Thank you very much for having me in your IB Theory of Knowledge Class on Tuesday. Here were some of the things that I saw while I was in your class:
- You started with warmup which was to write down three main points for creating a good presentation for an upcoming project.
- Speed dating was next. You lined up like you would for a line dance and then shared your topic/three points with a partner, listened to the partner and moved on down the line. Then did another more complex configuration. You then shared what was learned.
I noticed that the activities were focused on short writing and speaking assignments, and you moved around a lot. Your teacher seems to make you do a lot of work, and was not doing as much work himself.
This pattern of having students move around in various groupings is common in well run elementary classrooms, I wonder how typical it is in secondary?
- Do other teachers at Burbank have you move around and do most of the work, or do they do the work?
- Does Mr. Ferlazzo ever lecture (read material) to you?
- Do you feel like you learned something in speed dating even though you are repeating yourself?
Mr. Ferlazzo then reviewed the project assignment and reminded you about what you learned about “lousy” presentations when you went to the computer lab. Someone asked what you should do to make sure it isn’t lousy, and he said, “the opposite of what they showed.” A student questioned the assignment about what is a lousy vs. what is a great presentation. Could you do things from “lousy presentation” elements (a web site) and still have it be a good presentation? What about if you learn from it.
- Would you want to sit through a presentation that had any of the elements in the “lousy presentations” show?
- Did some people mention elements you would want in a good presentation during the “speed dating” that might help you?
Mr. Ferlazzo kills a lot of trees in his class. He handed out a paper and asked you to create a two-column organizer with the words, invent vs. discover. He then had you write what you thought they were, and do a pair/share/report out about it. He then passed out articles on Math and whether it was invented vs. discovered. You read, and then did a pair share discussion about your thoughts.
- Someone said discovered because math is like the alphabet, it just is there, but not all alphabets/writing systems are the same. Our alphabet has sounds associated with it (a = “a” sound), but Chinese writing pictographs do not have sounds but ideas associated with them. Are numbers different? Are they always the same?
- Is something more “real” if it has a number associated with it. Is an “A” grade for getting 90% or higher on multiple choice tests more “real” than an “A” grade on an essay?
I was very impressed with how seriously you took your work, even though you have a really good sense of humor. Your thinking about the question Mr. Ferlazzo gave was very impressive.
Students reading articles
One student made the mistake of saying “I don’t know” and was referred to Mr. Ferlazzo’s poster that says:
I’m not sure, but I think that…
Mr. Ferlazzo made frequent appeals to you being IB students, what does that mean to you? Do you think that you are more capable because you are in IB? Do you think you should be better than that?
There are a lot of diagrams on the walls, many have been made by students. I couldn’t tell which ones the IB class had made, did you make any of them?
Thanks for letting me visit and take pictures!