Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Student BreakoutEDU Signature Story

In a post a few months ago I shared “The BreakoutEDU sessions to connect, build relationships and teamwork were as challenging as they were insightful.” Well, this still stands true today!

Rafranz Davis immersed us in discussion of Your Signature Story emphasizing how our life experiences change us and how do we use that to drive positive change. Jeffrey Humphries used the BreakoutEDU experience as an icebreaker activity for #TOR16 educators to share something about themselves with our #GoogleEI cohort. Inspired by both education leaders, I took these concepts and modified them to create an assignment for my students.

Students shared a brief story setting up their mini BreakoutEDU about their ‘spark’ that shapes who they are as a learner today. Once the box is opened, students shared their 3-minute Signature Story emphasizing how their life experiences change us and how we use that to drive positive change in our learning.

The results?
There were cooperative group student planning, going through several iterations on how they want to design their BreakoutEDU session. Also, discussions and ongoing collaboration between groups on various strategies for creating clues and selecting riddles to challenge their peers. Students’ excitement as they were looking forward to trying peer-created BreakoutEDU games. And, most importantly, understanding and recognizing that all our peers, kids sitting next to us have their own life experiences, experiences they come with them to school with each day that are set aside or used to shine.

With permission from a reluctant learner to include in my post, this reflection captures his true ability as a learner:
What was the focus of the learning task? 
**The focus of this learning task was to find out who we were as class community members, what we bring to the learning and find out what inspires us the most.
What new learning did you gain and how would you use this new learning? 
**I gained the ability to step up and present without fear to explain my story. I would use this in new learning experiences by being able to create a puzzle and presenting my signature story in an interesting way. I realized that I enjoy coding and that it is valued at school to build on my understanding in other subjects.
How might you further build upon your ideas or overcome challenges you encountered? 
**This will help me build ideas that could maybe help people/the world. For example, coding/programming could maybe make a difference in people with disabilities. We could make a robot or something to guide them and play with them.  This help me overcome my fear which is talking to a large group of students/parents/teachers.

My reward?
Helping students find or identify their own spark and supporting them into transferring that across other learning experiences to persevere and strive towards their goals in and out of the school. The many “thank yous” from students followed by them asking for more opportunities to plan, design and lead sessions.

Here’s a link to the Storify of students leading their BreakoutEDU sessions:

Outline of the student assignment:

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