What has surprised you the most about teaching with Prism.K12 and Question Bridge in your classroom and/or school?

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What has surprised you the most about teaching with Prism.K12 and Question Bridge in your classroom and/or school?
Jenna Lee (not verified)
Ease and Engagement
One thing that surprised me the most about teaching with Prism.K12 was the ease in which I was able to incorporate the rays into my lesson. I found that much of my teaching already falls into various prism rays. It was helpful to use the prism almost as a checklist at the end to see what I had already incorporated and which rays I could still think about. Thinking about each individual ray made my lesson feel more rich and ensured a holistic approach to the lesson. Working with Question Bridge definitely increased engagement not only during the class but students engaged more fully with each other and in their thinking about themselves. When I originally asked the class as a warm up question (before showing question bridge) I was surprised to learn that many of my students did not feel like they had been stereotyped, or only cited more generalized stereotypes that they did not feel had directly impacted them. After watching sections of Question Bridge, the work helped them to see how the way others view us and judge us, and not just in surface or generalized ways, but deeply, can affect the way we see ourselves and what motivates us and even shape who we are. It was also vary valuable, as an arts experience, for students to see Question Bridge in person. Viewing the website, while wonderful for prompting deep conversations, was difficult for my students to understand as an artwork. Seeing the work in the museum setting and analyzing the decisions the artist and curators have made helped students to begin to understand video and contemporary art.
Alysha Butler (not verified)
Using Question Bridge has truly enriched my classroom lessons and instruction. Although many of the skills promoted by Question Bridge are skills that are already a major component of the Common Core Curriculum, Question Bridge encourages teachers to explore the human and personal aspects of a lesson and encourages students to make cultural and historical connections . I was shocked at how starved our students were for opportunities to explore this equally important but often times neglected part of learning and thankful that Question Bridge provided more focus to my lessons which in turn truly enriched my instruction and enhanced my students' learning .
Lashunda Reynolds (not verified)
Question Bridge- Reflection
Using the Prism K-12 strategies in Question Bridge was truly an enriching experience. I was surprised with how my students responded to these techniques in direct response to the initiatives created through Question Bridge. Students begin to question not only their purpose but how their purpose in life will affect others. Students were able to "express" their ideas through paintings, panel discussions, and think bank charts. Students were able to "connect" with other peers and various black men around the nation about their concerns and general questions about the path of the community. Students were able to "identify" stereotypes that exist in society and determine how they will combat them. Students were totally engaged and able to contextualize information presented by various presenters throughout the duration of their Question Bridge experience. I believe the most enriching part about the McKinley's experience with Prism K-12 strategies and Question Bridge was their ability to have raw and chilling empathy for their struggles and synthesize the best methods to look at these challenges as hills instead of mountains they will climb.
Audra Polk (not verified)
The Prism K12 strategies provided a pathway to creating lessons that were not only engaging but student-focused and standards based. From day one - okay day 2 - students were able to "identify" themselves and their community in the project which made it easier for them to "connect" (and stay interested) in the work being produced on an individual as well as collective level. When asked to "compare" their community to others (our project was Question Bridge: Black Teens) it was not the next strategy, but the next logical step. Prism K12 must have known the strategies were a great example of scaffolding making the progression almost seamless. "Expressing" themselves is not an area of concern for most of my students, however it was challenging to focus them on how to express themselves which led to some difficulty in getting them to "empathize" with others. Ironically, they were able to "synthesize" their thoughts and feelings by the time we had the final product. All in all the experience was academic, artistic, and inspiring. More of the work we do in the classroom should include integrated application.
Zalika Perkins (not verified)
The most surprising thing about Prism is that it is very easy to incorporate into the art class because all of what we do fall under the different components of Prism. Question Bridge was really interesting to incorporate because my graduate thesis and a lot of my focus in the classroom revolves around Identity. It was pretty seamless and since Question Bridge dealt with video/photography in a way, I was able to use my digital cameras in the class which I don't use very often in my Intro Art class. Taking the students on the field trip was a great experience as well because many of them would not have the opportunity to visit The Phillips Collection otherwise. It also caused the participating teachers at our school to collaborate and brainstorm on how we would best use the exhibit in lessons and we all came up with varied but fun ideas!
Torri Hayslett (not verified)
Working with our students
Working with our students here at McKinley was an eye-opening experience for me. I was able to see how students think the media and society perceive them. They were able to see that the majority of them had the same thoughts as their counterparts, but they were also able to see that they can change these perceptions, and hopefully change them for the next generation. It was disheartening to see their reality, something that I hadn't really thought about, what a young black male has to think about, how they think people perceive them, and what they need to do, to combat the behavior. Hopefully, Question Bridge was able to give them a forum to speak openly about these issues, but I also hope it ignited a fire in them to change.

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