This week, the students continued their work in the Out of Eden Learn Project. One group is focusing on connecting their own lives to the past. Part of this work included reading a dispatch from Paul Salopek titled The Natural History of Kindness which addresses some of the social theories about how and why ‘kindness’ evolved. Reflecting on this and other aspects of our shared human history can help us understand or think differently about our lives. The next part of their work will involve them looking to specific ways their lives are connected to our shared human past.
The other Out of Eden Learn group will be focusing on documenting an aspect of their everyday lives and sharing it with their walking party. When viewed from the perspective of others, the small moments we take for granted can take on a new life.
We also visited the Ann Arbor Water Treatment Plant and Barton Dam (Hydroelectric) continuing our exploration of water and electricity and the relationship between the two.
In math, we continued our work in Singapore math including rounding, factors, multiples and double digit multiplication among other topics. We also managed to find a few different ways to safely transport the wildebeests and lions across the river to safety, solving the logic puzzle from last week.
This week both first years and second years continued their respective work with the Out of Eden Learn Project. The first years dug deeper into the way Paul Salopek has captured glimpses into the moments of the lives of those he has encountered along his journey. Together we looked at his dispatch from the Prophet’s Mosque in Saudia Arabia which occurred during the month of Ramadan. We shared what we noticed, appreciated and wondered about or connected with.
Some struggled with how to approach the work at first which led to some exploration of metacognition (ways to think about our own thinking.) One approach to building understanding that we use in the class is based on the work of Derek Cabrera and involves the following:
Distinctions, Systems, Relationships and Perspectives
When we use these lenses to think about a problem, concept or story, we are able to find different concrete ways to frame our thinking and make connections within and across our areas of study.
The class presented during our Friday Morning Meeting, sharing their work with aquaponics, Out of Eden Learn, and the book we just finished reading as a class, A Wild Ride through the Night.
In math, some of the students continued their work with long division, area/perimeter and fractions while others worked on factors and multiples. We also worked individually and in groups on solving a logic puzzle that involved making sure both lions and wildebeests crossed a river to escape a forest fire that destroyed their home. The key to making it across was transporting the animals in such a way so as that there were never more lions than wildebeests on land or the raft. Under those circumstances, the lions would eat the wildebeests.
What made the work so interesting wasn’t just the different solutions that the students proposed. It was also their approaches. Some worked the puzzle out in their heads. Others sketched it out while still, others made small paper representations so they could act out their strategies and find the most successful one. It was a great reminder of the different ways we, as learners, make sense of the world.