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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Beauty is in the Eye of the Beholder

Ideas inspired by SAS for PA educators

Ok so It’s time to get posting and I have been doing a lot to get ready for the new school year.
Most recently I have been looking over notes I made while taking the course SAS for Pennsylvania Educators though Wilkes.
-For new PA  teachers, SAS, is a must in working toward permanent certification. If you don’t know what SAS is… it stands for Standards Aligned System. It’s a model to help teachers plan more meaningful lessons though which students can achieve academic success.  All good an great, right????
If you’re anything like me, I went into this class thinking I’m going to do what I have to do to get these 3 credits and get out! AND THIS PROBABLY ISN’T GOING TO APPLY TO ME. Anyone been there??? Ahem… Faculty meetings….
Well I am excited to report I came out of this full of fun new ideas!!!
Not what I expected, but a ton of fun and exciting to organize, energize, refocus, and excite my students.
I have to give credit to Steve Sassamann, he was an outstanding motivating professor. So I can’t take credit for these ideas all the credit goes to him and to the designers of the SAS for Pennsylvania educators curriculum.

I would like to share some of these Ideas and how I have been modifying them to meet the needs of my classroom and my students.

This is one I have been looking at today!!!

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

This is fun way to get students to dig deeper in search of meaning and to think creatively and critically.
The long-term lesson here is that there is more to things and people than the physical qualities that first meet the eye.

Here’s how it works.

Have a mix box of objects (straw, key chain, pine cone, envelope, key, battery…)

Have each student choose an object that speaks to them and answer the following questions.
(I chose a bendy straw and my answers are in parenthesis)

What human quality does your object have? (flexible)

In what ways is your object beautiful? (it has sparkles, it has texture)

How is your object useful? (you could drink out of it, stir with it, or shoot objects out of it)

Why do you love and respect your object? (it makes sipping a favorite drink more delightful, it can bend and adapt for any drinking situation, you can see through it, they are in every restaurant and home)

How could you enhance your objects self –esteem and make it feel valued and needed? (put it in a tasty drink, use it for a special event)

Ok so these questions ate a bit silly but think of this...

I love to teach Pop Art!  Especially Andy Warhol and Jasper Johns.
Let’s take this simple object from ordinary to extraordinary and do what pop artist do… take everyday things and make them look like we are seeing them for the first time.

First- After students answer these questions they could reinvent their object.. HELLO ENGINEERING & PROBLEM SOLVING!!!!!!!! How could they reinvent this object to be more useful, more exciting, just all around better than what they started with. New technology is developing every day, I could show different variations of the straw (paper straw, straight, bendy, twisty, the one you can whistle through, decorative, gummy, spoon and straw in one….)

Then Have students make a painting or sculpture to celebrate their object and showcase it’s value and importance to them.

Will school start already so I can try this out! I’ll be sure to post on the progress. 

I will also continue to post more of the fun Ideas inspired by my new learning. 

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