Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Behavior Over Time Graphs

Behavior Over Time Graphs, or BOTGs, are a component of Systems Thinking.  Systems Thinking is the process of understanding how things influence other things within a whole system.  This year in social studies we are going to do a lot with Systems Thinking (as I've previously posted about), so today we started off introducing the basics of Systems Thinking with BOTGs.

We first started off by watching the above screencast about what BOTGs are, and then practiced "reading" and "telling the story" of BOTGs from ones we looked at.  We also went through this presentation to go in-depth further with what BOTGs are and do some more practice or not only making them, but telling the story a BOTG we looked at was telling us.

Students were then unleashed to create their own BOTGs over the National Geographic documentary Six Degrees Could Change the World that we spent time watching and analyzing the different "problems" (or, as the students would discover, things that are changing) that our world would come across with climate change.

For having never done anything with BOTGs before, these students blew me away: they embraced this new form of "graphing" or "reporting" and created many different BOTGs that identified the different changes over time that could/are happening with climate change.

We'll be diving in soon to other components of Systems Thinking, so stay tuned for more posts soon! :)

Friday, October 12, 2012

Camp Lakewood Expedition

I know this post is about a week or so late, but I still wanted to share out about or first overnight expedition to Camp Lakewood!

First off, I have to brag on this class: they are ah-mazing.  Seriously.  Each and every one of them surprised me in some way on our expedition: from trying something new, to sleeping away from home for two nights (heck, I'm way older than them and I still get uneasy sleeping away from my own bed!), to the immense amount of cooperation and teamwork they showed throughout our three days there.  It was so incredible to watch and so awesome to be a part of.

The entire purpose of this expedition was teambuilding.  There wasn't any "core content", as there is on all of our other expeditions, but instead it was a time to work together with their classmates to grow as individuals and as a class.  Students had time in the evenings to reflect on their day and what they learned, and then do it all over again the next day.

Students got to do a challenge course, climb a really high tower, work together on teambuilding activities, learn how to shoot a bow and arrow, participate in stream ecology, go on a survival hike and learn how to start a fire, and much more!

Check out the video below for a compilation of our week.  It was such an awesome one that I don't think will be leaving the students' memories any time soon!

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