Teaching Butterfly Effect to Middle School Students

Our inquiry is less of a question and more of a statement.
Teaching Butterfly Effect to Middle School Students 

Teaching Butterfly Effect has taught us about the different ways to speak to younger kids. We know you can not always talk to them the way you talk to a peer in high school. Of course respect is a quality that is used no matter what age group you are talking to. You also have to form sentences somewhat differently. If we were talking to one of you about what Butterfly Effect is, you already have an idea of what we are talking about. We can talk about more complex projects and ideas. After doing Butterfly Effect for 3 years we had to go back to the basics. It was interesting for us to re familiarize ourselves with the building blocks of inquiry projects. We were able to look at it with a new perspective as well. We got to experiment with the best ways to present this information to middle school students. As opposed to when we are looking to do a research project of our own. We got to explore the different ways to keep students engaged in their learning as well as the differences between the two classes we teach. We have still yet to have them go onto the site for themselves, baby steps. Don’t get me wrong though, they are still awesome and smart kids.They just have not yet reached the maturity that most of us have. Basically, whenever we talk now we try to simplify things. The class we teach is “MACC” basically that means they are outside of the box thinkers.

Well, we know that us working with the middle schoolers has helped to teach them about inquiry. They had a bit of an understanding of what it was before we came. But through teaching them we were able to break down stereotypes that they had about students in Kenya. We hope that this new understanding as well as the connection they now have from the fundraiser, will change their views of others. We want our students to be conscious of these common misconceptions about students in Africa.

One challenge that we faced was making sure that the students were engaged during the research portion of their projects. We didn’t want them to be off task or to lose interest in their projects because of all the research that needed to be done. To try and keep things interesting, we would give them specific time to share and collaborate with their friends. We found that sharing their progress made them excited about their work again. We also took one of the suggestions that you guys gave us and made a Kahoot for them about their projects.

Original Post

Hey Emily!

I really enjoyed reading your post and I definitely related to some points you made. I spend a lot of my free time with young relatives, so I easily made a personal connection when you said that you had to simplify what you were trying to say in order for the children to have an easier time understanding. I also found it really interesting how you said doing simpler inquiry projects helped you re-familiarize yourself with the foundations of an inquiry project. I truly believe that being able to explain something to someone else is the best way to know if you completely understand what you're talking about. 

Great job with your work! 

 Hi Emily! 

 This is such an interesting way to approach Butterfly Effect. Often we're not conscious of how we need to change the way we present ourselves in front of different people. 

 With middle schoolers, I like that you're trying different things each class to keep them stimulated. I also like how you're putting an emphasis on breaking down stereotypes about students in Kenya. That way, they know to think about things with fairness and respect from an early age, and will avoid the results of misconceptions that occur later in life. 

 I'm excited to hear more updates on where this is going! 

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