1. I envisioned the kids tackling a BIG project. I have discovered they are more open to and more excited about smaller projects that take less time. They are extremely excited about each project, but seem more focused on the problems where we spend 3 days as opposed to six days.
2. When I allowed the students to pick their own partners or groups, they always migrate to the same people in which they feel comfortable. When I have played games to pair or group the students, they are actually more focused and more successful with their work. Groupings have occurred through commonalities such as eye color, height, birthday, color chips, etc. All students have been respectful with their groupings. One day a student came in late. Without being told or asked, another student asked the late student if they wanted to join their group. These were not kids who commonly were friends. This made me smile!
3. I have discovered the girls want to solve problems more with talking, writing, and sketching, while boys are quick and eager to solve problems by constructing three-dimensional prototypes. When I mixed girls and boys together, students were more successful than if genders were separated.
4. I witnessed two of the quietest girls step up on their own and lead a group to solving a problem after others were unsuccessful.
5. The number of students asking for my help has diminished considerably since the first week of learning the Design Thinking process. They have turned more toward each other for help and brainstorming. The fear of failure has also diminished.
6. Good character traits such as responsibility, acceptance, leadership, perseverance, consideration, and cooperation have been evident in each student. Students have not argued or been negative. I have only witnessed two kids debating why one idea was better than the other. I have been pleasantly surprised at how everyone else has been open to all ideas and easily come to agreements on final decisions.
7. The class meets 3 days a week for 25 minutes. We meet on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. This has proven to be a challenge as kids are also pulled out every two weeks. Therefore, every two weeks, the groups change. The inconsistency of meeting times have made me realize the smaller, shorter problems are more successful. Given the opportunity to research outside of class, students typically do not respond. They tell me it's because they forget because they are so busy with everything else!