Taking Note

photoIf you aren’t taking notes, you aren’t learning.” -Ben Casnocha

When we begin with our students, there is almost always a palpable anticipation in the room. In the U.S. as we began the discussions around Our Diverse World, we took photos of the boards and the different ideas that each group collectively brainstormed around the same topic. This helps us continue to facilitate the discussion in Ghana, sharing what their peers thoughts are, but also the way in which we approach each group uniquely for where they are developmentally and conceptually.

The 4th graders at Cliff Valley School, lead by Art teacher Jon-Erik and Outdoor Classroom teacher Eileen, had a very comprehensive list for defining diversity. We were most struck, however, by the simplicity and depth of their responses to the question, how does diversity enrich us? – Learn together, new ideas, excitement, curiosity, building on knowledge/ways of living, and color. All good reminders that even us adults can take note of.

For the 5th graders at Cliff Valley, the students were asked to take notes from the board in their creative books to help with deciding what art they would create around the topic. Most of the students wrote word-for-word what the class had brainstormed. One new student, new to the project, had some special notes. His were reflections on content he wanted to include, based on his perceptions of the overall exchange, beyond the topic at hand. We were touched to see his list, and what he will share with kids in Ghana- lot’s of good writing, lot’s of color, lot’s of happiness.