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September 1, 2016
by: Courtney Kooistra, Lead Advisor & Math Teacher

Mosaic Reflections

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Anticipation was building this morning as we finally got to welcome students back into our community to participate in activities we had been planning for the last several weeks! Today at Mosaic we focused on introducing students to the creative process by allowing them to experience it within their advisories. The creative process is a component of our schools that is used to develop new ideas or solutions to problems within project seminars and academics.

After spending some time building community within our advisories this morning, we all met in the cafeteria where Mr. Fredrichsen began by asking the students the question, “What do we need to make something?”. Students brainstormed a variety of responses from physical things such as materials to characteristics and qualities such as motivation or perseverance. Following the brainstorm, we were shown a video of a previous IDEAS student project on frogs as an invasive species and were able to identify the steps the student took to get the final product they achieved. We uncovered the steps used within the creative process which include ideation, research, creation, presentation, and reflection.

Next it was the Mosaic students’ turn to utilize these steps through a day long process within their advisory groups, and this is how they did it:

STEP 1: Ideation  

Each advisory group observed pieces at the John Michael Kohler Art Center this morning through a See, Think, Wonder Thinking Routine. After gathering these thoughts, each advisory identified a theme or a problem question that they wanted to investigate. Two examples of the driving questions were “How can we help prevent pollution from happening in our world?” and “How can we provide solutions to people who face obstacles on their journey of life?”.

STEP 2: Research   RoteryPark2016

Following the JMKAC, students traveled to Rotary Park where they sat with their advisory group and brainstormed background knowledge they had relating to their topics. In addition, students were able to read articles that connected to their theme and identify those connections and how information from the articles might help to solve their identified problem.

STEP 3: Creation

After lunch, students took the research they had gathered earlier and used it to make a plan of what they were going to “make” within a specific art form. The art forms groups used to translate their ideas were movement, music, visual art, creative writing, drama, and engineering. Each group needed to collaborate in order to prepare their presentation which every member of the group had to be a part of in some way. During creation, many roles were established amongst the group including directors, music composers, actors, and many others.

STEP 4: Presentation

Finally, all students gathered back in the cafeteria to view the final products that came out of a day’s work. As a community, we all got to experience a variety of presentations surrounding many themes. A couple examples included a presentation of musical instruments that represented animals losing their habitats as well as a drama piece of how to prevent pollution from happening in our world.

MosaicReflectionSTEP 5: Reflection

Following the presentations, students went back to their advisory rooms and discussed strengths that their group had throughout the day as well as take aways from other presentations that they felt their group could have improved on. Many groups identified collaboration and communication amongst their advisory groups as strengths but agreed that throughout the year, there would be many more opportunities to work on making these skills even stronger.

We are looking forward to building on today’s experience with authentic disciplinary projects throughout the rest of the school year here at Mosaic! Tomorrow we will engage in service learning as we give our students the opportunity to give back to the community as we continue to build community within our school.

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