Monday, March 30, 2015

Project With My Students -- First Step

Last week I shared in a blog post that I would be completing a 4th quarter project myself alongside my Lights Academy students. I want them to see me as a co-learner and someone who continues to need to learn and grow just like they do. I also hope to gain insights as a project creator that will help me better guide Academy participants in the future.

I am sharing the steps I am taking to complete this project in this blog, along with any insights I gain into the process. Feel free to glean an ideas from what we do in Lights Academy that would be helpful for you in your classroom and school.

The driving question, or the question which motivates all inquiry for this project is phrased as, "What would it look like if _______________?" Obviously, each student fills in the blank for themselves. In this project the student does not have a say in how this question is phrased, but they can approach this project with nearly any interest or academic discipline that comes to mind.

As some of you know, I am a huge baseball fan, so much so that I also enjoy researching the history of baseball as a member of the Society For American Baseball Research (SABR). Therefore, my driving research question will be "What would it look like if the myth that baseball was invented in Cooperstown, NY, had never been believed?"

Here is a link to my current planning document. Please note that this document is a work in progress. I have Lights Academy reviewing my planning document and providing feedback.

I will share more about my project as I progress. For those of you that are interested, here are the basic project requirements. Below this is the expectations for the planning document that will drive my inquiry:


    •    Your task is to provide deep answer to the question of “What Would It Look Life If……?” You are to fill in the section after "If" in the question. Your project should include:
    •    Two interviews — transcripts provided
    •    A minimum of 10 auxiliary questions must be asked and answered
    •    One book read, or a significant portion of a book — with the summary of the book and how it applied to the answer to your question shared in the final submission
    •    Choice of creation of final project for an authentic audience (website, document, presentation, video, combination of these, etc.)
    •    Documentation for sources must be used (MLA format)
    •    Be sure to identify who is your authentic audience — target this specifically. Your final work needs to be intentionally shared with a specific authentic audience
    •    Other requirements for your final submission include providing several specific examples to support your answer and incorporating ideas from your interviews and book in your answer and submission,
    •    FINAL DUE DATE is Monday, May 18th
    •    Two check points -- Wed., April 22nd and Monday, May 4th. Each student will need to identify the steps they want to have completed by these times. All elements of the final project must be addressed in these checkpoints in some way.
    •    Your final project will be converted into a TED Talk type of presentation, focused on the idea that you have ideas worth sharing. This presentation comes in place for a semester final for Lights Academy. You have two options for this presentation. The first option is to share this with your classmates during the regular finals time. If you do not want to share with your classmates during finals, you may arrange to share this with an authentic audience in some other format and place. Please talk with Mr. Black for more details if you are interested in this option.


Please share your planning document with Mr. Black before the start of class. This document should be ready at the start of class. Your document should include:
    •    Your driving question
    •    Your 10 auxiliary questions
    •    The steps you would like assessed on April 22nd and May 4th. Be sure to include all requirements in some way for this project.
    •    Plan for submission format (can change but be sure to let Mr. Black know)
    •    Plan for authentic audience (can change but be sure to let Mr. Black know)
    •    Book to read
    •    Preliminary ideas for interviews

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