Photos from Unbelavable Night!

Photos from the Violet Band art auction to support Lava Mae yesterday during our Unbelavable Night!

We raised over $1000 in donations alone, and are so happy to give back and strengthen our community with partner (and future BWX family!) Lava Mae.

This was truly an all-hands-on-deck event – from donating art, to setting up the space, to being our guest, to bidding on the goods! We truly appreciated the support and commitment from our school in our hard work. It could not have happened without them.

The Violet Band is so happy to have had this shared experience, and grateful to give back to our community during Human Arc.

And, as an added bonus, people came in from the street and asked if we were a professional art gallery! 8)

Violet Band: An Unbelavable Night

After several weeks of work and planning, tonight is the big night! Students in Violet Band partnered with different charity organizations over the course of the year to help support and give back to Bay Area communities. Through their work, they were inspired to put on…

AN UNBELAVABLE NIGHT – 


An art auction hosted by the Violet Band to support Lava Mae, a nonprofit in the city that turns retired muni buses into mobile shower stations.

For information and tickets, you can see more here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/an-unbelavable-night-tickets-25326685799

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Welcome to An Unbelavable Night! 

The High School students at SF Brightworks, in collaboration with Lava Mae, present an Unbelavable Night: an art auction to help benefit San Francisco’s homeless population. 

Lava Mae is a nonprofit working to redesign decommissioned SF MUNI buses into state-of-the-art sanitation and shower stations for those without access to these resources. Brightworks partnered with Lava Mae earlier this year to help support their volunteer efforts, and together we want to give back to the city. 

Our Unbelavable Night will be held at the new Brightworks campus extension at 1920 Bryant St. 

Join us for a night of drinks, snacks, and music while viewing and bidding on exquisite student and professional art pieces from around the Bay Area. All proceeds from the silent auction and event will go to supporting Lava Mae’s mission to bring cleanliness and dignity to the people of San Francisco. 

Tickets are available by donation. Donations are also accepted the night of. 


See you there! 

Express Yourself

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The red band wrapped up exploration with a few very special trips to get them thinking about how to express what they have learned throughout the arc. We took a drive down to Menlo Park to visit Pace Arts and their current exhibit, “Living Digital Space and Future Parks” by teamLab. This visit helped a few of our bandmates decide to work on a video game project for expression. Our last visit was to our neightbor KQED. We learned about radio and television and visited the newsroom. After this trip, we had a bandmate choose to create a video project.

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The red band has continued to visit and care for our plants at The Benches garden. While we wait to see if our peas will continue to sprout or die off we have been using the garden to work on our reading and speaking fluency with reader’s theater productions. So far we have read The Little Red Hen and The Tortoise and the Hare.

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Throughout Human we have continued to work of our seed project, a snack bar/slide. If you can remember we had the working parts to hang out underneath (minus a floor and windows), a ladder to climb up (though the kids wanted to add rails to the top for safety), and a wooden slide (ouch, splinters). So we set out to correct these features and we cannot wait to share it with you all soon.

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The kids have added a small mural on the side to tie it into the human arc and we had our first bake sale. For our bake sale we set out to make something the whole school could enjoy (vegan, gluten-free, and delicious) so we settled on cookies and created our shopping list with estimated cost sheet. After we paid back the school for the money we borrowed we had a profit of $17 which the kids have decided to donate to the Violet band’s fundraiser.

 

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The projects that emerged from human took a wonderfully unexpected turn and we are all giving 100% to learn more about the science of perfume, creating video games, and producing videos and look forward to sharing it with you soon.

Orange Band: Human, Weeks 11 & 12

Phew, we made it! Through Kid Classroom Week, that is.

REWIND!

So, last week, I decided to watch a bit of the show Kid Nation with the Orange Banders because why not? The show is pretty ridiculous at times, but it’s opened the door to many interesting ethical discussions (on (un)reality, law and order, religion, leadership, just to name a few topics), the kids are really engaged (with the 15 minutes we watch at a time), and it’s an interesting way to talk about taking on responsibility, internal/external motivation, and the value of input from experienced and invested adults.

Mid-week last week, I let the kiddos know that I’d hand over the agenda-writing reigns to them at the beginning of this week. We spend a few minutes at a time throughout the rest of the week discussing the constraints on their power, my role during the week, and their goal for what they’d need to accomplish by the end of the week. Wowee were they excited! After some thoughtful discussions, we decided that they’d need to get their individual body parts done by the end of the week, they had to go to park and lunch everyday, they would have to go to our weekly gameshare with the Red Band on Thursday, and we’d still have Morning Meeting with me every morning as a way to check in and hear any announcements. We’d have a different agenda writer each day, with each kiddo only having one chance to be in charge, and we’d vote at the end of the day each day for the next day’s Agenda Writer. Kiddos wrote in their reflection journals about what they’d put on the agenda if they got to be the leader for a day.

The beginning of our discussion on the parameters for our 'Kid Classroom' experiment.

The beginning of our discussion on the parameters for our ‘Kid Classroom’ experiment.

Throughout, we talked about leadership qualities. We landed on a list of qualities that is heavy on empathy, and light on authoritarianism. The kiddos thought it would be most important for their daily leader to listen to their bandmates, be kind, fun and silly, solve problems creatively, and most importantly, be helpful. Who could ask for more!

Here, Sadie explains to the rest of the band Ramses' agenda proposal, which included lots of breaks to eat chocolate!

Here, Sadie explains to the rest of the band Ramses’ agenda proposal, which included lots of breaks to eat chocolate!

This past Monday morning, the kiddos got into pairs to hear about their partner’s plan for a day in the life of the Orange Band. Then, they introduced their partner to the rest of the group, explaining the agenda they’d propose. Each plan was pretty great, some surprising, and some delightfully predictable. Most of all, each plan truly reflected the personality of the kiddo proposing it. And then we voted! Here’s how it played out:

Monday: Tesla

Tesla writes in the agenda on Monday morning. She included some project work time, some literacy games, a few minutes watching the next episode of Kid Nation, and time to play on the cork floor.

Tesla writes in the agenda on Monday morning. She included some project work time, some literacy games, a few minutes watching the next episode of Kid Nation, and time to play on the cork floor.

Tuesday: Isaac

Isaac made sure to schedule in time for us to play the board game we had just designed together, 'Village to Village.'

Isaac made sure to schedule in time for us to play the board game we had just designed together, ‘Village to Village.’

Wednesday: Gita

Gita reflected later that she felt the tug between her bandmates wanting her to put playtime on the agenda, and knowing that she and others needed more time to work on their projects.

Gita reflected later that she felt the tug between her bandmates wanting her to put playtime on the agenda, and knowing that she and others needed more time to work on their projects.

Thursday: Ramses

After confirming with me that I had in fact procured hot chocolate making supplies, Ramses puts a hot chocolate drinking break on the agenda.

After confirming with me that I had in fact procured hot chocolate making supplies, Ramses puts a hot chocolate drinking break on the agenda.

Friday: Emilio

Oh boy, these results were a bit controversial. But, all I could say was, "Y'all knew that Emilio wanted to do math all day!"

Oh boy, Friday’s results were controversial. But, all I could say was, “Y’all knew that Emilio wanted to do math all day!” A few kiddos were able to find a compromise by submitting ‘Project Work Time’ as a Community Friday activity in the afternoon.

Now, as much as I implored that the ballots were TOP SECRET, and for each kiddo to vote for the plan they liked the best, I know there was a lot of politics involved in who voted for who–which is why I sent kiddos to opposite corners of the school to vote, and hid the ballots afterward. In the end, the voting process feels bittersweet, because I know that silent alliances were formed, promises were made, promises were broken. I know this because I saw the ballots at the end of each day, and because I know each of these kiddos so well. At the end of the day, all but one kiddo took the chance and put their name on the ballot, which took a lot of bravery. One of the goals here was to encourage this kind of emotional bravery, and give them a positive first experience of what can happen when we make ourselves vulnerable by proposing an idea and putting it in the hands of others.

Was this experiment a success? In a few ways, I think so. Kiddos considered the trust they put in each other, and the trust they put in me. They prioritized play time, sometimes at the cost of project work time. They succeeded and failed at listening to each other, and saw real consequences to their choices. They did not all finish their body parts by the end of the week. I think this week they genuinely experienced what happens when they listen to each other and work hard, and that’s all I could really expect.

Blue: Me Staying Outta Their Way

Over the last two weeks, I gotta way, way outta Blue’s way. They’re on a roll and I told them the last thing I want to do is derail it. Projects are intense, and they are hustling!

So, here’s what Blue is up to:

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Audrey is testing out group psychology and group dynamics by selecting specific personality types and having them work as a team to solve a problem. (Because she really likes space and Mars, and really wants to see which types of people would work best together in a one-way mission to the red planet).

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Owen is going to tan leather from start to finish. He’s been designing/building/welding tools to assist him in the process. (Because he really likes leather and is interested in the ways in which some of the process has been lost or changed in the commercial industry).

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Declan is making a life-sized action figure with joints that move in the way that real human joints move. (Because he’s fed up with the inaccuracies of the toy industry!)

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Fran is so busy interviewing the womyn (her spelling, a political statement) of Brightworks. She wants to know how stereotypes effect the way folks interact with one another and also precieve themselves. (Because she identities as a feminist and hates the way girls are taught to act by popular culture).

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Basically, Felix is designing an alien. He is researching planets that could potentially support life, and then creating a creature that might be able to survive and thrive there. He’s also researching the interconnected organ systems of people and animals for inspiration and a deeper understanding of what a living body needs and does. (Because he’s fascinated by UFO narratives).

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Julian is designing a video game. He has been drafting on paper the worlds and the characters and the accessories, and he also downloaded and is learning to use video game design software. (Because he’s interested in video games’ effect on the brain and their potentially addictive qualities!)

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Clem is learning about bones and muscles in order to become a better drawer. She’s been drawing hands and arms while learning about the bones and muscles. (Because she loves art and wants to get better at drawing people).

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Kaia has been intensely focused on math. She wants to complete the core curriculum generally taught to public school 7th graders. She’s been working for hours each day to go learn the subject matter, and has been hanging out with me most of the day so that I can help her. We’ve had a lot of deep conversations about applied math and also the math that we just learn and practice now so that we can later apply more complicated processes on top of it later. (Because she is really interested in learning skills that might be useful in her adult life).


And here are some more awesome moments —  just because I love these kids! Carry on, Blue.

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Chartreuse Band Economy

Looking to learn about the economy and grow our sense of responsibility for our space and our belongings, the Chartreuse Band has begun the Chartreuse Band Economy.

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We began our exploration with the question of “What is ECONOMICS?” The vocabulary of economics came flying out: currency, trade, finance, taxes, supply, demand, services, goods, credit, debit. Questions were asked: “Where do our taxes go?” Debates began: “I believe that we need to invest more money into our public schools and not as much into the military.” Their interest, excitement, and most importantly, their prior knowledge around the idea of economics was unbelievable.

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We did not just want to talk about economics, we wanted to live it, and through that experience also take a greater responsibility for our band spaces. What would an economy belonging to sixteen 10 and 11 year olds look like? What jobs would be needed to care for one another and our space? How do those jobs relate to jobs in the real world? How are those jobs valued and would we value them in the same way?

Classroom jobs that would be paid for by “tax dollars” were quickly brainstormed. We’d need someone to vacuum, just like we need street sweepers. We would need bankers and law enforcement. Lost and found keepers could impound items that are left lying around when they should not be.

“But how will we choose who gets each job?” “Do we need a President?” “Can we have side jobs to make additional money?” “What outside materials are allowed to run businesses?” “What is the goal of our economy?” These were the questions we were going to and still are having to answer.

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Each band member had strong ideas around the jobs they wanted to hold and after taking a poll on each child’s top four choices, we held interviews. Before being interviewed, we looked at the idea of sharing who we are and our experiences through resume writing. Ellen came and spoke to the band about her role in hiring at BWX and what she looks for in a resume and interview. During the interview process, each student applying for a position was asked three questions by the other band members. The questions were incredibly thoughtful and took both the needs of the position and the student into account. Upon conclusion of the interviews, the entire band individually wrote down their top three applicants based on their qualifications and interview, and so the jobs were filled.

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They have very quickly taken responsibility for their roles. Messages have been left, mailboxes have been made and uniforms have been created. Beyond their government jobs, numerous small businesses have opened up. We have nail salons, shops with small items, candy stores, and day spas, just to name a few. Real estate has become a hot topic with cubbies being put up for sale. Money is flowing throughout the Chartreuse Band Economy.

As with every economy, challenges have presented themselves. Should we have more than just one central bank? What laws do we need to have in place and how will we enforce them? What are reasonable fines for breaking the laws? Can we even trust our law enforcement? How do we know that a transaction is final? With every weekly town hall meeting, we continue to answer more and more of the questions that arise.

Orange Band: Human, Week 9 & 10

At the beginning of this week I was King Kong.

Ramses fills in my salutation on Monday's morning message.

Ramses fills in my salutation on Monday’s morning message.

We’re working hard to integrate skills work into our project work. This looks like writing a checklist of what we’d like to accomplish every week, measuring and including dimensions in our design drawings, researching and taking notes from books and videos that inform our projects.

Sadie watches a video demonstration of a new type of suture--aka stitch--and takes notes.

Sadie watches a video demonstration of a new type of suture–aka stitch–and takes notes.

Sadie's first few practices of the running subcuticular suture using felt and embroidery floss. This week, she started to use a curved suture needle!

Sadie’s first few practices of the running subcuticular suture using felt and embroidery floss. This week, she started to use a curved suture needle!

Oscar explains his design drawing to me.

Oscar explains his design drawing to me.

Tesla tries out paracord as a material to represent larger blood vessels.

Tesla tries out paracord as a material to represent larger blood vessels.

But first Emilio had to untangle his spinal cord.

But first Emilio had to untangle his spinal cord.

On Tuesday, in Math Workshop, we compared the number machines we’ve been practicing to ratio tables we worked on earlier in the year. We noticed that predicting the future using these two different types of tables looks very different. In a ratio table, we can double like 5 to find the answer to like 10. But in a number machine, we jump forward or back depending on the pattern. Huh. After sitting with this puzzling difference while playing some board games, we came back together to try and define what exactly is the difference. After a few different proposals, we realized that we could describe the workings of each table using different mathematical operations! Our number machines are ruled by addition, and our ratio tables are ruled by multiplication (which can also be represented with addition). Wowee! We just defined what it means to add and what it means to multiply! We can go in so many different directions with this… stay tuned!

When playing chess, remember to think about spheres of influence.

When playing chess, remember to think about spheres of influence.

OH, and considering all of the hard work we’ve put in at the Treat Commons Garden, we decided it was time to put down some roots–scallion, cucumber and radish roots to be more precise.

Putting down roots required scooping some dirt from the compost bin first.

Putting down roots required scooping some dirt from the compost bin first.

And making some friends.

And making some friends.

With 4 (four!) entries in the journal this week, we had a lot to talk about at Class Meeting. So, I decided to focus our discussion on the art of apologizing. As we’ve discussed before, if you have friends, you will both hurt your friends feelings and have your feelings hurt by your friends. So, you’ve got to know how to apologize and what to do when someone apologizes to you. Here are some basic steps:

  1. Use the words, “I’m sorry.”
  2. Acknowledge that you made a mistake, and describe how it was that you made a mistake.
  3. Acknowledge how it was that your mistake resulted in your friend’s hurt feelings.
  4. Ask for forgiveness.

Easier said than done, that’s for sure! But for these young kiddos, they’ve got nothing but practice ahead.

Oh, and we kept making art together.

Herve Tullet's 'Traffic Jam' workshop.

Herve Tullet’s ‘Traffic Jam’ workshop.

Herve Tullet's 'Traffic Jam' workshop.

Herve Tullet’s ‘Traffic Jam’ workshop.

BEEP BEEP!