Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Koosh and SPERM

picture of koosh ball
Koosh - Molly and then several students in their Reflection Papers suggested that everyone would be more comfortable working together and participating with a little more time to get to know one another.  Molly volunteered to do a short icebreaker before we got into Design Thinking.  The result was tossing the koosh, saying something interesting about yourself, and saying the name of the person you toss it to next.  On the first round, interesting things were the usual: major, where from , sports liked, etc.  I went last and tossed it to Molly.

On the second round, Molly suggested we all tell something a little deeper, maybe more personal.  She started with a factor of her identity (keeping confidentiality here), and we heard of injuries, illnesses, places of origin, languages spoken, family relationships.  I felt comfortable and safe enough to share why I didn't graduate high school.  The point of the second round was that we have all been through a lot, and we can get to know and trust one another.  I am SO impressed with Molly for coming up with a good, engaging icebreaker that was appropriate for this stage in the semester.


Design Thinking - I'm improving at making my points with less chatter.  I was concerned about the time I needed to present the material on Design Thinking and Wicked Problems, and get everyone transitioned into groups.  It worked out, and I made a point of referring to both the elements of thinking and information fluency, to attempt to connect what may seem to be a string of disconnected topics.

I suggested three groups and got four, no crisis.  All groups followed the SPERM pattern (Social, Political, Economic, Religious, Messaging/Media).  Two took the (small) whiteboards and I offered stickies, wall space, and large paper to the other two groups.  The whiteboard groups seemed to make more progress in generating variables and making connections in shorter time, but the paper and stickies groups seemed to concentrate more on establishing their processes.   The all-guy group in the northeast corner was especially proud of the organized way they were capturing their variables.   I actually needed to interrupt everyone at 3:48 to remind them to capture their work and bring their Wes Moore books next time, when this will be continued.   I can't wait to see how this progresses and how deep the groups go.

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