Weekly Huddles – 2019-20

11/17/19

Blog Post Prompt

By the end of THURSDAY, November 21st, please make your next blog post, which will update the story of your learning you and your teammates are doing gathering and organizing your research findings. Before beginning your post, please review our Community Contract to remind yourself of the specific ways our community has committed to working together.

Please make a blog post that answers the questions:

  1. During this research phase of WTS VT, what are some of the most important findings you and your teammates have made so far about your topic? Where did that information or ideas come from and how did it change your thinking? 
  2. What kind of information or characters does your team still need to find, and what’s your plan for finding what you need?
  3. What are your most pressing questions or concerns?  (Feel free to include these in your blog post or email them directly to whatsthestoryvt@gmail.com if that feels like a better fit.)

Please consider drafting a mind map or jotting notes before you begin your blog post to help you gather your ideas, and be sure to use the Elements and Examples of Successful WTS Blog Posts as a guide.


10/27/19 – Two Parts: Blog Post Prompt & Research Resources

Blog Post Prompt

By the end of November 3 (this Sunday), please make your next blog post, which will tell the story of how you and your teammates are doing gathering and organizing your research findings. Before beginning your post, please review our Community Contract to remind yourself of the specific ways our community has committed to working together.

By November 3, please make a blog post that answers the questions:

  1. How have you, your teammates, and mentor been working together since the overnight?
  2. What have you accomplished, and what are your next steps?
  3. What are your most pressing questions? 

Please consider drafting a mind map before you begin your blog post to help you gather your ideas, and be sure to use Elements and Examples of Successful WTS Blog Posts as a guide.

Research Resources

If you and your teammates are on a roll, feel free to pass on these suggestions, but skim over them to see if there’s something that might help. 

  • Begin by learning about what other people and organizations are already doing related to your topic. Too often students jump right into researching their story before they’ve adequately explored what stories have already been covered and what / how organizations are already working on the topic. 
  • To help you locate resources on your issue/story–which might include articles, interviews, news stories, podcasts, etc.–here are some links to state-focused journalism Vermont Edition, Rumble Strip Vermont, Seven Days, VTDigger.
  • Once you’ve gotten the lay of the land, you can begin considering how to refine your topic / the story you’re after. As you do, sometimes these questions help:
    • What is the conflict?
    • Who are the different characters/organizations/groups involved, and what are their perspectives?
    • What unites people? What divides people?
    • What are our most pressing questions?

10/13/19

In preparation for our upcoming overnight, please watch this 5-minute video that explains what we are asking you to do between now and before you go to sleep on Thursday. When you finish watching the video, please use these slides to view, make a copy, edit and then share with us at whatsthestoryvt@gmail.com. As always, please email us at that same address if you have any questions. There’s no expectation for a Google Hangout this week as we’ll see each other on Saturday morning.


10/6/19

Part One: By Friday, October 11, please revisit and revise your most recent blogpost, your response to the questions: What are two or three highlights from your WTS experience so far? How have you and your Affinity Group mates been doing with the Three Week Affinity Group Challenge? What are some of your current questions about WTS? 

Be sure to print out The Elements & Examples of Successful WTS VT Blogposts and use these ideas and models to improve your initial post.

Part Two: By Sunday, October 13, please hold a Hangout with your Affinity Group to discuss “Route B.” Before you meet, watch it on your own and jot down some ideas based on these questions:

  • What is absent from this film and how does that choice add and take-away from the film?
  • What choice drives the story of this film and why may that choice have been made?
  • What else draws you in? Why? What pushes you away? Why?

Be sure to paste these questions into your group’s notes to organize your responses. Also, try to generate as many ideas as you can. Check out this example, which shows how Sam, Jules, Farren, and Theo have been documenting their conversations.


9/29/19

Instead of watching another film clip and analyzing it with your group, this week we want each of you to do two things on your own.

  1. In prep for our hike, please use these slides to practice recalling the names of your WTS peers and teachers. When we gather at Mt. Philo this Saturday, we’ll begin with an activity to see how well you’ve done!
  2. Please make a blogpost (due Thursday, October 3) that answers three questions. 
  • What are two or three highlights from your WTS experience so far? 
  • How have you and your Affinity Group mates been doing with the Three Week Affinity Group Challenge? 
  • What are some of your current questions about WTS?

Before you make your blogpost, please review two super helpful resources:


9/22/19

  • Please watch “Schools for Change” (5 mins), that captures “an inspiring story of the power of Education, and how it turned around the lives of the kids when they fell in love with real education.”
  • Here are three questions to jump-start your thinking about choices the filmmaker has made. Please bring your own notes and reactions to these and other observations, ideas, and questions to share at your team meeting. 
    1. After watching the film, return to the beginning of the opening sequence (0:05 – 0:35). 
      • What did you see and hear (be as specific as you can)?
      • What impact did those choices have on you as an audience?
      • What is another choice the filmmaker could have made during that moment in the film? How would that have impacted the audience differently?
    2. Consider the same questions as above but zoom into the few moments between 3:35-3:45.
    3. This documentary illuminates something that is wrong and needs to be changed telling a hopeful, uplifting, and specific story about someone working to change one thing that is wrong in the world.
      • Consider your social issue of interest, either from your application or current thinking. What are the ways you might elevate and celebrate what’s right in the world on that topic instead of just looking at what’s wrong or absent? How would that uplifting approach make an impact on your audience?

9/15/19

We’re writing to share with you this week’s assignment, but first, we want to celebrate what you accomplished on Friday. All of you showed up on time, listened well to each other, asked great questions, thought cinematically, shared insights, pooled your collective ideas, and made it clear that you know a lot about how to contribute to creating a high-functioning team. 

A few tips for completing this week’s assignment:

  • Before you meet for your hangout, study the film excerpt and jot down your ideas in your WTS-VT notebook. 
  • Remind each other of your hangout date/time as it draws closer (send a text or email of whatever medium works for your group), and make it clear who will initiate/start the hangout. (Here’s a screencast of how we recommend initiating/starting a google hangout.)
  • Determine who the note-taker will be. Please capture your collective ideas in the google doc you and your group mates created.

9/15/19
Please watch “Beneath the Ink” (12 mins), which captures Billy Joe White’s journey to help others heal from their pasts.

  • Here are three questions to consider as you watch the film just to get you going to think about the choices that the filmmaker has made. Please bring your notes and ideas to your group’s video meeting to share and discuss:
    1. How does the filmmaker develop a compelling character and make us care about Billy Joe White? (be specific)
    2. What are two memorable choices the filmmaker has made that seem to work together toward a larger purpose? What are the choices you see as connected? What is the impact of those choices?
    3. Rewatch the opening sequence (up to 1:05); list three reasons why those images may have been chosen in order to begin this film.

Header Image: Photo by Jamie Street on Unsplash

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