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Day 97: What is interesting?
By Mark Heintz
Jan 17, 2020

Day 97

Student voice provided by Sam Sacha

A positive of AP Human Geography is the exposure to global topics that most high schoolers haven’t heard of before taking the class. Today, to get the students aware of a variety of topics in the agriculture unit, I showed the Meatrix. And for the reasons that Sam said, “I like the class conversations and lessons we have. We really get to interact as a class while Mr. Heintz guides the lesson. I never really knew any of the things that Mr. Heintz is teaching us until I got to this class.

The Meatrix gets the students thinking about our food system in ways they have never thought about it before. As Sam liked, today wasn’t different. I had the students talk to each other and map their thinking. As they watched the video, they wrote down things that interest them. They are going to use those topics later, but it was a way to curate their thinking as they viewed the short clips.

The students had too many questions. That’s a great problem to have. They wanted to know more about debeaking, injured workers, feces in our food, and just the lies we tell ourselves about where our food comes from.  From this, the students talked to each other and connected their ideas. Sam points a problem that most freshmen have, “I feel like I need help with focus and time management. I try to get everything in on time but it’s hard for me because I lose my focus really quickly when I’m trying to concentrate on something.” 

 I love days like today. I didn’t need to redirect them. They were in charge. They had questions and they talked through them.

I wish every day could be like today. The students easily find their interest. They are able to sustain that interest during the whole period. They work together to explore their questions and make sense of them. When I have these moments, I always come back to the same points. They are interested. They are in charge. I’m more of a facilitator than directly telling them. It’s how all people learn best: they are in control of what they are learning.

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