Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Mr. Pink wants to hear from you...

Mrs. Smith emailed Mr. Pink about what we have been doing in class and he has responded. Here is an excerpt from an email she received from Daniel Pink. He wants to know...

i wonder if somewhere in this process you could pose a question to your students. it's one i've been pondering, but my hunch is that your students will have more interesting answers than i could summon myself. the question would be something like this: If you had to create a new school -- or reform your current school -- so that it better develops the six senses, what one or two things would you do?

don't want to throw you off your lesson plan, but i'd love to hear
how the young women and men of arapahoe would respond that one.
maybe we could talk a little about it during our live blogging or some other venue?

thanks again for your great work.


So, either on the class blog, in your Personal Learning Journal, or both, respond thoughtfully to his question. This might be one you continue to come back to time and again reflecting your change of thinking as we discuss, read, and react to one another's' thoughts.


raelangas said...

To answer Daniel Pink’s question, I am a very creative person so I would make my school have a very creative atmosphere. In the design aspect of the school, it would be a clam color like lavender or a cool blue so it will be an inviting environment where students can feel comfortable and learn. Another thing I would do in my school is make the desks more comfortable. The desks we have now are hard and not made for tall people like me. The desks in my school would be functional but relaxed as well. I would also find creative ways to learn. In my current science class, the teacher puts on the power point and we copy down the answers. I would remember the facts if they taught them in a more interactive way, like through a model or something. So there would be many improvements to make school more intriguing

OliviaO said...

Mr. Pink,
There are many ways I would like to change the school so as to make it in connection with the 6 senses. For design, It would be wonderful to have murals painted by the students all over the school, so each student could contribute to their high school and be imprinted there in a way forever. If there was a blank wall it would be fun to have it painted a bright color, left for new generations of AHS students to paint on. It would be as if students had a part in designing their own school. The murals would also incorporate story because every picture is worth a thousand words. Also, for the class room I would get rid of the desk we have now(which are totally uncomfortable and hard to get in and out of) and replace them with a type of furniture that is comfortable and easy to learn in but no so comfortable that it provokes sleep. There should be windows in the class room that are open to let in a light healthy pleasant breeze. The rooms should be painted bright and vivid colors such as red and light blue so as to keep us students awake. That's about it.I haven't really read the rest of the book yet so I'm not sure as how to incorporate the rest of the senses but I think my ideas are fun and would definitely improve the school.
-Olivia Onofrio

January 23, 2008 8:55 AM

marissas said...

Mr. Pink,

In order to improve Arapahoe High School, I would definitely improve the design of the school and have story be a part of all classes. I think that design is an important part of learning. Learning environments (classrooms) should be creative and enticing. Going into a classroom with white walls and floors does not help students learning at all. It makes me feel as though I am in a jail cell- as though I am forced to be at school and forced to learn. If the classrooms were colorful and creative, my mood would definitely be better and I would want to learn. I also think story is a very important part of learning. I believe strongly in the motto- show, don’t tell. In a few of my classes I am lectured throughout the whole period, or I just take notes off of power points. I do not think that method of teaching is very effective. I would improve classes by incorporating story. Students like to hear stories and I think that their learning would be improved by hearing stories that have to do with the topic that is being studied. When our brains are being crammed with information, it is nice to hear a story that may emphasize a point or help us to greater understand the topic. These few improvements would create a better learning environment for the students at Arapahoe High School.

-Marissa Scott

Madisont said...

Mr. Pink,
That is definitely a thoughtful question to ponder. I have been thinking about what might make me more apt to learn and listen. I know that I have to have a bright room that makes me feel good. Such as having bare and white walls. It would be so nice to have windows in every classroom- even if it's raining, it's bringing in the outside so I don't feel as closed in. And if the walls had something other than teaching quotes and white paint, I would feel more liable to listen. Just to have a brighter and mroe fun room leaves me no room for distraction- otherwise i constantly find myself falling asleep, wanting to go outside, or go socialize with friends. It doesn't all have to do with design but most of it does and I feel with a better room with that kind of design, learning would be a much more enjoyable experience to me.

jkeefer said...

Mr. Pink,

To answer your question, there are many ways in which I would change the school in order to make it a better learning environment. In the order of design, I would have random stories of different subjects painted all over the walls of the hallways. If we used different fonts, this would be using design. The stories themselves would incorporate the sense of story. Under the category of symphony, having all the shades of color in the furniture, paint, and flooring match would exemplify the point. By having the objects match, you would be able to focus on the big picture (learning) rather than focusing on the minor color changes made by the furniture, flooring, or paint. Having Empathy inside the school is a must; the learning environment in the school would contain a lot less tension as it would without the use of empathy. The sense of play inside the school would be a major step towards the right direction for the school board. By having the sense of play incorporated in the school day, the students would become refreshed for the remainder of the classes. I’ve been told that having to much information given to you at one time could prove deadly. The brain can only process as much information as it can at one time. If we exceeding this limit, the left over knowledge we have we cannot attain. Having the sense of meaning incorporated into the school day is vital. By using meaning, we look at the bigger picture of the person or task at hand before we assume what happened. By doing this, the solution would be more useful, and could help solve the problem. Once all six senses are all being used, the students, as well as the teachers, could have a more enjoyable school experience.
-Jason Keefer

catherinec said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jeffreys said...

Two things I know that I would do in order to make Arapahoe more “six sense developing” are to eliminating multiple choice tests and set, lesson-plan based, always-teaching-the-same-thing-year-after-year curriculums.
The elimination of multiple choice tests would obviously be a bit of a hassle for the teachers since a pile of scantrons can be graded in a matter of minutes, but it would definitely make the school six sense oriented as well as pull away from the “fill them to bursting with left brained ‘stuff’ until that is all they know” mentality that is stereotypical of the entire public school system.
If teacher were able to choose what they taught their students, they might be better at teaching it. In other words, since students tend to perform better at subjects that interest them, teachers might be better able to teach topics which interest them. For example*, part of the 8th grade language arts curriculum in LPS is to read To Kill a Mocking Bird. Well, if a teacher didn’t like the book, than they might not be very enthusiastic about teaching it. They might prefer to read another book instead that they enjoy more and can make more of an impact with. The elimination of set curriculums would also let the teachers try out something new each year.

*This is a bad example because I don’t know of any teacher of the English language who doesn’t absolutely adore TKAM, but that is why it is an example.

catherinec said...

Mr. Pink,
If I were able to design Arapahoe High School, I would first get massive input from not just the students, but also the teachers. I would conduct a survey to see what the most comfortable atmosphere for both students and teachers. After this analysis, all classrooms would be repainted. Different colors would be assigned to every classroom depending on what class is being taught in that room. Certain colors trigger particular emotions in the left and right hemisphere of the brain helping the students in left and right-brained classes. Personally, I think that the desks at Arapahoe should be redesigned to be more efficient and less painful. This could potentially decrease the amount of pressure on the student’s bodies during the day and could possibly reduce stress. Also, additional technology would be added to the classrooms to increase the amount of interaction.
~Catherine Cole

Alexm said...

Mr. Pink,
If I had to reform our school I would make taking a design class a graduation requirment. I would also make writing stories a frequent assignment in writing classes. If students are required to take a design class they are more likely to see how important design might be in the future. Design classes can help students relate more to the incoming future. Also if stories are written more often in classes students will see the value they hold. They will learn to see how they hold the power of emotion. They will see this emotion mixed with content can be a great way to remember material. I think it will also be as good way for students to express themselves. The importance of story needs to be taught in schools. Another thing I might do is add some colors and better designed objects into a classroom. It seems as if you are in well designed area, you are more peace with yourself and the people around you. Therefore, you might be able to focus more on learning.
Alex Morrall

lisal said...

Mr. Pink
If I could do two things to improve the development of the six senses I would change the testing and put a limit on the amount of home work a student could receive in one week. I'm fine with the SATs and ACTs, but as Mr. Pink discusses they only measure the left side of the brain. I think tests should also be given which test creativity and other right-brained skills. These changes would encourage everyone to develop the six senses. I think home work should be limited so kids had more free time away from school work. Hopefully they would spend it doing things which would add to their meaning and other senses. If I could change the school system to better incorporate the senses I would change testing and modify home work.