidedly odd writing prompt about a unicorn head mask. Responses varied, as you would imagine.
A pick-up game of soccer with the 1/2s. 

In Math group, we spent Monday and part of Tuesday going through A Parable of Polygons, which is a fascinating interactive blog post written by Vi Hart and Nicky Case that creates a model society that values diversity, yet harbors a small bit of inherent bias (sound familiar?). By reading through and interacting with it, you start to see some interesting patterns emerging. It’s a thought-provoking post for young and old, and I heartily recommend exploring it on your own. We also read another chapter of The Number Devil, and devoted a couple of days to Singapore work time.

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