GQ refinement and self interviews

Tuesday  11/28/2017 – OPENING – 10 minutes

We’ll be reviewing the homework from yesterday in an effort to identify what a 4, in terms of effort, looks like. We’ll see some examples, I’m sure, but we’ll also see loads of non-examples, which are also important.

LESSON – 45 minutes

We have 2 paths to travel this week, both of which work together, even if they may not seem like it.

First, we have the guiding questions (GQs) for our challenge to answer. That list was originally 41 questions strong, and the week before the break we answered the 1st 10 of them. We’ll review those together today.

For the remaining questions, I spent some time going through them and fine-tuning them. Given how much time we have left before the break, I decided to ditch the questions that I didn’t think would lead us down a very productive path. It’s not that they were bad questions (all questions have value), it’s just that many were essentially getting us to the same kind of information, or to information that I didn’t judge to be very helpful in terms of completing our challenge.

So, I’ve revised the list and prioritized the questions so that we start digging into them in an order that will help us complete our challenge in the time we have.

Which leads me to the 2nd path we need to start walking down. As I mentioned before the break, we are connecting with a classroom in Morocco. Part of this is just about gaining some additional cultural understanding by getting to know students in a different part of the world. But it’s also about developing empathy – the ability to see the world from another person’s perspective.

As we engage with them throughout the rest of the year (hopefully), we’ll get to know them and find tremendous value in that connection. Initially, though, this should be particularly helpful for our challenge because, as you may recall, the challenge asks us to ‘Tell someone else’s story of equity’. By getting to know these students, you will have some good examples from which to draw.

To begin, though, we need to introduce ourselves. And we’re going to do that in the form of video interviews. We’ll use a tool called Adobe Spark, and in so doing, we’ll be answering one really important GQ. Specifically, ‘How am I going to tell my story?’. Now, you don’t have to use Adobe Spark for your challenge, but in teaching you to use this tool, you’ll have it as an option.

An example of the video interview you are to do is below…


In order to complete our video interview, we need to answer a handful of questions, and have them ready to read aloud because the video we’re making will require us to record our spoken answers to these questions.

So your homework tonight is to answer questions 2, 3, 4 and 5 from the Interview question list. You can click on that link, but the questions are also listed below…

  • Describe the community in which you live.
  • Where were your ancestors from? When did they come to this country?
  • What are your favorite family holidays, and why?
  • Describe some traditions or celebrations that have been passed down through your family.

In all cases, you should strive to provide an answer that is thorough, clear and detailed. Please use my example video above as a guide.

Short Term Goals

In every unit, we focus on certain short term goals. Some are goals related to content, others relate to skills, but the idea is that throughout the unit, we have opportunities to practice and improve on them.

  1. Students will distinguish between equity and equality.
  2. Students will identify different types of equity (social, political, economic, education).
  3. Students will demonstrate understanding of empathy.
  4. Students will understand the importance of storytelling.
  5. Students will develop competencies in the Investigate phase of CBL.

Quote of the Week

“I don’t know that I have ever found any satisfactory answers of my own. But every time I ask it, the question is refined. That is the best of what the old heads meant when they spoke of being “politically conscious”—as much a series of actions as a state of being, a constant questioning, questioning as ritual, questioning as exploration rather than the search for certainty.”

Ta-Nehisi Coates

This Week’s Agenda

Reconnection discussion.

See, Think, Wonder activity.

Written Reflection

GQ work

Written Reflection

Adobe Spark activity.

Review GQs and brainstorm GRs and GAs

Adobe Spark activity, continued.

Help Is Near


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