Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Reflections on Story

It seems that story is always a more challenging sense to discuss with the students. I think one of the reasons is that we ask the kids to stick to Story rather than bring in the other senses and secondly, their definition of story is often limited. I really appreciate our outside guests coming into stir the pot and get the kids thinking. So a BIG thank you to Tim Stahmer, Sharon Peters, and Jim Gates.

Period 2 had a good discussion but I expected a lot more from them. This class tends to be the best at coming into the inner circle and yet so few participants actually came into the conversation. My hope is that they recognize this and remember that the focus of fishbowl is on the conversation not the blogging. The blogging is just an extension of the inner circle which can go in many ways. I don’t know if Story was just that challenging for them, but I feel like they missed out on some key aspects towards Story. On a positive note, I did hear from them that they are starting to see more story in their math and science classes whereas last year, this was a major area of discontent for the “right brainers.” I will be anxious to read their feedback about the fishbowl and areas for improvement. I also didn’t think my inner circle was as prepared as they should have been. Kids didn’t recall what they had signed up for, and what their role was to be. Maybe I need to post the list online versus just keeping it in class.

Period 5 was better in some aspects- there was more movement into the inner circle, but they still lacked the Big Picture behind Story. Also, the conversation on some aspects was inappropriate and disappointing. It became a teaching and learning moment for the student and my self. One thing it makes me think about is how far do you let things go before you step in? Do we need to revisit the purpose behind fishbowling and what are the expectations? Or do you simply remove him/her from the situation so that they understand the responsibility that is handed to them when they fishbowl? These are some things I definitely need to talk to the class about and get their feedback on. I also need to discuss the difference between being passionate about something and being over the top. Like I said before, this was a learning day for me and hopefully the students and I walked away from today with some new knowledge and some good questions to ask of one another.

I guess I have pretty high expectations for these fishbowls always hoping to walk away from the conversation with ideas I have never thought of before. I really did walk away so amazed and proud with our conversation with Daniel Pink, but I think the kids weren’t as prepared for this conversation as they could have been. The students who are leading the discussion need their questions out and ready to go as well as making sure they are quality questions. Two, students need to go between the inner and outer circle. Maybe we need to go back to blogger to make this happen. Three, I need to revisit what is appropriate on the blog. I just want to keep pushing these kids to do their best. I know they can all do more than what they did today.

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