Kate Burton, teacher of 6th graders, and I had a conversation about problem solving. What could we do to promote more problem solving and critical thinking for a few of our 6th graders? We talked about Synergy, having an Alpha project, and gradual release of responsibility.
Kate and I are reading Make Just One Change: Teach Students to Ask Their Own Questions by Dan Rothstein and Luz Santana. Could we (she) apply what we are learning with an Exploration about problem solving called a Posh Problem Posse?
I offered to be the first client for the Posh Problem Posse. I have a problem that I’d like for these smart, creative learners to consider.
I arrive for the first Posh Problem Posse meeting and explain my problem. I’m running – training for a 10K. I run very early in the morning in the dark. I wonder if I am visible enough. I wear a reflective vest, but can I be seen? Also, because it is cold, I wear a fleece vest which has a pocket to carry my phone. When it gets warmer, how will I carry my phone? I need it for safety. I need it for the app that coaches me. I need it to listen to books and podcasts while I run.
The Posh Problem Posse asked me several questions. Would I wear my phone on an arm band? No. It will leave a tan mark. What problems have I had running? I fell in October because the uneven sidewalk caused me to trip. Why do I run so early in the morning? I run before my family gets up so that I don’t miss any time with them and because I don’t sleep very much.
I only had 15 minutes to meet for this very first meeting. Kate facilitated a question generation session with these learners and sent me the following email:
On 1/22/13 1:42 PM, “k8burton” wrote:Jill,Below are the questions and then responses plus some extra notes. It’s not formatted and there are a few abbreviations… Speed note taking at its finest.KateB
Posh problem posseWhat the budget that you would like us to have? A couple hundredWould this be a gift, are we donating it to her? Bump in clothing is x 4Would you be opposed to something larger like a puffer vest?Would you rather have light wire around a pant legHow much extra weight are u opposed to? Less than a poundDo you want actual lights on some of you or reflectorsDoes it have to be a vest? Would it work to have a light shining on you?Would you like to have duct tape that might be a little less reflective?Would you like reflective other places? Like jewelry or tuxedo stripe or head band hair tie or something in your headDo you like listening to things when u run?How close of a fit do you want? AdjustabilityDo you have an iPhoneWhere do you want your iPhone to be? Can it be on your arm?What if the padded pocket for phone is on the inside of the jacket?Do you want zip up or pull over vest? Pull overWhat would you like the name to be?What colors would you like? Orange pinkWould you like removable reflectors/ lights so that you don’t have to have them on at home? Removable for launderingVelcro way to attach the airhornLots more neonlonger on the vestID tag with infoMake an alley for the light wireSent from my iPad
There is a week between this meeting and the next meeting. I plan to arrive in my running gear, so they can see what I have described. I like the questions, and the way they are thinking. I can’t wait to see what they are thinking!