Category Archives: Critical Thinking Skills

Let’s Realize & Learn More About Divergent Thinking!

Do you see how one thing these two thinkers have in common about explaining divergent thinking involves school? With that in mind, let’s leave behind your school brain and enjoy this moment to foster a new cognitive skill that helps with creative problem solving. So we will add another step of divergent thinking so that you might incorporate this cognitive awareness and develop a creative disposition more deeply in your thinking. In other words, how can you apply this learning to our work in our #PBL classroom? Interestingly, this type of thinking may help you navigate your future challenges in your college courses and future careers.

For homework, have fun viewing both videos. Then create a paragraph (7-10 sentences) and reflect on one of these thinkers (or both) and locate a specific moment in a movie, show (your favorite Netflix series), book, or drama where a character exhibits divergent thinking. Composing thoughtful sentences of Standard English, explain briefly the character’s personality and situation in the work and explicate how this one specific scene captures this “out of the blue” (Claxton) thinking that enables the character to move forward with this new idea, new thought process, or new mindset. This is an opinion-based prompt that simply requires you to support your claim with support from your selected text. By all means include any links in your final submission to Schoology if they will help the general reader.

Exploring Other Project-Based Learning Models

What is project-based learning? Let’s start by celebrating this diagram that will explain our instructional goals during this creative and meaningful learning process. So read this article carefully and bring questions about it to class. Moving forward we will keep these points in mind and discuss how best to help each learner design a project. Also appreciate that the iterative and collaborative process that we use in class will better help you internalize confidence in the complicated and messy process of collaboration and authentic learning. The other instructional goal is that you transfer these skills into your college courses and future careers.

Now let’s have everyone research other project-based learning classes and classroom and find two great models. Your first model with be the best #PBL model; explain how you appreciate something related to the iterative or collaborative process that the class used and demonstrated. The second model will be something related to what you think is an important topic for your generation to explore. In other words, you will appreciate the disciplinary aspects of this #PBL model. In the comment thread below, please compose a thoughtful annotation in 3-5 sentences using Standard English for each internet link for your two models.

Calvin Philleo: Husband to Prudence Crandall

Can you help us with our research? While many Connecticut residents know the story of Prudence Crandall and how she opened a school to educate young African-American girls in the early 1830s, few know the story of her marriage. Our project-based learning class will investigate her husband, Calvin Wheeler Philleo, because he was also a resident of Suffield. We want to know if more history about their relationship can provide more vital information about our state heroine’s historical record. What was significant about their marriage? We can search more information about him in our local archives. Along with checking Suffield Academy’s archives, we will reach out to members of the Suffield Historical Society and check records in the town hall. While conducting a preliminary research using the Hartford Courant Historical newspaper database, I found these records below. Please leave a comment if you have any suggestions regarding researching this figure. 

Basic Information:

Calvin Wheeler Philleo was a free-soiler and the husband of Prudence Crandall (School teacher & Activist) 

Born: 14 June 1822 Vernon, Oneida County, New York, USA

Died: 30 June 1858 (aged 36), Suffield, Hartford County, Connecticut, USA

Buried in the Old Center Cemetery in Suffield, CT | Mem ID: 7976434                                            (discovered on www.findagrave.com)

Hartford Courant: Historical Newspaper References

Further Reading:

https://sparedshared8.wordpress.com/2014/10/14/1841-charles-b-utley-to-calvin-wheeler-philleo/

This link contains some further biographical details of Calvin Philleo and also a transcript of a letter sent from Charles. B. Utley to Calvin in 1841. 

Update – 12/12/18

Suffield. “Celebration of the Two Hundred and Fiftieth Anniversary of the Settlement of Suffield, Connecticut, October 12, 13 and 14, 1920, with Sketches from Its Past and Some Record of Its Last Half Century and of Its Present.” Library of Congress Information Bulletin, Victor, http://www.loc.gov/item/23002816/.In-text CitationCheck for GrammarCheck for Plagiarism

Update 1/5/19

Driving Question

After delving deeper into the affiliations of Calvin Philleo, I am left with a question: What is the history of the free-soiler movement in Suffield, CT?

Skills Required

To uncover the truth of this question I will need to develop my networking skills and reach out to people that may be more knowledgeable about the topic. I will also need to refine my database searches and online research techniques.

Walking Tour of Campus & Village

In an attempt to appreciate our local place more, we walked to various sites that we have researched in detail for the last ten weeks. While we are focussing on the homefront during WWI, we also took time to consider Suffield’s history from the time the first colonials carved up the home lots as well as how the land was used. This long look back over Suffield history was inspired by the great lengths Suffield celebrated its 350th birthday in the fall of 1920. We are dwelling on this moment because it will help us understand Suffield’s post war attitudes as well as its response to the Influenza outbreak. See this book for more details on the celebration: https://archive.org/details/celebrationoftwo00suffie

With that in mind, we observed how the old town hall in the center of town and the installation of the Bronze Tablets were significant moments for making memory in 1920. We then saw how our modern war memorial utilizes these bronze tablets from the old town hall and honors other 20th century veterans. Moreover, when we focused more on the town green’s four centuries of history, we observed how the first two centuries of colonial use took advantage of the high ground and well worn Native American path. The current home locations and shape of the town green also revealed how these colonial residents utilized the “common lands” for domestic animals and probably shared overseeing these animals while they took turns working the narrow and long fields behind their houses. Our common knowledge of the 19th century image of the town green with the couple strolling under shade trees helps us image that century’s appreciation of the space. (This image hangs in several rooms at Suffield Academy, including my classroom.) When we paused on the late nineteenth century installation of the Civil War memorial and how it does not list the 35 members of the 29th regiment that are listed on the bronze tablets, we realized how this was a new chapter of town green for honoring veterans would continue in the 20th century. What patterns do you see in your New England town center? #CAISCT learner join our blog and share what you learn.

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?

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.

Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 10.22.18 AM.png

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

Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 10.40.55 AM.png

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.

Screen Shot 2017-02-27 at 10.45.20 AM.png

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?