Category Archives: Project-based Learning

Suffield In WWI

In WWI Connecticut had many successful people enter the war effort. Specifically, our town of Suffield has four registered soldiers that were in the 102nd regiment. We tweeted @mozactly, a professor who is investigating CT’s involvement in WWI. She replied by sending us information on the people in WWI from Suffield. This was very useful to us and one, in particular, was Harry M, Convery.

Mr. Convery was born on August 20, 1884, in New York. At an early age, he moved to Suffield CT, where he lived the rest of his life. Prior to entering the war, he was single and worked on a farm for the Kullie family. It is not known if Mr. Convery wanted to go to war or not, but once president Wilson implemented the Selective Service Act men between the ages of twenty-one to thirty had to register and possibly be called upon to go fight in the war. This must have a very anxious time for people selected to fight in the war. Most of these people have never held a gun and before they know it they are off to use guns regularly. Going into this blood bath of a war was not easy and these young troops had the right to be nervous.

With all of this preparation toward war, Mr. Convery was soon required to make his draft card and was eventually chosen to take part in the war. We found his draft card that everyone had to fill out before going to war. He was a medium sized man and had blond hair and blue eyes. Once in the war, he was given the rank of private. It is not known exactly what role he played in this war, but we do know that people from our small town served in The Great War. A possible avenue would be to try and find more information on his war efforts. There possibly could have been someone we have not found yet that played a large role in the war. We are assuming that this information is true; however, we can not know for sure. The way I could do this would be to contact the Suffield or Connecticut library and ask if they have any more records. I could also tweet at Professor Gil again or #CTUntold. Maybe they will have some more information on Mr. Convery in war or more names of troops from the war.

Mr. Convery was not killed in combat but rather lived a long life. He died in 1989 at the age of ninety-seven. I want to dig deeper and see if there were any additional people who participated in the war.

Screen Shot 2018-01-18 at 7.18.36 PM.png*This is Mr. Convery’s draft card from WWI. It gives some information as to who he was prior to the war.

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* This is the questionnaire that Mr. Convery was required to fill our as well as the draft card. We can see his religion, his marriage status and his employment.

Sources:

  • Ancestry. com: Ancestry provided me with multiple documents on this man’s life and is my main source I can use. This site provide people with information that is lost or not available to the public.
  • Twitter: Twitter provided me with the opportunity to connect with other professionals in the field of WWI history. It is how I located the information on the people from Suffield in WWI.
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Creativity from Walking?

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Link to Video:  https://www.ted.com/talks/marily_oppezzo_want_to_be_more_creative_go_for_a_walk

This Ted Talk discusses how just a simple walk can increase someone’s creativity. This can help us in our classroom because we could possibly implement this strategy to further brainstorming for our next Hot log on Connecticut in WWI. Many people have trouble coming up with ideas that are genuine and this Ted talk might have the answer.

At (1:20) she discusses how to tell if something was creative or not. How can we as a class tell if our ideas are creative for our cause?What were the main two ways she used to test how creative something was?

At (2:20) she mentioned the treadmill vs. walking technique. How do you think this influences our brains to work more efficiently?

She claims many people have seen positive results from this, is it something you could see our class taking part in?

At (4:45) how did she say to record our thoughts when walking? Is that method useful or would you rather try something different?

Did you enjoy this video?

Do you have problems formulating ideas, and do you think walking could be the answer?

Link to Video:  https://www.ted.com/talks/marily_oppezzo_want_to_be_more_creative_go_for_a_walk

You’ve Got Mail

How I Built This: AOL [Steve Case] PODCAST

https://www.stitcher.com/podcast/national-public-radio/how-i-built-this/e/49632182?autoplay=true

aol

The creator of the American Online Inc. [AOL], Steve Case, sits down with Guy Raz to discuss how he created the first American Online social media network. AOL was created to connect users to one another over the Internet by means of email and instant messaging. This invention in the mid-80s shocked the US and became an instant sensation with users across the nation.

 

(5:00) A large part of PBL is learning from failure; many great innovators succeed after going through consistent failures. How did Steve Case fail during his first stint with a marketing company?

 

(6:20) As a millennial, It is hard to imagine life without connection to the Internet. Before AOL started, how many people were actually connected to the Internet and what was the average amount of time spent per week on the Internet?

 

(9:00) As this new addition to the Internet is being discussed, music begins to play in the background. Why do you think this music is being played and how does it make you feel?

 

(18:00) Why did Steve Case use the term “You’ve Got Mail” to symbolize the notification of when a user received a message from a different user?

Project Based Learning Fundamentals

Watch “Project Based Learning: Explained” by Zoe McClay-  https://ed.ted.com/on/Yoe5ez4ep

If you do not understand the basis of project based learning, this short video will help explain to you the successful way of learning through a project based classroom environment.

pbl-diagram

(Video 0:24) Most adults live in a world of what? What are 3 examples of problems which adults face?

(Video 1:17) Claire’s success with her challenge to create an all-natural soap was established with what 3 processes? Where were these processes not usually taught?

(Video 2:02) What was one project throughout your past school careers (whether it was elementary school, high school, or even summer school, doesn’t matter) where you were a part of an assignment where you used a project-based learning style?

(Video 2:35) After Mr. Simmons divided his students into groups, what were the 5 fundamentals the students used to do their project?

After watching this video, how does this project based learning compare to projects and assignments you are currently being completing in a typical classroom? Which learning process do you personally thin is better? Should the education process switch to a project based classroom?

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?

What Happened in Your Town During WWI?

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What was the home front experience of your town during WWI?

How can we imagine daily life in Suffield during WWI? The state-wide commemorative process for the 100th anniversary of WWI provides #CAISCT students and teachers  an opportunity to investigate the local history in their area. There is also an opportunity to connect with local historical societies who are already geared up to curate information for the anniversary. Moreover, looking into home front conditions will naturally network  #CAISCT students and teachers with other Connecticut historians to discover the best historical methods to uncover more original history. So connect with us on this #CAISCT #PBL blog and start “doing history” in your community. Consider this another form of service learning if you share what you learn with your community. This year’s investigation about life one hundred years ago in your town will also help you appreciate how this global event propelled our region and nation into the modern era.

Bill Sullivan’s American Studies class, which is a winter/spring trimesters project-based learning elective to seniors, will share everything they learn about the home front in Suffield on this blog and invite other Connecticut students to do the same about their town! Let’s together create Connecticut history on this great collaborative platform (blog) and “do original” history story about this complex topic!

#PBL Mantra: Share what you learn and show how you learned it.

The Suffield Academy American Studies class will present their findings at the April meeting of the Suffield Historical Society. Click here for more: http://www.suffieldhistoricalsociety.org/activities

Stay tune for more!

 

Joseph Pease and His Role in the Resolves

I am a senior at Suffield Academy and 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 John Adams. Through my investigation I found out that both Adams and Washington visited Suffield multiple times.  This made me curious to find out who else played an important role in our town?

By using investigation skills, I found out that Joseph Pease, a signer of the resolves, was an important figure in Suffield in the mid 1700s. He was born in Enfield in 1728, and he moved to Suffield in 1750. He raised a large house on High Street, ten years after he moved there. This soon became one of the most notable houses in the town. It was one of the first houses built with a chimney in each end and a hall through the middle. Furthermore, the house was known for having a rare architectural grace. Unfortunately, the house was demolished in 1902.

Moreover, in addition to building a distinct house, my investigations revealed that he was known for advocating liberty. His diary shows that he served in any public capacity required by his town. Another interesting aspect is that he did not own any slaves. This is something that may be surprising, because many of the wealthy men in Suffield owned slaves. By using cross-researching skills, I also learned that he was a farmer. He made twelve to fifteen hundred barrels of cider a year. Most of these were being shipped to Holland. He also had a saw mill.

All of this information shows us he played a big role in Suffield. It also suggest that he was a good man and trusted by the town. As I mentioned, he served in any public capacity required by Suffield. This may be why he, along with King and Granger, were chosen and led up the committee that would later write the resolves. Which was very important work at the mentioned time period. The work he did also shows us that he was committed to the town, as writing the resolves must have taken a lot of time and patient. The three men must have met after being appointed, during a town meeting to discuss and then later to actually write the resolves. The fact that they were able to do all of this also suggest that they had good leadership ability and influence.

Moreover, one of his eleven children, Seth Pease (1764-1819), graduated from Yale just as his father. In addition, Seth Pease served as the first Assistant U.S. Postmaster General under another Suffield native, Gideon Grander Jr. He served under President Thomas Jefferson´s first term.

Sources:

https://books.google.com/books?id=4m0ZAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA211&lpg=PA211&dq=Joseph+Pease+(1766-1842)&source=bl&ots=-PtzamctnG&sig=Ase6EDkc5dIfMy3iMYqIhWtMils&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwi68eWyz6HSAhVsyVQKHaZgD4QQ6AEIIjAB#v=onepage&q=Joseph%20Pease%20&f=false

http://www.suffield-library.org/history/pease/page1.htm

http://suffield-library.org/lookingback/home/home3.htm

http://www.suffield-library.org/localhistory/pease.htm