The Curriculum and @-School Follow Through
To use the design process to rethink the recently built terrace space outside the 4/5 classrooms. (See attached photos)
Students have been presented this task:
Your mission is make the terrace (patio) space adjacent to the 4//5 classrooms useful and inviting for all Ohlone students, parents, faculty, and visitors.
Empathy: Students interviewed faculty, staff, younger students, and each other to determine needs.
Define: Teachers Otak Jump and Christina Thomas, joined by their 4/5th grade colleagues, parent volunteers, PTA member support, and with permission from school administration, are guiding these next phases through various classroom activities.
Ideate: Students at this age often forget what they learned in the Empathy phase, choosing instead to design for themselves rather than for all constituents. Teachers are being especially watchful as students ideate; helping students maintain focus on the ‘multiple users rule’ for this space.
Prototyping & Test: Students will make a scale model of the terrace/patio that incorporates their design elements. Students will also be responsible for estimating costs for the project.
Share: Students will present their model to the administration and to the PTA, and accept additional ideas or constraints, before project moves forward into construction.
Curriculum Integration (May include, but is not limited to):
Math: Analyze patterns and relationships; perform operations using decimals (including rounding); solve problems involving fractions; interpret multiplication and division by ‘scaling;’ convert measurements; represent and interpret data; understand and use concepts of volume, area, perimeter; use coordinate points and the grid system to solve real world problems.
ELA: Write opinion pieces; produce coherent writing; develop and strengthen writing; conduct short research projects; gather relevant information from print and digital sources; draw evidence from informational texts to support analysis, research, reflection; ask and answer questions to clarify comprehension; tell a story or recount an experience; engage in collaborative discussions; summarize information and speakers’ points; adapt speech to fit context.
Science: Gravitational forces effect construction; plants require differing amounts of water and sunlight; communities protect resources and the environment;design and test an idea that converts one form of energy to another; make observations and measurements to provide evidence of the effects of weather.
Social Science: Understand the economic, social, and political life of their school campus; understand the structures, functions, and powers of their local school, and the roles and responsibilities of each member of the school structure
21st Century Skills (From Laura Greenstein's work):
Thinking Domain – (Critical Thinking) Evaluates decisions, arguments, products; reviews and revises attitudes and opinions based on new evidence; recognizes implied assumptions; interprets information to form conclusions; combines evidence, claims, beliefs; identifies bias and assumption; notes contradictions and vagueness; (Problem Solving) Applies a system (e.g. design thinking) for responding to unfamiliar situations; applies steps in a problem solving process; generates varied options for solution; considers alternative solution strategies; describes a problem with clarity and supporting evidence; solves real world problems; recognizes that sometimes there is no one right answer.
Living Domain – (Civic Responsibility) Is willing to participate and is actively engaged in a democratic process; makes connections to community; respects the diversity of perspectives; recognizes the role institutions (schools) play in policy making; participates in classroom activities through demonstration of good citizenship; contributes to the well-being of others; (Global Understanding) Learns and works collaboratively with individuals from diverse cultures, religions, and lifestyles; works collaboratively in the spirit of mutual respect; is sensitive to cultural differences; incorporates the ideas of a variety of cultures in improve the quality of life.
Acting Domain – (Communicating) Applies communication skills in a variety of formats and contexts; engages in constructive dialogue with others; demonstrates receptive communications skills; listens effectively to understand the intent and content of text and verbal communications; produces effective communication; communicates clearly and effectively and for a variety of purposes and audiences; (Flexibility and Adaptability) Makes appropriate changes in response to inputs and evidence; accommodates and adjusts to changing situations and settings; modifies one’s thoughts, attitudes, and behaviors in response to new information; negotiates with others to seek acceptable conclusions and solutions; accepts and deals with praise and criticism; (Initiative and Self Direction) Establishes priorities; plans strategically and purposefully; sets goals and takes steps to achieve them; manages time to maximize productivity; perseveres rationally to task completion; learns from past experience; faces obstacles realistically and works to overcome them; delays gratification; develops a positive self image through use of selected strategies and actions.
The time line for this design challenge is tight. It is hoped that this project, with the help of parent volunteers and existing school funding, can be realized by the close of the school year in June.