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Get 8th Graders Involved!

Tom Noble Jan. 2, 2009
So I want to get my lovely 8th graders involved in this somehow. Once the site launches, I want to get my Study Skills class to complete a Fix or write a Guide. I'm looking for suggestions on something we can do as a class. To give some context:

-The class is 20 or so 8th graders (13-14 year olds) in Phoenix, AZ
-"Study Skills" probably sounds vague, which is accurate since I don't really have a curriculum. We could do anything, as long as they are learning something.
-Could be a one-day thing, could be a one-week thing, could be something we look at together over a whole semester.

I just think it would be cool to get kids involved, both for SixLinks itself and its mission. Let me know if you have suggestions!
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Susan Gunther June 22, 2009
cannot get in. tried my password twice. Reply to comment
Rachel Mays Jan. 2, 2009
I'll think about this and get back to you, but one idea is to get them to pick a fix based on the available Big Picture information, collect the info they need from the site (citing the pages they used, perhaps) and apply that to planning and completing a fix, then to writing a guide based on the fix they just completed.

I personally feel that this site has great potential to be an academic resource, so it's awesome that you're going to get the students involved!
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Steven Skoczen Jan. 2, 2009
rachel for the steal. damnit. I was about to write the same sort of thing.

my first thoughts were going through the big pic, and picking a link/sublink that they want to learn more about. then maybe a presentation to the class about it (i was never a fan of those things, but they did make me learn shit), then they'd pick out some action they could take to do something about it (, make a fix, update it over a few weeks, etc)

Also, this is an absoutely amazing way to use SixLinks that i'd never have thought of. Tom Noble, you're amazing.
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Jeff Gunther Jan. 2, 2009
I've also been planning to contact my old school district as well as some of my Ithaca school contacts, so this would be a good thing to brainstorm. I like the idea of having them learn about a link and writing guides or if we say "we need information on X because it is missing from our current content" get them to do some of the first few steps. Reply to comment
Steven Skoczen Jan. 2, 2009
That's child labor. I'm just saying. Not judging. Saying. Reply to comment
Jeff Gunther Jan. 3, 2009
I had that thought, especially since we're for-profit. But hey, the question we really have to ask is, "is our children learning"? Reply to comment
Sam Fladung Jan. 10, 2009
Careful since your terms of use state 13 years old + and eighth grade will be right around this limit. Make sure there isn't anyone young in the class (or you might have to exclude them, which would be bad) Reply to comment
Sara Harrison July 3, 2009
Hi Tom! I'm a teacher as well (7th and 8th grade) and was also thinking about how to incorporate this into my classroom. One thing I thought of was to make a profile for them as an entire class/school and see which items from the "Do your part" section we can get checked off for our school. It would be easy to tie this in with social studies, geography, and civic education! Reply to comment
Jeff Gunther July 3, 2009
Hey Sara, We've talked about how to try to incorporate schools and other larger organizations (like a workplace), and think that this is a great idea. Please keep us posted on how this works out.

And if you or Tom, or anyone else trying this, have any comments on how to make school-wide accounts easier to create and use, please let us know. You can file a Suggestion or send a message to myself or Steven, the other SixLinks Developer, and we will do our best to help you out.

I would love to see classrooms and schools working on the same things the rest of us are.
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Sara Harrison July 3, 2009
Thanks, Jeff! I am going to be teaching a section of 7th grade geography for the first time next year and I think the Six Links site would be a really interesting way to encourage my students to develop more of a world view. Our school also participates in something called Project Citizen ( and I think the two ideas would mesh nicely with one another. The new year starts in August -- I'll keep you posted as we try things out! Reply to comment
Susan Gunther July 14, 2009
Hey Tom,
Another idea for you, applicable mostly to elementary to middle school students, I'm thinking. This past spring we started a "Green Club" at our elementary school. Out of a brainstorming session, the 4/5th graders came up with the idea of starting a school-wide "Green Lifestyle Log", along the same lines as the "Fitness Log" that they currently do in conjunction with the President's National Fitness Challenge. The idea was for three weeks, everyone in the school would log what they did each day to be more "green". (a list of possibilities was brainstormed by the Green Club and put on the back of the sheet).
The students were so excited about this, promoted it by making posters to put around the school, doing some very creative "commercials" on the morning announcements, decorating hallways will a "green" theme, etc.
They felt that they should also write to the president and their representatives, other schools etc, that the "Green LIfestyle Log" should be promoted nationally in schools, because being " green" as a lifestyle was just as important as being "fit" as a lifestyle. It was very cool.
We started this late in the school year, but had moderate success throughout the school. We intend to flesh it out more for 2009/2010.
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