SEPTEMBER – Blame – Week 5
In September, National Blame Someone Else Day gives everyone an excuse to assign responsibility for a mistake elsewhere. However, this doesn’t always go over well in the classroom. We’ll use this day as an opportunity to show how everyone on a team has a job. It takes practice to learn our parts, too.
Also, we’ll take a look at how everyone makes mistakes. From time to time, we all face something new, and learning how to do something correctly takes time. Acknowledging our blunders leads us to learning the right way to do things.
HOW TO OBSERVE
Give the 10 Second Object Game or the Human Knot game a try in your classroom. We’ve modified the first one slightly to fit the “blame” subject. However, it should still be a fun exercise in teamwork for the classroom.
In the Chain of Custody project, students will learn how their roles in school and home are important to their parents, other students, and themselves. Help students see their learning build into a chain. Then see what happens when that chain breaks.
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THIS WEEK’S PROJECTS
- Visit the website for the 10 Second Object Game. Here we modify them slightly by adding a final step: a critique by the rest of the class. Sometimes criticism feels like blame. However, feedback offers a way for us to learn and improve. Does the rest of the class have ideas that would have helped the team work together better? Did someone notice a particularly well-executed object? Remember, delivering criticism takes finesse. It should not sound like assigning blame.
- More teamwork with the Human Knot. The class will have to work together to untangle themselves. Also, there will be no point in blaming each other for any mess they get themselves into, because we’re all human!
- Finally, the Chain of Custody project requires the following items:
- strips of construction paper
- a small object
Students will write their name on 2 or three pieces of paper.
Object: To know who has the object at all times and a record of the change of hands.
Rules: Each student who receives the object must write the time and the initials of the person they received the object from onto one of their strips of paper. Then, they loop their strip of paper through the loop of the person they received the object from. This is important to record the accurate chain of custody. They then maintain custody of the object and the chain until they give it to another student. The teacher may set a minimum and a maximum number of minutes the object may be in the student’s possession.
A student may possess the object multiple times, but once the student is out of strips, the student can no longer possess the object.
How to begin: Give the object to a student. The first student writes the time on one of their strips of paper and makes the first loop in the chain.
How to end: At the end of the day, the person who has the object should also have an intact chain. The chain should record who received the chain from whom and when. Because each strip started with each student’s name and then added the previous student’s initial’s and time, the chain becomes a log. Should any pair of students miss a step, the chain will break.
Review the chain as a class to see how well you did.