Saturday, April 16, 2016

A breakdown of our 8th grade Mars Colony Project

I'm putting this down to share with people some of the specifics that people would need in order to create a similar project. Honestly, it's also for myself, in case next year I think it was incredibly easy and need a reminder.

Weekly schedule:

Meet during Wednesday morning during staff meeting time/Circle of Inquiry time: requires the whole time to discuss the focus for the advisory day. Each advisor for roles discussed what they were trying to accomplish and whether it required group work or just the individual in the group to work. Also figured out how much workshop time was needed.

  • Workshop: dedicated time when students go to a specific role advisor to get updated or trained on what that role needs to accomplish on the advisory day (roles we created were: Historian- led by the ELA teachers, Political Consultant- led by History, Engineer- led by Math, and Health Officer- led by Science)
  • The roles do not have to be attached to those specific teachers. We each volunteered for the roles, but for example, there are a lot of cross-overs for the historian and political consultant, and for the engineer and health officer
There were two teaching teams that partnered for this, so there were two history teachers, two math, two English and two science teachers. My history partner and I decided to meet Wednesdays after school for about 30 minutes to 40 minutes to create documents or items or the lesson for the Friday advisory days.

Thursday morning during my shared prep with my teaching team members, we met for the whole period to discuss what we were all doing and were we were going. We had 1st period prep. If we didn't, we'd probably have to push this back to Thursday and the Thursday meeting to Tuesday.

Friday morning, my team met during our shared prep to prepare for the advisory day. We usually do workshop during 2nd period and then starting third period we began our actual advisory.

  • On Friday's, students go to P.E. and their elective classes or support classes. However, during any core main streamed class, students go to their advisor (they signed up for advisors at the beginning of the project. The advisor is not their role advisor).
  • Four of us also had an elective class we taught. During those periods, we kept our advisory students and had our elective class. My combination was very large, so I signed up for library time so as to accommodate the number of students (about 40).
At the end of the day, all teachers met after school to debrief, talk about the energy level and what went well or not, and what we should bring to the table Wednesday morning. If we knew we weren't meeting Wednesday morning, then scheduling a day we could all meet, or just staying and planning on the Friday.

We highly utilized Google Classroom to list assignments and to keep track of student work. We also created a shared google drive folder to hold all our work, assignments and rosters.

Each team had to create a master advisory schedule with all students to track where they were and where they should have been. I created one for our team based off of students information and was also the contact for the office for them to look students. We marked absences on the master schedule so we could also take our normal class attendance.

If I receive permission from my team, I will attach all of the documents we created.

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