Category Archives: Critical Thinking Skills

How Can We Teach Innovation Skills?

how-I-built-this.jpghttps://www.npr.org/player/embed/562887933/563105739

Let’s have fun learning about this now ubiquitous App Instagram evolved, and then we will examine how we can adopt elements of their success story as we begin our first steps in our own project-based learning journey. So how can we use this Instagram’s story to teach the dynamic disposition and positive attitude a student needs to cultivate in a project-based learning classroom?

It is very fascinating to hear the early iterations of Instagram (see more here: https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2014/07/instagram-used-to-be-called-brbn/373815/) and then realize all the changes they made to make the app what it is as a working app today. That process that is narrated here is design thinking, which is a process we will explore more this year. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Design-based_learning

Perhaps an important moment in their start-up was when they followed the advice to ask their users about what they enjoyed about their app rather than investing time into wondering what others who are not using the app would want. What did they learn from this part of the process?

(Podcast Time: 6:30) Isn’t it fascinating that the best thing for any entrepreneurial is failure? The founders of Instagram cite Eric Ries and his ideas about the process of a lean startup. “Don’t ask why people don’t sue your startup. Ask why people who continue to use your start up use your startup.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lean_startup 

(Podcast Time: 8:00) One of the founders tells a story of being burnt out and going on a break. Does he really take a break? Why type of thinking does he do on this “break” and how does it help the next iteration of the product of Instagram?

(Podcast Time: 9:00) Style topic. Did you notice how the music delivers a great downbeat when the divergent thinking that one of the founders has when his then girlfriend and now wife provides an insight while walking on the beach?

(Podcast Time 12:00) Just appreciate this moment. No response necessary. This is my hook for our audience!. “It was trial by fire; so many chances to fail. Kept working; all nighters. The amount we learned in that first year was crazy. It was fives years of college in one.” I would make this the hook because I’m an educator, and the producer here chose a more entertaining hook.

(Podcast Time: 17:30) There is a great conversation about how the story of success is never linear. It’s always dynamic, an up-and-down journey. Reflect on this moment and also reflect on how the founders keep their eye on the experience of the user. Do you have a personal success story that was not linear and had several “false starts” along the way before you achieve a degree of success? Write a 3-6 sentences here about that experience. We’ll share these moments in class and expand more on them.

(Podcast Time: 23:00) Around minute 23 they discuss the currency that feeds an entrepreneur. Explain in your own words this experience and its value. Then reflect on our course description and explain what experience will make our experience valuable.

(Podcast Time: 24:00) They reveal another great moment where they learned a lot through failure. This moment had to do with a mistake. What was the mistake? Could the mistake been avoidable? What else did they learn about the relationship they had with her users?

What do you think of the founders’ thesis about luck and talent? What role do resilience, grit, and optimism play in capitalizing on luck?

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The Other Leg of the Triangle Trade

Our project base learning class is investigating freedom slavery in Suffield Connecticut during the pivotal year of 1774. In this project my goal is to investigate deeper the slave movement of the Caribbean as well as Suffield trading relationship to the Caribbean. This topic is very broad but I am focusing on the reason of slavery throughout the Caribbean, mostly my home island, and relate it back to Suffield, Connecticut if possible. Though my research so far and looking at fellow classmates and their findings, I can correlate some of the information I have found with theirs. For example, Harry is looking into a dock in Suffield, Connecticut where cargo was transported to the Caribbean.

An estimated 12 million Africans were transported across the Atlantic to the Western Hemisphere from 1450 to 1850. Brazil and the Caribbean had the largest number of imports and for the longest period of time, until the 1880s.

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The Other Leg of the Triangular Trade, from Complicity

Most people know about the triangular trade, but some don’t know about the food, livestock, lumber route from Connecticut to the Caribbean. In return for, sugar, molasses, coin, and bills of exchange from the Caribbean.

So far for my research, I visited different websites and learned more about the famine in the Bahamas during the Revolutionary War. Because the British blockaded trade from Connecticut to the Caribbean slave plantations. The information I have found helped me further understand this other leg of the triangular trade. This has also introduced me to new and interesting leads for my topic. For example, I am now interested in the postwar Loyalist migration during 1785. It was interesting during this research to learn where slaves and migrants left southern colonies after the Revolutionary War and migrated to the Bahamas and other Caribbean island. Along with researching this topic on the internet, I visited the Pompey Museum in The Bahamas, where I found out that the building was where they used to auction off slaves; however, I could not get any information if they had any documents relating to the other leg of the triangular trade–any documents on cargo or trading evidence with Connecticut or other New England colonies.

 

 

Complicity: Complicity: How the North Promoted, Prolonged, and Profited from Slavery: Anne Farrow, Joel Lang, Jenifer Frank: 9780345467836: Amazon.com: Books. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Mar. 2017.

“Slavery in the Caribbean – Caribbean History.” Slavery in the Caribbean – Caribbean History. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.

Sources: “Washington State University.” Fall 2014 The Effects of Slavery on the Caribbean Comments. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.

“African Slave Trade, 1788.” African Slave Trade, 1788. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 Feb. 2017.

 

 

 

 

Did Richard Fortune Earn his Freedom in the War?

While Titus Kent is an African-American Revolutionary War veteran recognized on Suffield Veterans Memorial, a classmate discovered that a Richard Fortune fought in the Connecticut Regiment, and he is listed as being from Suffield. This discovery made me reflect on my previous research where I read Katherine Harris’ introduction in African American Connecticut Explored, where she opens the collection of history with this reflection: “The coexistence of freedom and slavery shape the lives of people of African descent from their first arrival in the Connecticut colony.” I then read David O White’s work, Revolutionary War Service; Path to Freedom in the collection and began more research on Richard Fortune.

We were able to get more in depth about what an important Katherine Harris’ research was. Looking into her researching history about slavery and freedom in Suffield Connecticut, I was able to come across Richard Fortune. Just like Titus Kent, who has
been researched by one of my classmates was an important

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Researched on Ancestry.com

Richard Fortune was pa
rt of the Revolutionary War and entered into the army at the age of around 18. In the 1820’s there are records of the United States Federal Census. This record informs us that Richard Fortune had to be the age of 45 and up in the year 1820. It also gave us information on his spouse. His wife was Diana Fortune who was able to live longer than him and she received his pension benefits when she was his widow. There is also a record of
her age in the year 1820. It says she was in between 26 and 44 years of age. This is a broad range, but it gives us the idea that she was fairly younger than Mr.

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Researching on Ancestry.com

Fortune.
As a class we were hoping to get more background information if possible on Richard Fortune. Researching Titus Kent gave us a good deal of information on Connecticut Slavery and Freedom during 1774. Thus, so finding more information on another African American soldier would get us closer to answers we are looking for as a class. If we could find more information on Richard Fortune, that could be great for my class. Can anyone help us with more sources and resources to find out more about Richard Fortune’s life after the war?

John Adams, a complex reporter

I am a senior at Suffield Academy and I am involved in a project-based learning class. Our goal is to find out more about what happened in Suffield in 1774, regarding freedom, slavery, and its complexities.

My previous research was about, Loyalists in Suffield in 1774. Through my investigation I found some important document. One of the document I found contains names of Loyalist that were in Suffield in 1774. This made me wonder: Can I find more documents during the mentioned time period?

By using researching skills, I found a diary written by John Adams. By using investigation skills, I found a page that states that John Adams was in Suffield November 5th 1774.  It was immediately interesting for our class to learn that John Adams had been to our town in 1774. John Adams was an important lawyer and patriot from Massachusetts. He was part of the First Continental Congress that took place in 1774-1775. He later became the second president of the United States. Moreover, John Adams was a complex intellectual. In the after math of the Boston Massacre, he showed his passion for the law and acted on his belief that everyone deserves a fair trial. He agreed to defend the soldiers from Great Britain. He argued that the troops had acted in self-defense. The Boston jury agreed, and six of the soldiers were found not guilty. By defending the British soldiers, he went against his patriot beliefs as well as his cousin´s, Samuel Adams.

Moreover, by looking through the diary of John Adams we realized he was a good reporter, who will help our class learn more about freedom and slavery in 1774. For instance, when he was near Suffield and stayed overnight at an Inn in Palmer, Massachusetts, he describes an interesting discussion. In the diary page from November 5th 1774, he talked about Parliament´s recent Acts with a Scottish Presbyterian couple. They also discussed trade, economy, and politics. Interestingly, he agreed with these “zealous Americans” who were of another faith and belief than his Congregationalist´s ideas.

“The People in this Part of Connecticutt, make Potash, and raise a great Number of Colts, which they send to the West Indies, and barter away for Rum &c. They trade with Boston and New York but most to New York. They say there is a much greater Demand for Flaxseed of which they raise a great deal, at N. York, than there is at Boston, and they get a better Price for it. Kibby at Somers keeps a Shop, and sells W. India goods and English Trinketts, keeps a Tavern, and petty foggs it”.     – John Adams (thoughts on trade in Enfield, CT). 

Moreover, I was excited to find that this important leader of the revolution traveled through Suffield. I started wondering: Had John Adams ever been to Suffield before? Why did he visit our town? What impact did his visit have on the community?

By using cross-referencing skills I found a reference to John Adams in Robert Treat Paine´s diary. This diary states that Paine and John Adams were also in Suffield on August 10th 1774. (While it is likely that John Adams traveled through our area because it was a common pathway between Boston and New York). Moreover, I still want to find more about John Adam´s reason for visiting Suffield, and what impact his visit had. I hope to find out more about this in the time to come. By using more cross-referencing skills, team work and investigation skills I will look thorough more of the pages from the John Adams Diary and mention of John Adams in other local diaries. I also want to research if there were any other important historical figures in Suffield in the 1770s it the diary pages.

Sources:

https://www.masshist.org/publications/apde2/view?id=ADMS-01-02-02-0004-0008-0005

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Adams#Opponent_of_Stamp_Act_1765

http://www.masshist.org/publications/apde2/view?id=DJA02d119

http://www.masshist.org/digitaladams/archive/popup?id=D22&page=D22_1

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boston_Post_Road

LOYALISTS IN SUFFIELD, CONNECTICUT IN THE LATE 1700s.

I am a senior at http://suffieldacademy.org and I am involved in a project-based learning class. Over the course of the winter term 2016 and the spring term 2017 the class main goal is to find out more about freedom, slavery, and the complexities in 1774. After the Boston Tea Party, the English Parliament drafted ”The Coercive Acts” in 1774. Many people throughout the thirteen colonies protested against these acts. For instance, in the town of Sheffield, Massachusetts, Colonel Ashley hosted citizens at his house. This group composed the Sheffield Resolves. Moreover, one of his slaves, Elizabeth Freeman, also known as Mum Bett, was inspired by this and later successfully sued for her freedom. Each student in the class is investigating different areas regarding this topic. For instance, some of my peers are looking into: slaves in Suffield during this time, the Boston Tea Party, an slave called, Old ”Ti”.

I want to find out more about Loyalists in Connecticut, but mainly in Suffield. I started to look into Connecticut first in order to get a better understanding and perspective of the bigger picture, before I went deeper into Suffield`s history. By using critical thinking skills I have been able to gatherer some background information about Loyalists in the period after “the Declaration of independence” was written. The document formally announced the colonies break from Great Britain. However, a number of colonists were against this and sided with Britain. These were known as Loyalists. I have researched many interesting things regarding the Loyalist in Connecticut. I learned that during the American Revolution they made up approximately 20% of the population in the colonies, and that 6% of the adult population in Connecticut were Loyalists. This is approximately 2000 – 2500 of the people in the state, which I regard as a quite high number. But did Suffield have any Loyalists? And if so, who were they?

After research on the internet and by using cross-referencing skills, I found out that there is a document named; “Revered Samuel Peter´s list” in the Kent Memorial Library in Suffield.  Allegedly there were at least four Loyalist in Suffield in 1774. Their names were: Alexander King, Captain Shem Burbank, Seth Austin and Isaac Pomeroy. Now my plan is to get access to documents and this way  to learn more about the document. First, I will go to the Kent Memorial Library to look at the “Revered Samuel Peter´s list” first hand, to check if this information is right. If so, I will use research skills to figure out some major question, like: who were these men? Why did they come to Suffield? How long had they lived in Suffield before 1774? What was their standing and position in the town? Why did they support Great Britain? And did they have families, wives, children, etc? Another thing I would like to do next is to get access to the book/document: “Connecticut’s Loyalists”. I believe this document will tell us more about why the Loyalists in Connecticut sided with Great Britain during the Revolutionary War. Furthermore, I have one more person I would like to research: “Hannah Barton”. I learned about her by doing extensive research on the internet. She is an interesting person, because she was born in Suffield in 1774 and was supposedly the daughter of Roger Barton, a Loyalist from New York. The fact that she was born in Suffield might suggest that Barton also was in Suffield in the late 1700s.  I have yet not find anything to support this statement, but I hope to find more about this in the time to come.

Sources:

https://books.google.com/books?id=cNHNOfL3ra4C&pg=PA127&lpg=PA127&dq=loyalist+suffield+1774&source=bl&ots=pT_s_uIhFp&sig=xvOQTi1zqo8_ydbPT1msQmYCOE8&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiqnIXNwN7QAhUKWhQKHRjYCkEQ6AEIMTAD#v=onepage&q=loyalist%20suffield%201774&f=false

https://www.geni.com/people/Hannah/6000000040924008214

https://books.google.com/books?id=PIksAAAAMAAJ&q=loyalist+connecticut+1774&dq=loyalist+connecticut+1774&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiEgbK3xt7QAhVIx1QKHW9KDJYQ6AEIHDAA. 

http://www.ushistory.org/us/11b.asp