The Low Down on Saul

It’s week two and so far, I’ve worked with Greg and Rebecca to improve student driven projects. Greg’s class has a two-part project, with the students choosing a topic relating to environmentalism and their neighborhood. While the second part consist of a persuasive speech that is to be given to their peers. Their goals for this project is to first find a topic, then collect the needed information to support their position. Their sources can be peer reviewed studies, articles, and interviews. The goal of their speech is to summaries key points of their work and deliver a message that can influence their peers.

Saul High School has a wonderful history of creating partnerships with surrounding organizations. Some current partnership include Friends of the Wissahickon, Drexel SNAP programs, and Henry Got Crops. If the students need aid from other organization, they are encouraged to reach out, with the aid of the teacher. Some students have connected with directors of programs in and around the city of Philadelphia.

Rebecca’s project has students opting for an outside classroom. The 11th grade English class designs and creates proposals as to what will happen to the designated space. The 12th grade environmental science class will choose the best proposal and commit to complete the project. They will learn skills aligning with design and landscape management. This idea was thought up by two teachers, Rebecca and Jesse, after Rebecca’s English class finished reading “The Parable of the Sower”. This project was chosen for the students because it allows them to play a role in every step. Ultimately, the outside classroom will be a direct reflection of the students’ ideas and motivation to see it through. My role is in talking to the students and guiding them through mental roadblocks when creating ideas, as well as going through the logistics of the project. Both projects use student voice and builds consensus among student because both projects are student fueled, with students creating and seeing the projects through.

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