Monday, February 29, 2016

Learning Spaces and Creativity: February 29, 2016

Focus: What is the role of creativity in high school?

My epiphany from Friday:
We're used to accepting classrooms, hallways, etc. for what they are. They have become nearly invisible to us. What if we looked at learning spaces like playdoh? If you could let your imagination run a bit wild, how would you shape your learning space?

1. Warming up: Describe a classroom in which you felt creative--a space in which you felt you were really learning. This doesn't have to be a space at AHS; it can be from elementary school, or maybe from something totally unrelated to school.
  • What specific, physical aspects of this space fostered your creativity?
  • What spacial concepts did your discussions last Friday share?
    • Light (click HERE to read about a recent study about natural light and your brain)
    • Spread-out space
    • Comfortable chairs (click HERE to read about comfort in the classroom)
    • More bathrooms (click HERE to read what a urologist has to say about this)
    • Access to good food (click HERE to see how nutrition affects learning)
    • Access to water (click HERE to read about hydration and learning)
2. Considering whether we're growing into or out of creativity: "Do Schools Kill Creativity?"
  • In your "Space" document, type a few things Sir Ken Robinson says that ring true for you.
  • Are your current learning spaces allowing and/or inspiring you to create? Why or why not?
3. Sharing your recent ideas with a gallery walk of ideal learning spaces:
  • What do you like about the space?
  • How might it improve your academic life? Your creative life?
4. Looking over your notecards, reflecting on today's class, and posting a relevant question about creativity and/or learning spaces that starts with "What if...?"
  • Ex: What if there were exercise spaces throughout the school (running, yoga, weights, climbing walls, etc.), and there was a 30 minute gap between second and third hour each day to do something physical?
  • Please post this on today's class blog. Thanks!

HW: 
1. Investigate bell schedules of other schools; try find different kinds of schools (elementary schools, colleges, Montessori schools, schools in other countries, etc.). The more the better, but find at least three. Past the schedules (or links to them) in a Google doc called "The School Day." This should go in your "Imagination/Invention" folder.

2. Synthesis essays are due in www.turnitin.com by this Thursday (I'm extending your deadline by a day). Come in for conferences if you'd like extra help beyond the feedback I've left for you. Click HERE for the update regarding feedback.

3. By Thursday, complete "What Happens Next" and "What Should I Do If I Get Stuck?" on your Banned Book Problem.

4. Please let your parents/guardians know that I will only be at conferences this Thursday from 4:00 to 6:00.

222 comments:

  1. What if schools had doughnuts in the classroom?

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    1. I think I'd get sick of eating donuts after a week.

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    2. It wouldn't impact anyone whatsoever except having more people gain a few more calories. That's not relevant...

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  2. What if the school had a roof that could come off when the weather is warm to incorporate nature into the classroom?

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    1. Love the idea Dwason. Could get some fresh air and some of that natural light that keeps you engaged. They would need to allow us to wear hats then so we could keep the sun out of our eyes though.

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    2. That's a really good idea. I think that if we were able to have natural light and fresh air we would be able to learn better.

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  3. What if math class wasn't mandatory and you could choose another class?

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    1. There would be a lot of kids graduating that were not very good at basic math.

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    2. What if public school wasn't based on what adults think is best for you like math and science but instead is focused on what the kid is interested in .

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    3. I agree with Nick. We should be focusing on what we want to have as a career.

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  4. What if classrooms had 15 minutes of free time every 45 minutes

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    1. I think we should have more because I do my best work with mi amigos

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    2. That would be nice. I think it would keep the students more engaged for the other 45 minutes.

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    3. I agree with Brandon, if we got more breaks it would be much easier to focus while we were in class.

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    4. I think that this would have a benefit to learning, but it seems to me that there isn't a lot of time for students to be in their classroom, which is where I think I learn the best.

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    5. I think that would make school a lot more fun and it would keep us awake during the day.

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    6. I agree with Brandon, if we got more breaks it would be much easier to focus while we were in class.

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  5. What if rubrics didn't exist? Teacher would give students a problem and let them figure out the best way to solve it.

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    1. How would teachers grade writing?

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  6. What if each person could learn in their own separate environment during the same class?

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    1. Good idea but seems hard to do maybe need a few teachers in the class.

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  7. What if there were comfortable couches in classrooms?

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    1. I feel like that would make the learning environment more comfortable.

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    2. That would be very nice but I think I would fall asleep.

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  8. What if the cafeteria was open all day and you could go get food at any point of the day?

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    1. I don't think that Michelle Obama would like that very much

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  9. What if there was classes outside where would would learn the same stuff but there was no classroom.

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  10. What if everyday before school we did a physical activity?
    What if classes were shorter and passing periods were longer?

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    1. I think this would certainly wake us up.

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    2. I like that idea...50 minute classes and 15 minute passing periods or something like that would be nice.

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    3. i like the idea of longer passing periods so that we get a little while to relax before going to our next class

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  11. What if after every class there was 10 minutes to finish up work that was assigned without any more teaching?

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    1. I think that would release a lot of the stress that high schoolers have from all of the homework

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    2. I like that because it would give us time to finish stuff so our nights weren't so clogged with stress

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    3. i definitely think this idea would help some high schoolers get more sleep as well. Also it would help with student athletes who don't have a lot of time to get all of their work done without staying up until 2 in the morning

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  12. What if you got money every time you answered a question correctly in all the classrooms? Especially in the bigger classrooms with a lot of people.

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    1. Great Idea! My brother had a sub that did that. It would also be cool if students got extra credit for every right answer they answered

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    2. That would encourage people to speak up and participate in class. People would want to learn the material so they could answer the questions correctly.

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    3. I would definitely try harder to get questions right. I would learn more because I'd focus hard on it rather than just going to class and messing around.

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    4. I think this is a good idea, but where would this money come from?

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  13. What is classes were held outside whenever it was nice out?

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    1. I think that would be a great way to take a break and to learn at the same time.

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    2. I think that would be a nice way to relax throughout the day and still get work done

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    3. I think that would be a good way to relax us and then be better prepared to learn.

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  14. What if PE wasn't just a participation grade or if our regular classes were participation grades?

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    1. I think more people would try when classes are only participation grades.

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    2. If all classes were only graded on participation it would force kids to be apart of the class and be active in it. Tests wouldn't have as large of a meaning anymore.

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    3. If all classes were only graded on participation it would force kids to be apart of the class and be active in it. Tests wouldn't have as large of a meaning anymore.

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  15. What if the cafeteria was designed as a fancy restaurant? In this case the students might feel like they are in a better environment and might be on better behavior.

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    1. That would be really sweet, and I think it would help some kids with manners and being more mature.

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    2. Also, do you think that lunch would have to be longer? We would have to wait for our food, but I would not argue with a longer lunch period

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    3. yes, lunches would be a lot longer!!!

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  16. What if all classes were fishbowl discussions?

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    1. I feel that would actually be a good idea, because it would help kids with social aspects of high school, plus their would be a lot of learning with everyone's ideas.

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    2. I also think it's good for students to be able to share their opinions on certain topics. I think this would really help students to engage their minds.

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  18. What if there was windows everywhere you go?
    What if we have a vending machine in every classroom?

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  19. What if every classroom had a big garage style door to let in light and a cool breeze during the day, especially in spring and summertime?

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    1. That would be very helpful, because natural sunlight is very healthy, and being under classroom lights, and our computers light is not healthy for our eyes

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    1. But this might be a problem for those students who are not mature enough to keep the food on their desks...

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  21. What if each classroom was facing outside with windows, and in the middle of the school was outside, with a Clarity Commons inside of it?

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    1. That would give us a place to hangout and get fresh air even when we are still in the school. That would be cool.

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    2. That would be a really helpful environment and a cool place to hangout during lunch or your off periods.

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  22. What if each classroom had recliners, couches, and futons rather than desks? Would kids be more focused because they wouldn't be as inclined to talk or communicate with peers if they are relaxed?

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    1. I defiantly think it would make the students more comfortable and open to learning better

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  24. Creativity is as important in education as literacy.

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  25. Some people need to move around do tactile things while they learn.

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    1. I agree with you because on most occasions I'm one of those individuals. I think it stimulates something in the brain to focus on the objective a teacher is trying to explain while the individual(s) are moving.

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  26. Schools drain creativity and the beliefs/goals of students.

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  27. I thought it was interesting and very true when he said "creativity is just as important as literacy."

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    1. What a deliberative and excitative, reasoned and ruminative, reflective and contemplated response! I award you all points, you convivial callipygian.

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  28. One take away that I got is that you don't need formal education to be successful.

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  29. We need to teach kids that mistakes are acceptable and that making mistakes is a way to learn.

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  30. I liked what he said when he was talking about the dancer. He said if we would have just given her medicine and told her to calm down she wouldn't be where she is today.

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    1. This makes me wonder if we need more specialized schools, especially in and around Littleton. What if music was brought into all classes for example, especially into math classes? What if we had schools that incorporated physical tasks into all mental tasks?

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  31. One takeaway from the video I had is that schools aren't allowing students to peruse certain things they enjoy and are too focused on teaching subjects like math and science.

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  32. One takeaway is that the further education people take, the more it doesn't allow for the creative sides of our brains to show. This is why schools kill creativity.

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    1. I agree with Lizzie's statement, If a kid wants to become a good student it doesn't allow him/her to have a lot of free time outside of school. Especially if you are in some sort of AP or honors class.

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  33. How can it be changed so we keep our creativity? Find something we like when we are young and go to school just for that?

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    1. I think schools should be more select on the subjects they teach then just a standard state wide education system

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  34. This Ted talk made me realize that uniqueness is taken as a bad thing, but could be beneficial.

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  35. If you're scared of being wrong you might never create something original.

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  36. Why can't school be what we are good at and why should the requirement be go to college if you can get a job that you love and not go to college?

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  37. Why, if people are noticing that school is killing creativity, is nothing being done about it?

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    1. Very important question. I don't understand the move towards standardization of education...where is all this measuring taking us? Where is the evidence that more standardized tests lead to greater learning? We've increased this steadily over the past decade, yet our low international ranking remains the same.

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  38. I really liked when he talked about how we don't value the arts as much as much as we value math or history and this made me wonder why. What makes math so much more important than art or drama?

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    1. Do we have any five-day-a-week art or music classes here? Are these classes required to graduated? (I'm asking because I honestly don't know...not trying to be rhetorical).

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  39. I found it interesting that he said "we are educated out of creativity."

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  40. People learn many different ways and they want to learn many different things, but school systems are forcing them to learn one particular way and a set group of subjects, which then forces them to conform and if they don't they are left behind and seen as a struggling student, when they could be a thriving student in the right environment.

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  41. I took away the phrase, "intelligence is diverse." I really liked how this was said, because I truly do agree that intelligence is different for everyone and there are so many high expectations for it, yet we don't see how diverse it truly is.

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  42. That every kid has talent. And sometimes thats not able to be shown and that is how school kills creativity.

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  43. Some people can't learn/work while siting down. Some people need to move to be productive.

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  44. One takeaway is that we don't balance our education very well, with arts as the bottom priority and math and sciences as top

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  45. One takeaway I got is that you don't need to know everything schools teach us to be successful.

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  46. If schools added more classes as options for credits and those classes did not focus on academics but on creativity like dance, music, etc. Would more people discover a different future they would like to pursue if they experimented with those types of courses instead?

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  47. "Another would’ve put her on medication and told her to calm down." Children are children and are capable of many things. Restricting them because no one wants to deal with their energy can only hurt them in the long run. It is of no benefit to the child, nor the educator.

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  48. The education system is__________ (censored)

    Why does having a degree help or not help you in todays society?

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  49. What if we could learn in the places that we most enjoyed. From the presentation I learned to not leave my creativity behind me in the past but renew it for what is to come.

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  50. Schools tend to knock the creativity out of people, because of the lectures, and all the sitting, and the schools send too much time trying to lecture and teach us things we don't need. Theres more lecture classes and more time to be logical than creative

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  51. If a lot of the research tells us that kids need to keep there creativity, they need to be comfortable to learn, they need to move to think, then why aren't we changing some things? Why are we still sitting in desks not motivated to do anything? Being told what we can and can not do rather and tell us not to make mistakes, when we need to make mistakes? Why are we still making kids scared to go to sleep because they didn't finish there homework when sleep is more essential to our minds? Why aren't we changing the education system>

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  52. What if we could learn in the places that we most enjoyed. From the presentation I learned to not leave my creativity behind me in the past but renew it for what is to come.

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  53. What if our school had more comfortable chairs? (bean bags, exercise balls, etc.)

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    1. Students would most likely be able to sit still for longer periods of time, rather than constantly moving around due to their discomfort.

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  54. What if passing periods were 10 mins long.

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    1. People would probably use their lockers more, instead of just carrying everything in their backpacks, and they would also probably be more social in their passing periods

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  55. What if we didn't have to sit still and it was ok to move around or play with things, such as play dough, during class in order to help focus?

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    1. I love this because a lot of people think better when playing with things or squeezing a stress ball. It helps a lot and I feel it would be appropriate for students to get in there learning game this way.

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  56. What if schools were set up like business offices? Opportunities to work out, walk outside, swim, eat, and gave kids more freedom to do those things to relieve stress.

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  57. What if our school had more open spaces and more comfortable class rooms that made our learning environment less stiff?

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  58. What if we had a glass room with a view of outsider with hammocks and blankets for a nap hour?

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    1. I think this will lighten people's moods, because they are not forced to be in white boxes with florescent lights. The nap time would also take off a lot of stress students feel.

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  59. What if we had more natural light?

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    1. I would like that. The buzz of the fluorescent lights tends to get annoying throughout the school day.

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    2. It would make a lot of people less hesitant to go to school. I find that when I am natural light I am in a better mood than when I'm in fluorescent lights.

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  60. What if there were larger hallways and longer passing periods so it was easier to get to class everyday?

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    1. I don't think this would make too much of a difference. It isn't terribly hard to get from class to class unless they are on opposite sides of the school and the teacher takes long to let you out of class

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  61. What if there was a nap room for students and it was a required class to take for at least one period a day?

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    1. This would take off a lot of stress that students are feeling and give them a time to fully relax during the school rather than freaking out over grades.

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    2. I think that would really benefit everyone

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  62. What if schools looked more like museums rather than offices?

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    1. What a deliberative and excitative, reasoned and ruminative, reflective and contemplated response! I award you all points, you convivial callipygian.

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    2. I love this. We come to school thinking that we are forced to come and it's no fun. But if it looked funner and it was more colorful and looked more like a place for kids rather than for adults at work then maybe we would want to come more often.

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  63. What if classes could be outside when it is nice outside, and when the class wants it.

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  64. what if we had the same size classrooms as we did in elementary school with less people in every class. How would this affect our learning?

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    1. This would increase productivity because the students would encounter a more direct learning environment but it would also be very expensive because there would have to be more classrooms in order to teach all of the students and more teachers would need to be hired for those new classes.

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  65. What if our school had larger lockers?

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    1. What would be an advantage of having a bigger locker? I mean there's only so much you can put in a locker its kind of wasted space if we make lockers bigger.

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    2. I personally never use my locker, and I know a lot of people who also don't. I think it would be a waste of space.

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    3. I think that it would be nice to have bigger lockers because we share them and we could fit more sports bags and things in our lockers if they were bigger

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  66. What if you could sit in the chair you want, ( egg chair, couch, etc) and you were able to eat in class and drink whatever, making it more comfortable?

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    1. People would probably get more stuff done

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    2. Would you get more stuff done or would you not want to go class if the cafeteria was more comfortable?

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  67. What if our school had a more comforting and welcoming environment? Nice and comfy classrooms, laid back teachers, and people who are kind

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    1. I think that if schools were more pleasing to the eye and felt more comfortable kids would enjoy school more and it would feel more personalized.

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    2. How laid back can teacher be before we feel that they aren't teaching anything? Are you saying that it should be more project based learning? More outdoor ed stuff to do team building?

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    3. I like this. I feel like more people wouldnt dread coming to school. I feel like if teachers were less stressful to us and more understanding of why we decided to sleep the night before instead of staying up all night doing homework it would be a wayyyyyyy better place.

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  68. What if there were no chairs in our classrooms and we just got to sit or lay on the ground to do our work? With carpet on the ground...

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    1. Well, I think it would be fun but not to convenient in different types of weather. :)

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  69. What if schools actually taught us something we can use in our lives?

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    1. It would be way more useful

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    2. That would be much easier

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    3. I don't think that's a fair question to ask. Schools do an amazing job at teaching underlying qualities that companies would want in their employees. It might not be obvious but Arapahoe is teaching their students to do your work proficiently and quickly, they're teaching their students to hit deadlines and to work as a team. The algebra and the biology isn't important, the underlying factors that determine a quality employee is what the schools teach best.

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    4. Somethings taught in school can be useful, but a lot of the time, the things that are taught do not pertain to life. I would rather learn how to do my taxes than learn about cells and cell walls. I understand it is important to some people and maybe even the career they want, but it is not important to everyone. Which is where the education system fails. They assume we are all alike, which we very much so aren't. This may be the reason why grades, and people are dropping out. It is hard to be interested in stuff that is irrelevant to life. I would rather be prepared for like than randomly measuring a table and trying to find it's midpoint for fun.

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    5. I disagree with that Graham. I think that students should be able to take the courses they know they'll want for their future. If a student isn't good at math they aren't going to be in a career field where lots of math is needed. All students should have a basic understanding of the core subjects but should not be required to study them deeper if they aren't good at it

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    6. I do agree that some of the information we are taught can be useless in our future careers, but sometimes it's not completely. For example, a writer might not use cos, sin, or tan at all while an architect could use it for the majority of their time. Schools might be a bit better if they focused more on figuring out what we might be good at and happy with as a career then taking classes related to each career choice rather than just taking classes so we can graduate even if it may not be important in our future.

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  70. What if the students got to design the classrooms? Each person could add their own touch to the school.

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    1. Very, very cool idea...and not expensive, either.

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    2. That would be very unique, it would allow students to take an interest in their education and have fun with it as well

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    3. That is a great idea, and I think that could actually be a possibility.

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    4. If the students got to create the own classroom, every desk would probably be a bed, and or have a snack bar in it. But that is in my opinion, I don't know if us choosing the way our classroom looks and is, is beneficial to our learning

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    5. I think it would give students a feeling of control and make them more comfortable and relaxed.

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    6. What a deliberative and excitative, reasoned and ruminative, reflective and contemplated response! I award you all points, you convivial callipygian.

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  71. What if there were 20 minute breaks in between every class you there is time to talk to your friends for a few minutes and get a snack and maybe do a little homework

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    1. That would be a great 20 minute break

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  72. What if our classrooms changed into an elementary classroom layouts? Would it impact students' learning and participation in class?

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  73. What if they let us go outside and see natural light and breath fresh air. What if they taught us that there are other options than college. What if they gave us time to eat lunch and relax. What if school wasn't about memorization and conformity but rather comprehension and creativity.

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    1. I would like all of those options. It would make students more willing to come to school and open to learning new information. Also it would be a positive change for people to be able to apply their knowledge instead of just memorizing facts and trying to get good grades.

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    2. you just hit the nail on the head. i think students would do a lot better if we were able to do those things

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  74. What if we had trapolines in the classrooms and you had to jump to jump from class to class to give you a little workout?

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    1. Love the idea but sounds dangerous considering high school students don't tend to be very slow going and cautious.

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  75. What if our school played jeopardy music during passing periods?

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  76. What if, ten years from now, my students use their creative intelligence to change the face of public education?

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  77. what if someday technology in classrooms didn't exist, and students weren't allowed to use them

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  78. What if classes were held outside when the weather was appropriate?

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    1. I think that would be just a terrific learning environment in nature

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    2. I think this is a good idea but I feel like even if you're getting fresh air and some sun, it would be much easier to get distracted in this learning environment because of all the different things around you. Even though a classroom may seem boring, I think that helps the mind focus easier on one task oppose to being distracted by your surroundings.

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    3. It is your choice if you pay attention or not though, even in a classroom you can still use your phone or find some other way to distract yourself. In either enviorment, you can still decide wether you pay attention or not.

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  79. What if classes had more natural light in them, instead of artificial light?

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    1. What do you mean by natural light? Like some sunlight?

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    2. I personally think everyone's mood would get a lot better. It seems as though natural light and warm weather increases my mood.

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  80. What if grades weren't ever put into the school system? Do you think people would still find purpose in going to school?

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    1. On what principles would colleges accept students if there were no grades?

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    2. There's still a benefit to having knowledge about many basic things in life, but how would this affect college and getting a career?

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    3. I'm afraid Graham is correct. How would you be able to go to a good college if there are no grades

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    4. It seems counterproductive to fix a problem with education by supporting one of the most antagonized aspects of public schools

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    5. The old teachers (like me) often talk about this. When we first started teaching, grades weren't posted online. There was significantly less nitpicking over grades, but students were also more out of touch with what teachers expected and what constituted an "A." As a student, I think having every single grade posted online in all my classes would have driven me crazy--I would have obsessed. As a teacher, I care about the learning, but not the grades. This may be terrible to admit, but I have no idea what your letter grades are in this class right now. I try to keep an eye out for failing students, but I don't care much about the difference between an A and a B.

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    6. I believe people would still go to school because like you said standardized testing would be the way they test your knowledge and how you are admitted into college. But, if less people go to school it kind of is a good thing because the only people at school are the ones that actually want to be there rather than having kids who don't want to be there and think it is a waste of their time. Without grades school would be more laid back and less people would take it seriously but that would be reflected by their standardized test score.

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    7. Im with Korboslonis on this one, standardized tests would be the best way to go about getting into colleges if grades weren't incorperated

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  81. What if there was no homework?

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    1. As I start figuring out where my kids are going to go to elementary school, one thing that's important to me is the amount of homework. I want them in an elementary school with little-to-no homework so that they don't burn out by the time they get to high school. When did you guys start doing homework?

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    2. As I start figuring out where my kids are going to go to elementary school, one thing that's important to me is the amount of homework. I want them in an elementary school with little-to-no homework so that they don't burn out by the time they get to high school. When did you guys start doing homework?

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    3. I think that having no homework would make kids want to go to school more. It would give them more time to do things that they want to when they aren't in school.

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    4. I started really doing homework in 2nd grade but in 1st grade the only homework I really had was studying for a spelling test and then reading some.

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    5. I started to do a lot of homework in first grade and to be honest right now with playing a sport, I am just done with it. If homework was extra credit I wouldn't do it. Mostly because I want time to see my friends and I want time to do something else.

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    6. Personally I had homework all throughout elementary school. Although it was not too tasking, it seemed like the end of the world. Today with all of the extracurricular activities that we have going on I believe homework has hurt our learning instead of helping because if we don't have time to do it out of school, then we do it in class. This makes it to where we cannot focus in class and thus not getting material which we will be tested on. Therefore we should have no homework.

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    7. I feel like if there was no homework, there would be less stress on kids. But they also need to make sure they know what is going on in class. I feel like there should be way less homework because mainly all it does is put stress on students. We are still kids, we should enjoy the time we have by doing things we want to, not cramming it with school work. We already go to school for 7 hours each day. Why should there be an extra 3 every night? It would make the school environment much happier and make kids more excited to go to school if there was no homework.

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  82. What if the principle was just a friend and not an enforcer? What if his/her inky job was to get closer to the students but not monitor what was going on in the school?

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