Thank You Wall

This post was originally posted on my blog, but I wanted to share it with others in the district.
Mr. Seigel

We had another TED Ed Club meeting this afternoon.  These meetings always have 3 parts:  evaluation of our recent project, discussion about the newest TED Talk, and setting an agenda for the next meeting.  After school meetings are tough because so many students are involved in extra-curricular activities that they just can't find time for everything.  But, in the end, we had about 15 attend with a few of those arriving late.

Our latest project involved what we were calling the "Thank You Wall."  Using the TED Talk by Drew Dudley as our inspiration, we decided to create a space for anyone in the building to say thank you to someone who had a positive impact on their life.  It was extremely well received as you can see from the pictures below.  The columns we created were 6ft tall by 2 feet wide so between the 2 of them there was 96 square feet of whiteboards filled with nearly 400 messages of thanks.

The project was headed up by one of our seniors.  He commented in the meeting that on one day he saw a girl glance up at the board, see a message that was written to her, and a huge smile broke out on her face.  He said right then it made all the planning and time worth it.

But what I really wanted to share was the discussion that ensued for the next hour.  The talk we chose was by Shawn Achor about what makes us happy.  There have been a lot of changes in our school/district, not all of which have been well received by the students.  I thought this video would be a chance for the students to get refocused on the important things in their life.

This discussion was intense!  I decided to try a new system and had the students write down their comments on post-it notes and stick them to their faces whenever they had something to say.  We have a tendency to get very passionate and talk over each other so this was a way for us to stay organized and keep track of our next comments.  Students had 3 and 4 notes stuck to their face, they are standing on desks trying to be recognized next.  Two girls who are best friends got into a huge argument over the ability to have selfless acts.  It was amazing!!!  I have never seen students debate so adamantly before over something that was, in reality, so trivial.

In this whole discussion, the students decided that we needed to have a better focus, a mission statement to guide us in our future meetings.  Here is what they came up with (I had no part in this at all!):

Objectives of the MiddSouth TED Ed Club:
1. Make a positive impact on the school community
2. Do something to benefit others
3. Change the way people treat each other.
4. Create a bonded community.
5. Make a change in ourselves.
6. Do something that other schools don’t.
7. Provide a forum for unique ideas that have nothing to do with what happens in the classroom.
8. Put ideas into action.
9. Bring our ideas to younger kids.

In all the years I have been an advisor, I have never seen a group of students so excited at a meeting. I can't wait until next week's meeting and I wish it wasn't only 30 minutes long.

Ted Ed #2 Adora Svitak

Our second Ted ed meeting was very cool. Adora's  talk was awesome. I agree that teachers can learn more from kids than they do now. For example, teachers do not trust students enough like when teachers act like they need help from other teachers to control the class rather than trusting that the students can behave. My family believes that kids can do great things and have high expectations. Like Adora said when expectations are low children will sink to them but when they are high they will do their best to live up to them.


 The video was great . She had a great message that adults can learn from kids.I agree with her, when she said that adults can learn from kids.  Adults can really learn alot from kids and should start learning from kids . 

Adora's Video!

I think that Adora was right, and that teachers should trust us more because sometimes, we may know more about things than some adults do. I think that the video was pretty interesting,considering that she actually made and published a book online. I wonder what it will be like skyping a farmer.


Adora speech

The video was enjoyable and exciting.I love how she used bigger vocabulary to explain how teachers can learn from kids.


   I thought the video was inspiring. I enjoyed watching some of Tomas's apps .


First TED Ed Club Meeting

Today we had our first meeting of our Ted-ed club. I had really been looking forward to it from the moment my teacher invited me. I have two sisters in college and they often watch Ted talks in their classes.  I have seen lots of awesome ones myself. There was one about Leonardo da Vinci and how he wrote in his journal backwards and inverted. Some people think he was dyslexic because of his writing form. It was very cool. Today we saw a talk by a 12 year old boy named Thomas Suarez who is an app developer who has become very successful. It inspired me to keep trying to do great things. I am very glad that Bayview was chosen to be part of the pilot program and that my teacher chose me.