When you wake up at 4 in the morning and can't fall back asleep because you are sick you might end up with some random thoughts. Well that was me early this morning, so I came up with an idea and well it is dependent on others to be successful.
Here is the thought- What if instead of my planned questions, we had a free flowing stream of questions. I remember seeing Chuck Taft post a task where his students had What if behind them on a screen and asked What if the border states had not joined the North during the Civil War? As a history teacher I love this because if forced students to not spit back facts to me, but to apply ideas they were learning. They had to critically think. Take for example What if Hitler had never come to power in Germany? Some students might say, then Germany wouldn't have gone to war and there wouldn't have been a Holocaust. This is not taking into consideration the social, political and economic situation in Germany at the time. Students should point out that the economic and military sanctions placed upon Germany led to hardships and much resentment towards others. Germany was a proud country that was now a third rate power. So it is likely that Germany would have gone to war even without Hitler. This could go on for the other parts of the What if statement.
This is a concept that could have amazing potential for discussion in history or social studies classes, even debates in science over ethical issues. This coming week 2/19 we will repurpose this to allow you to take a turn asking a What if question.
You are free to make your What if statement or question to be anything you desire. It could be What if we allow students more choice in the design of our classroom curriculum? What if we focused on building relationships as opposed to worrying about test scores or things out of our control? What if we challenged our colleagues when they are negative-we supported them and didn't allow them to dwell in the pit of negativity? What if we let our students design a unit of study? What if we brought in experts?
I think you get the idea. How I envision this working is a free flowing conversation. Maybe we need to sign up to get an order so we know the first 5 people will pose their What if statement in the first 5 minutes? Then the next 5 in the next block of time, and so on. I realize this could either be crazy fast and furious or it could extend our #sstlap beyond 9 CST. I am looking for feedback on how to structure this. Should we put together a Google Form or Google Doc where people could add their ideas? Do you have ideas as to how often What if statements should be asked?
There are chats where questions are asked and people respond to them over a longer period of time. Would we rather schedule questions ahead of time over the course of a couple hours? I am looking for ideas, so I included a Google Doc and look forward to hearing from you.
SSTLAP WHAT IF...