Reflection: Perseverance MODELING: City Farm Sustainability Model - Section 5: PLAY: City Farm


When I realize the literally every student was engaged, on task, and technology proficient, I decided to set some artificial bars for my students to hurdle.  I would play a game on a publicly displayed projector and aim for a score around 95.  During the first round, most students would score in the 70s and look at my score in amazement.  But when students starting getting 90s in the second and third round there was a current running through the room.  Would a student actually beat my score? Some students did beat the public score I posted and I was amazed at the disbelief and shock that took over the room.  Yeah right!  You beat Babauta?  No way!  Show me.  Whatever.  You probably cheated.  Whispers and hushed tones would follow and students would start looking at me with confusion, as if they just found out the Tooth Fairy and Santa Claus aren't real.  Beating me was momentous and unsettling.  But more importantly, it was an inspiring goal for my students.  What was surprising and heartbreaking to me is that students that struggle with formal academic work were trying the hardest and nearly every student that beat my score was a student with less than a 75 in my class.  We cannot play video games for everything, but there are features of games that I want to incorporate into my course more frequently next year.  They will improve engagement and give students another way of demonstrating their stellar abilities. 


  Beat my score!
  Perseverance: Beat my score!
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MODELING: City Farm Sustainability Model

Unit 5: Food (biosphere and geosphere)
Lesson 21 of 24

Objective: Students will be able to 1) describe interactions among biotic and abiotic factors in urban cultivated ecosystems; 2) explain how ecological interactions lead to emergent properties such as soil health; 3) identify specific strategies that improve the sustainability of farming practices; 4) articulate the costs and benefits of sustainable urban agriculture for individuals and large groups.

Big Idea: The number of urban farms in New York City has grown rapidly over the last decade. How might we apply sustainability principles to environmental problems, especially the need for sustainable farming practices that maximize crop yield and soil quality?

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