Friday, May 20, 2016

Studying fun!

Hi Team!

For our spring project we will be studying how we create fun!  More specifically we will be studying playgrounds and playscapes.  We will be visiting several playgrounds in Southeast Michigan, playing on them for 30 minutes each, and evaluating how fun they are and why.

The class did research on different playgrounds in the area that might be fun to test out.  Some of them include playscapes as close as our own SK playground and the one at County Farm park, as well as Timbertown in Chelsea and the giant play structure on Belle Isle.

The class decided that the "control" for our exploration should be nature, or an open field.  For that we will go to the Arboretum.

As a class, we came up with a list of things that we look for when we evaluate a playground.  We discussed everything from useful utilities to fun features.  From that the survey was created.  to view the survey click here.

We will be visiting a few Detroit area playground on June 6th all day. Playgrounds will include: Belle Isle Park Playground, Playgrounds on the Riverwalk, and Inglenook Playground in Southfield.

We will do othee playgrounds in the area on June 7th all day.  These playgrounds will include: Millpond Park in Saline, Timbertown in Chelsea, and Nichols Arboretum. 

When we finish with our exploration, will will attempt to design the most epic playground ever!!!

Monday, May 16, 2016

Flint Water Market

After watching the Morning Meeting where Chris's class talked about collecting water for the Flint Water Crisis, my class got inspired. They wanted to raise money to help the people of Flint.

We decided to do a weekly market and sell things in order to collect money. We then decided to use that money to purchase a water subscription for a community center. We had one big problem though. What to sell? We decided to sell different things on different days. Val's class wanted to get involved too. We decided to use one of the days to let the kindergarteners sell stuff at our market. We also wanted to include artwork, baked goods and other fun things to sell.

Here is our schedule for the next 3 weeks:

Tuesday: Kindergarten Market
Wednesday: Art Market
Thursday: Drinks Market
Friday: Baked Goods Market

All sales will be after school from 3:30-4pm

Friday, May 6, 2016

Team Spencer Does Korea

Here is a Playlist of short videos that I made for Team Spencer on my trip to South Korea.

Stick Game Expands to Include Branches of Government

In a recent session of The Stick game, a student came and told me that he thought there needed to be a court.  "Why?" I asked. "There is no one violating any rules.  They still wanted to set something up that gave them something to do and took some power away from me.
"What about a student government that decided on the laws instead of you?" Came a suggestion from the group.

So that's what they did.  They created a small, 5 person, lawmaking body that consisted of one member from each table.  Every time a law was proposed, the person proposing the law would give the money to me and tell their law to the council.  The council would then argue the validity of the law amongst themselves, sometimes making changes with the consent of the proposer, and decide whether the law should be passed.  If someone didn't agree, they could still pay 4 sticks to bring it to the whole class for a vote.

This was working fine until the next session where there was an argument regarding a law about stealing sticks.  The argument was immense.  The kid that initially asked for a court, looked at me and said, "I told you we needed a court, Spencer."  So a court was created.  They elected 3 students to a "Supreme Court".  One of the students was a defendant on the initial argument, so he had to recuse himself.  The next court case was regarding a law that said that one has to know the answer to a question before they pay the stick to answer it.  The plaintiff in this case won the case and had to split the sticks with the person that originally won them.  The defendant, seeing his bounty cut in half complained that he lost the case due to favoritism.  Two of the supreme court justices were from the same table as the plaintiff.  He proposed that the supreme court justices should all be from different table so that one table will not have all of the power.  This inspired an intense debate.  The people had elected these individuals, did they not trust them to make objective decisions?  We wouldn't have to worry about it if they were all from different tables.  What if we end up voting the same people back in, will people stop fighting this?  There was yelling and some tears.  It was magical.  They ended up electing 3 individuals from different tables. Whew!

During this process we discussed the American branches of government and some of the differences and similarities between that and our stick game.  I didn't want to give them too many ideas because I wanted them to innovate new solutions, not model them.