Thursday, March 27, 2014

Games, Grants and Authentic Audiences

As the kids make progress on their projects, we ask them to share as much as possible about the process and the product.  Theodor, who is creating "A Brick by Brick Society", is inventing a Leggo-based game. His blog outlines the rules, the theory behind the game and the purpose of the game. Nothing comes close to getting authentic feedback though. Yesterday in class, Theodor tried out his game with some of his peers. He set up the game on one of our round tables, got four of his buddies together, explained the rules, and they were off. Instantly they were immersed in the game. While Melissa and I didn't quite understand what was going on when we checked in, the kids certainly bought into it wholeheartedly. Melissa asked one of the boys, "How did you know the rules of the game?" to which one replied, "Oh, he explained them before we played." Simple enough! Theodor got great feedback about what worked, what needed polishing and how successful the game can be.

We love the fact that others are looking out for our kids and their projects. Yesterday, Dr. McGee, one of the dignitaries on our Pitch Committees, forwarded an e-mail about the Pollination Project.  It is an organization that gives grants to individuals or groups who create projects in one of the following areas: compassion towards all life, environmental sustainability, justice in all of its forms, community health and wellness, putting consciousness into action and social change-oriented arts and culture. Several of our community-themed projects meet the criteria for grant application and we are encouraging them to apply. Steve, whose project is SNB Bass Baits, is stoked about applying.  Other projects that come to mind as good fits for the grant are Pictures for Africa and Racism Can't Become US. We will be helping these kids apply for those grants. This is another example of real-world results and authentic learning. - Don

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