Tag Archives: community service learning project

Day 122: Community Service Learning Project Update #3

Today, I met with each work group to get a sense of how the contacts with their community partner has gone and to offer suggestions for how they might proceed.  One group have not made contact yet (should I be surprised?!), so I had them craft their email in front of me and determine who to send it to and send it.  Other groups have met but didn’t get answers to the following questions which were intended to help narrow the focus of the project and to give a clear direction to both my students and the community partner:

  • What information they are interested in learning about their organization? (Effectiveness of programs, needs of clients, habits of volunteers, possible locations of services, etc.)
  • Why are they interested in learning this information? How will it help their organization’s mission?
  • Do they have specific thoughts/suggestions for how/when/where you should go about collecting your data?
  • Who would be the best person(s) to report the results to and is there a venue that they prefer to have the presentation in (for instance a quarterly board meeting) rather than traveling to our classroom?

The work groups are to submit their project proposals next week. Once again, Josh Wilkerson did most of the heavy lifting in terms of crafting the key elements:

The proposal should essentially contain the following (though you should avoid labeling the sections directly after these questions):

  1. Who? – The organization you are partnering with and the names of the members in your team in which you designate a project manager.
  2. What? – What are the major questions your group is going to focus on answering (see possible suggestions on the first page)
  3. Why? – Why are the questions you listed above worth answering? What value can be gained by reading the results of your final project? This can be answered from both the organizations perspective and yours as well.
  4. How? – This is the bulk of your proposal where you explain the different stages your group will have to work through to meet your objectives. An excellent sample “How? Statement” from a previous project year will be provided for you on the class website as reference.
  5. When? – Provide a timeline for the completion of various stages of your project. For now this will not be specific, we will refine it later. For now you should note that your survey and data collection should be finished prior to spring break and your final report and presentation will be completed by the end of April.

 

Day 116: Community Service Learning Project Update #2

Now that my AP Stats students have their work groups and community partners selected, they need to contact them. Josh Wilkerson (website), who shared this great idea on his blog, suggested a “form letter” email where the students fill in the necessary and pertinent details.  I talked with our district’s Career and College Readiness coordinator, asking her to look over the letter in order to make it fit more snugly with our immediate community.  Here’s what we came up with along with some “cautions” for my kiddos:

Below is a template for your first contact with your partner organization.  You should cut and paste the letter (below the arrows! not this whole page) into your email.  BE SURE to insert appropriate information in the [bracketed prompts]….do not leave them in!!!  Delete all red parentheses information…these are just to guide you.

REQUIRED: you MUST copy Mrs Adsit (cc) on ALL email correspondence between your group and your partner organization throughout the project.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

To Whom It May Concern,  (If you know your contact’s name then include it here as Mr., Ms., or Mrs. – if you don’t know if a woman is married, default to Ms., don’t assume Mrs….it is rude)

I am a senior at Mercer Island High School.  My AP Statistics class is doing a service-learning project this year in which groups of students partner with non-profit organizations in the community and apply skills that we have learned in class to collect data and analyze data on the organization’s behalf.

Our hope is to volunteer our time and energy to your organization and complete survey research for program evaluation, client needs assessments, or any other need you may have.  This service is completely free and requires only a brief time commitment on your part to meet with us at the onset of the project as we determine what project would serve you best, and also at the conclusion of the project as we present our results.

We would really love to work with [insert name of organization here] because [briefly explain why your were drawn to their organization].

Are you willing to help us serve your organization?  I am willing to talk with you further if you have any questions in regards to this project.

Our teacher’s name is Lynn Adsit and she is copied on this email.  She will be overseeing our project and aiding in our planning discussions with your organization to help determine the best fit between your needs and our classroom experience.  Please feel free to contact her if you have any questions about the project.

Thank you for your time. We look forward to hearing from you and discussing this project further.

Sincerely,

[Your name here]  (do not give your phone number or personal information at this time…wait until you have a face-to-face meeting)

Day 113: Community Service Learning Project Update #1

Today my AP Stats student are signing up for workgroups and Community Partners. I used a GoogleForm to collect the data:

CSLP1

In order for there to be no question about choices, I used a “choose from a list”  question on the GoogleForm to enter each student’s first name and then they made their choice. Then I copied the question form over a couple of times so I didn’t have to retype the student names.  all I needed to do was change the question itself.CSLP2

Side note: although I cannot copy the question to another GoogleForm (drat!! Google do something about this!) I can make a copy of the old form and then just rewrite the question. Only drawback is that I can’t merge two questions from different forms.

This initially seemed like a great way to do this because the data ends up in a spreadsheet, I found it difficult to match up students and Community Partners. I’ll have to search for a more efficient way to do this for next year.

Day 41: Infographic about Me

I became interested them last year on Pinterest and I  had last year’s AP Statistics students present their final projects via an infographic using Piktochart.com.  After last year’s experience, I decided to do my NWMC session on Infographics.  As a result, I did a lot of research into what it takes to incorporate infographics into the classroom.  Piktochart.com gives good initial information and the I came upon Derek Bruff’s blogs regarding how he had his college Intro to Statistics class create infographics as their final project. And I believe my presentation was well received!

Tweet about Infographic session Tweet about Infographic session2

I am planning to incorporate Josh Wilkerson’s Community Service Learning Project in my AP Statistics class this year.  One of the things I hope to have students do for the non-profit organization is create an infographic.   In order for my students to be skilled in planning and creating informative, statistically based infographics they need to practice.  I thought a mini-project that covers the first AP Theme: Describing Data would be in order and an infographic would be a great vehicle for presenting their results.  They will be creating an infographic about themselves: How do you fit in the world of data? Your task is to design an infographic to tell a story about yourself through the use of relevant statistics. Your infographic should present a visual, data based representation of YOU.

So last week, I had students do this in a online discussion post:

Use a Google search to find examples of well-designed infographics.

  1. Pick one that especially resonates with you and that no one else has posted yet.  Save the image.
  2. Below, post least 2-3 reasons you feel your chosen infographic was effective. (make sure your chosen infographic is unique – that it, it has not already been submitted by someone else)
  3.  Attach it to your post using the file button.
  4. Finally, look at the other infographics posted.  Pick at least one that you like and post an additional, different reason you think it is effective.

I posted an example to get you started, although I would prefer that you look at and comment on your classmates submissions rather than mine

I handed out the project outline. And then, as Derek did, I gave them half of the rubric that covers the statistical requirements, but a blank rubric for the visual communication.  Students then looked at the posted infographics in groups, thinking about what makes them visually impactful.  Some of their ideas included visual appeal, use of words, use of design elements, organization, use of color.

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Over the next two days, they will submit, via a Google form, their ideas for the components of visual communication as well as the descriptors for 4 = excellent, 3 = good, 2 = acceptable, 1 = poor for their component.  Then we’ll compile their suggestions and they will have created the second half of the rubric.  A great way to get student voice into the evaluation process in a math classroom, right?