End of the Semester Social Science Fair
Kobe chats with Ottawa’s Mayor The Honourable Jim Watson about the ingredients in his homemade bread that relate to his experience in the course, local Municipal Councillor Jan Harder and Darrell Bartraw President of Barrhaven Community Association learns about the DIFD game and how important that was to Chantelle, Reporter from the Barrhaven Independent Charlie Senack learns about Rajan and his unlearning journey over the last two years, Principal J. Offord learns about how the fruit combined in a juicer represents Lucas’ journey throughout the course and Melody from Empties for Paws comes to support her girls who helped her raise money for local animals in need.
On Tuesday January 22, 2019 my three classes hosted a Social Science Fair at our school. We invited parents, people from the community and board officials. The week before the fair the students spent five days working individually and with their classmates to find ways to connect their projects, their classmates projects course experiences and personal experiences to their respective curriculum. They reflected on our OCDSB Exit Outcomes (soft skills) and gave me feedback on what they liked, what they didn’t like and any suggestions that they might have to make the course run smoother next time. On the day of the fair, students were asked to bring in a conversation piece for the showcase. These were the only guidelines they had:
- Create something that will allow you to talk about what you want to talk about.
- Don’t do something you would traditionally do in school.
- Don’t create something that will just end up in the garbage.
To get an idea of what types of conversation pieces they brought in and what they talked about check out the video below.
As always, I was blown away by each and everyone of my students. I got to overhear many of the conversations that they were having with the community member and I was amazed by what they had to say. The feedback that we received from the community was amazing.
“It was a pleasure to speak to all your students today. They showed so much enthusiasm for their work and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to them as they described what they had done.” President Barrhaven Community Organization
“I’ve now subscribed to several student blogs, youtube channels and podcasts – love that infectious energy! The students pitched with excitement; they were passionate, and they were very grateful for the outside-of-the-box experience you facilitated. Thanks for the invite, and congratulations on such an exciting event. And- maybe it’s odd to say this- but one of the most compelling parts of the event for me was listening to students talk about why some of their projects did not work out. I loved seeing them share vulnerabilities and engaging in positive risk-taking!” OCDSB Vice Principal
“...an absolute pleasure to spend time talking with your students and seeing first-hand the impact of your authentic approach to learning. So impressive how well they articulated their learning – and their unique story. I left the event so inspired – and have been sharing it since with colleagues…” OCDSB Principal
“My favorite part was how honest they were about their failures. They weren’t ashamed at all. That’s where, if you ask me, the real learning happens. It was awesome to hear how they bounced back and understood that making mistakes is not what defines their character.” OCDSB Teacher
“Thank you Rebecca for a wonderful lunch hour talking to thoughtful, insightful students who were enjoying their learning. I was so inspired by them.”, “I was struck by how much of most conversations with the students revealed that the way the class was run mirrored Indigenous pedagogy.” OCDSB Instructional Coach
The most consistent thing I heard from the students afterwards was “it was so nice to share what we did with people who really cared about what we had to say.” If that isn’t providing an authentic audience, I don’t know what is.
Over the last 3 months I have been busy preparing for my new two credit course that I will be teaching next semester (I get to have my students for a full afternoon). It is going to be another experiment but I am SO pumped for it. Keep following along if you are interested in seeing more of our unlearning journey.
Thanks for unlearning with us 🙂