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HMS Classroom Lessons Apply LUMA Human-Centered Design Techniques

By Diane Fierle
Media Specialist
Hampton Middle School Library

Inspired by a recent professional learning experience provided by the Change Agents in Education Project at Pittsburgh’s LUMA Institute, HMS teachers Gwen Cohen (Enrichment Facilitator) and Diane Fierle (Library/Media Specialist) have been infusing LUMA’s human-centered design techniques into lessons with HMS students in a variety of subject areas and learning scenarios. 
As co-sponsors of the HMS Talbot Readers, an enrichment book club for 7th & 8th graders, the teachers created a student cooperative task in character analysis and symbolism involving affinity clustering; a technique where students use a data set (character traits represented symbolically through graphics) to sort items according to similarity. This post-reading task encouraged a productive group discussion, brought new insights to light, and built a shared understanding of the author’s use of characterization to craft her story. (Image attached — pictures in hula hoop)
While co-teaching an 8th grade Career Awareness lesson, Ms. Cohen facilitated a springboard session of ideation for a new restaurant business.  First, students individually engaged in “possibility thinking” to brainstorm all potential ideas for an innovative restaurant concept.  Secondly, student groups came together to describe, place, discuss, rearrange, and label ideas according to similarity in order to guide the crafting of each group’s restaurant proposal. (Image attached – ariel view of students working on poster with blue post-it notes)
Both Ms. Cohen and Mrs. Fierle have utilized the Rose, Thorn, Bud technique to engage students in critical thinking. For example, Ms. Cohen led students to brainstorm ideas for an engineering design project, encouraging all team members to individually identify project ideas as positive (rose), negative (thorn), or having potential (bud), before leading a discussion on how the shared ideas can help the team move forward.  Mrs. Fierle partnered with Ms. Young, a 6th grade English teacher, to facilitate a Paideia Seminar, utilizing Rose, Thorn, Bud as a method for student analysis of Thanksgiving traditions from the origins of the holiday through modern day observances.  This LUMA-inspired technique was also used by Mrs. Fierle to develop the concept of teamwork with Advisory 6 students, to reflect on the impact of digital media on the personal lives of Health 6 students, and to formulate a critical review of books independently read by Reading 6 students that provided a gallery walk opportunity for sharing literary perspectives. (3 images attached that go with the tasks in bold in the last sentence).
Posted by berg in Middle School on Friday December, 15, 2017 at 07:22AM

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