I was assigned to comment on Mark Hardeman. His blog is here, check it out! The first post I commented on of Marks was about the school he teaches at undergoing a recent accreditation process. They used the Middle State's Association's "Excellent by Design" protocol to drive their process. He was happy to report that their school has improved their planning ethic and were successful in using the process to set a vision for the future of ACS. Their school community collaborated to define what attributes they would like their students to exemplify. At the end of their process, they determined ACS graduates should be: Thinkers (Critical, Creative, Reflective, Independent), Responsible (Organized, Risk-takers, Open-Minded, Respectful of self, others and the world), Well-Rounded (balanced, inquisitive, adaptable, knowledgeable, effective communicator), and Leaders (Diligent, Motivated, Confident, Principled, Collaborative).
My response to his post was: "Hi Mark, my name is Kayla Parazine, a student in EDM 310 at the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama. It is so exciting to hear about the accomplishments happening within your school. It is encouraging to see all of the staff collaborating to make your school, and the students within it, a better place. I am interested into seeing how your mission will pan out, I will definitely be keeping in touch with your blog posts! Thank you for sharing!"
The next post I commented on was titled "Can Marshmallows Help Build Teams?". I quickly came to find out that they can, indeed, build teams. In his blog, Mark tells of how the summers can be used for a great time of reflection for teachers, however they also start thinking of the up coming school year. He wanted to incorprate an activity called The Marshmallow Challenge that has been made popular by Tom Wujek's Ted talk called, "Build a Tower, Build a Team". They performed this activity at one of their staff meetings and discovered that it led to great discussions and lots of fun. Some of the main points that these faculty members brought up during their debriefing was: manage your time, team building, it's okay to take risks, learn from our mistakes, set reachable goals, group size matters, high stakes can lead to decreased performance on creative tasks, and fun. You can check out Tom Wujek's Marshmallow Challenge website here. This site gives all of the material needed to conduct the challenge at your school.
To his post, I left this comment: Hi Mark, it is Kayla Parazine from EDM310 at the University of South Alabama, again. The Marshmallow Challenge sounds like such a great way to get things rolling! It seemed to spark many ideas. This is definately something I would like to try when I become and educator and have to attend staff meetings. Also, I see where some have commented saying that some have done this activity with students. I see how that could be very effective! Thanks for sharing.