Day 3: Classes, extra-solar planets and doughnuts

Aug 11, 2010   //   by Anna Zaniewski   //   Compass News, Summer Program 2010  //  No Comments

Another day has dawned and set on the summer program.

Not much has been written yet about the classes; as neither a student or teacher, I have observed only a little of the classroom action.  But this I can say: the classroom style is unlike anything these students have experienced before.  For instance, there are no lectures.  The teachers only use the chalkboard for writing questions, to prompt student discussion and discovery.  For each prompt, the students first consider the question independently, writing in their notebooks.  Then, they discuss in groups of 3 or 4.  And after that, the whole class comes together in a circle such as this:

As an observer, the discussions seem lively, with many students engaged in debate.  But talking to the students individually, I’ve found that this classroom style is met with varied levels of enthusiasm.  This radical change from the lecture style classroom is an understandably challenging learning environment for some students who don’t feel comfortable speaking in front of the group.  Other students seem to thrive in this environment.   It would be interesting to hear the student perspective on this classroom model- I’ve been encouraging them to post to the blog, so hopefully we will get some of their insight.  Tomorrow we will introduce the jargon buzzers, small electronic buzzers which students can use to stop anyone – teacher or student- from using fancy terms that are only vaguely understood.

After the classes, the afternoon treat was a lecture by Professor Basri, who spoke about the Kepler mission and the search for extrasolar Earth-like planets viagra belgique sans ordonnance.  It was an interesting lecture, and I am grateful to Isha for organizing it.

As an extra treat for the students, Joel and Allen supplied doughnuts for the homework time.  Already, plots are being plotted for pranks and talent show acts- so I know Compass will just keep getting better…

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