megaband

Christie and Phillip are team-teaching the middle and high school students, turning their band into a megaband of thirteen kids with two collaborators. This week they have started experimenting with dividing the bigger band into smaller groups at certain points during the day to be able to teach to different strengths in the kids and themselves. Christie is an English and social studies expert, so during the split times she is working on writing declarations and reading Alice in Wonderland as elements of the Rulers arc. Phillip is a math and science (and art!) expert and has already begun integrating math and measurement into almost every aspect of their band’s work, including their collective project for the week: creating a curtain for their bandspace.

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Yesterday, Phillip wrote, “In the afternoon, we did our first experiment with dividing up the band. Christie worked with the older kids on writing their declarations while I worked with the younger group on breaking up a complex math problem into its smaller component problems. The example problem we worked out was a simpler version of the real problem: how to divide the total area of the curtain amongst all the students so each can choose a fabric to be included, and what the dimensions of that piece would be depending on how they are oriented.”

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The band also went off-site yesterday to learn more about the way the Brightworks arc works, with all three phases (Exploration, Expression, and Exposition) explained in a pedagogical way and in explicit terms regarding what the collaborators expect from their students and what they should expect from each phase during the three arcs of the school year.

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It’s been wonderful to watch the two collaborators working together to create a cohesive experience for their band. The thirteen kids have been given new expectations and structure for their day that they are seeming to respond to very well, even despite a little moaning and groaning when they heard about the expectations for writing declarations for each project – even less complex ones! – that they take on at Brightworks. More responsibility and intention, goal-setting and engagement: big but attainable goals for this megaband.