Summer... the moments where you get to wind down and breathe and take a moment to do things that you want to and like to do. I've spent a lot of time this summer outside with my golden retriever, kayaking with my husband, lot of playing in the park with my young daughter who loves to climb, reconnecting with my yoga practice, and of course catching up on some media time during these REALLY hot days we've been having this summer.
Media time is rare in my house. I have an almost 2 year old. So, to actually sit down is not really something that I get to do ....ever. So, quick programs that make me laugh are usually my go-to, which is why I was happy that there was a new season of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee released. Jerry... one of my all-time favorites. My college roommates and I were able to survive a semester without getting cable, just mainly watching a VHS (I know I'm old) of Seinfeld episodes we had recorded from TV. One of the Comedian in Cars episodes that I thought was really interesting was from a comedian I had not heard of - Hasan Minhaj. I guess he is on the Daily Show, again we don't get a lot of TV time or stay up too late at night. He and Jerry were talking about comedy processes and Hasan was talking about prepping for the Daily Show. Someone brings in the top 6 news stories of the day they watch them sitting around a table and then talk and debate about what in the world they just saw.
I reflected on this described process and the lightbulb in my head went off- this is Phenomenon Based-Learning. If you don't know what this version of PBL is - don't we just love acronyms in education? You definitely need to check out Phenomenon for NGSS. It's a great searchable site that helps you to find phenomenon-based science videos to use to structure lessons and allow students to construct answers to how these events are happening. Plus if you are new to this, you'll find loads of great resources to help you get started. The biggest part of phenomenon-based learning is trying to figure out what is "right" and why. It gets past the google-able answers. Fine, go ahead and google it, but you'll need to be able to sort it out and make connects to questions behind the phenomenon which is much deeper learning. Check out this example from their site...
There are so many things happening here that make me wonder. That make me curious. That make me want to learn more. Which is why you should introduce it to students.
The great part of phenomenon learning is the discourse that happens, just like what is probably happening behind the scenes at the Daily Show. So, why should science teachers have all the fun? Well, because science is awesome - but this can easily be translated into other subjects as well. The use of this technique at the Daily Show provides an easy link to current events in social studies. There is SO much happening today that needs to be processed and cross-referenced with history and facts sorted from fiction that this is prime-time for students to really learn how to filter, question, and put together the dots.
I'd be really curious if there are any math teachers that are using phenomenon-based learning. I see so much potential even using the example above the math behind some of these events as students attempt to recreate scale models, measure out distances, determine velocity or acceleration.
Have you used phenomenon-based learning in your classroom? What did you learn?