Two other teachers and I proclaimed it "Disruption Day" for 8th grade science and social studies. We have been talking about it for awhile. Good ideas were mentioned, what ifs were brought up but we still had not pulled the trigger...until Friday.
This is what Disruption Day looked like for us:
Each class was divided into 3 groups.
The groups rotated during their science and social studies classes to three different locations.
Each location spent around 25 minutes on a specific topic.
The topic was related but it wasn't related...I know weird.
We did that for 3 class periods...9 total rotations.
It has been awhile since I spent a whole day as a classroom teacher and it brought back so many good memories.
On a side note, I think it is a good idea for administrators to actually take a teachers class every once in awhile...it helps bring back those teacher memories. More importantly it keeps you from forgetting where you came from.
Back to Disruption Day
3 Rotations 3 Classes the theme was...
Fear and Uncertainty.
I know, just enough ambiguity to make the students wonder what the heck is going on. That was our goal.
The lesson all focused around fear and uncertainty in relation to the 1940s to late 1980s, basically the period of the Cold War. Mr. Epley focused on Oak Ridge and the Manhattan Project. Ms. Cossey used mouse traps and ping pong balls to show reaction. And I used propaganda posters to talk about the human side of things.
Now here is the kicker...The Cold War is not in the standards for 8th grade history. Nor is there any mention of any of that in the 8th grade science standards. Oh yeah, we also did not require any assignments, worksheets or writing about your experience activities. It was simply out of the box thinking.
The feedback was great! The students enjoyed it and said they wanted to do it again!
Some things I think we would do differently...
Bring in more student driven activities (we were all tired).
Extend the lesson to multiple days so the students can identify and solve problems relating to the topics.
Make a bigger deal out of it.
If you ask the three of us it was a success. If you ask the students you hear things like...
"it was relevant"
"it was fun but and we were learning"
"that wasn't like anything we have done before"
"when are we doing it again??"
Disruption Day Part I was a big hit. It will not be the last one. We are already planning for future disruption days. Other people are getting excited about it too.
Who knows, maybe it will lead to more members of #TeamDisruption...