Kids Choice “Job Interviews”

May 20, 2011 at 12:23 PM 2 comments

Stumbled upon something that worked for the last weeks of 8th grade by taking the idea of kids choosing what they want to do to the max. The prompt: Study any science-related topic you are interested in. Take a few notes each day in your journal.” Update from 2012: Here’s the sheet with a rubric and a structuring of the task with some accountability built in. Graded them also on participation and putting their !$#%$ computer away properly. 1. The Kids’ Choice Job Interview Challenge.

They could choose ANY science topic they were interested in, and change if they got bored. To help inspire them, I had a whole load of books and recent magazines laid out on the front coffee tables by physical science, Earth, life and environmental sciences. (Getting subscriptions to science mags and news magazines was so worth the money for this activity.) We had access to netbooks too.

No big project, poster or multi media due. Just be able to talk for a couple of minutes about some new, fascinating idea you learned in a job interview format in front of the class.

After the slight shock of all that freedom, an atmosphere of focus and intent study descended upon the room. Which happens like, never.

They could, and did change topics over the week, going from stuff their friends liked, towards stuff they were more personally interested in. A rare opportunity to do some exploration before selecting a major at college.

It was so GREAT to have time to circulate and chat with them about gender differences in learning, super novas, how to detect lying, chemical reactions and explosions, hippos and genetics. Psychology is such a hole in our standards – it’s an ideal way to hook them into science. And I’m sorry I didn’t get to teach astronomy as it’s such an interest for so many students. It was lovely to engage with them in a relaxed and more equal way.

At the last minute this morning, the last day of Kids Choice, decided to use a job interview format for them to share their fascinating fact. The class are the panel, I’m the interviewer.

5 minutes for them to look over their notes from the last week. Then set the scene with interview stories of crazy stuff that’s happened – inappropriate dress, coming in all stressed and late, etc. Add your own but fictionalized of course.

Had a student demo how to shake hands and look the interviewer in the eye and do the greeting politely. So important and so sweet to see how well they did this, almost to a man or woman.

Set up the coffee table with two comfy chairs and a lamp to make it cozy. Candidates were asked “Tell us something fascinating you learned about science“. The panel took notes on who they would invite back for a second interview and why. A minute or so per student. The class is totally focused. It’s genuinely interesting – sometimes because a surprising fact is shared, sometimes because a candidate does especially well, or um, not.

Every few candidates, I asked something like ‘who would you invite back and why?’ or ‘What were some successful interview strategies?’ or, more carefully, ‘Don’t use names! But what were some things that make you think ‘next!’?’

They are easily as cued in as the average adult job candidate, and some did an amazing job. The ones who didn’t, they get another go at it at the start of class over the next few days. It’s such a vital skill, I’m sort of sorry I didn’t use this strategy earlier so they could get more practice.

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Entry filed under: Assessment and grading, Creativity, Curiosity, End of Year Activities, Inquiry and critical thinking, Kids Choice, PROJECTS. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , .

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2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Becky  |  June 2, 2012 at 11:42 AM

    Makes you want to be teaching again, so that you could try it , too.

    Like

    Reply
  • 2. Sue Boudreau  |  June 2, 2012 at 12:17 PM

    Sweet Becky, thank you. S

    Like

    Reply

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