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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation

Team Teaching: Two Teachers, Three Subjects, One Project

A pair of educators are sanguine about their art, biology, and multimedia program. More to this story.
Transcript

Team Teaching: Two Teachers, Three Subjects, One Project (Transcript)

Narrator: It's actually putting its DNA into your cells, and so unless all your infected cells get killed you're just going to keep making it.

Teacher: So we can-- very good, amazing.

Narrator: Students in Blair Hatch's class are learning about physiology and multimedia.

You need to find a good picture of an antibody binding with an antigen.

Narrator: When class is over they walk just across the hall where they study art with Jeff Robin.

Jeffrey Robin: An easy way of making it look three dimensional is to give everything a little bit of a shadow like on the arm and on the blood, everywhere, okay?

Narrator: The students are working on one project in both classes.

Blair Hatch: We found good sources?

Student: Yeah, we have ten sources right now.

Narrator: And it's all about blood.

Gabby Aligada: All of our classmates are studying different aspects like the art of blood and blood in religions and, you know, like AIDS.

Blair Hatch: The blood project is something that students will specialize in. Doing art around it, doing research around it and presenting that research in an audio-visual format on DVD.

What's going on here?

Student: That's a fat that builds up.

Narrator: Students are creating multimedia exhibits that will be displayed at a local art gallery and will promote blood donation.

Ramona Walker: So let me tell you a little bit about the blood bank.

Narrator: San Diego Blood Bank Director Ramona Walker visits the class to provide background information.

Ramona Walker: Yeah?

Gabby Aligada: Has there ever been a time where the blood supply has been really low?

Ramona Walker: Well you know, yes, actually. About three years ago-

Gabby Aligada: It's much more engaging when you do it this way and when you actually get to do the project and create something at the end and not only teach ourselves, but teach the community.

Jeffrey Robin: Maybe you could put what it's about in that same kind of text here, here and there-

Gabby Aligada: Oh I see what you mean, okay.

Jeffrey Robin: To balance it out.

Narrator: Robin makes sure students get their hands on every phase of the project guiding them through the design and construction of the dioramas.

Jeffrey Robin: So you can come in and come in sideways.

Jeffrey Robin: This is something that I think is real life. If they're going to get a job when they first get out of college, it's going to be doing something visual. It will be something to do with the computer, and they're going to have to do something for their bosses to put together a presentation and that's what this is about.

Did Blair approve those writing things?

Student: Our scripts?

Jeffrey Robin: Yeah.

Student: He hasn't looked at it yet but I mean-

Jeffrey Robin: Show it to him before you start writing on this.

Narrator: This complex project has many interlocking assignments and deadlines to keep track of.

Jeffrey Robin: It's so complicated and planning it just making a calendar what you're going to do every single day for a whole semester, with this you have to be right on it or all hell breaks loose.

Narrator: Hatch posts the curriculum on the school's website and students turn in their work as part of their digital portfolio.

Blair Hatch: They don't hand it to me. They post it and they keep it in their sort of virtual locker. The advantage of that for me is that at the end is you're going to see what this student did week two, three, four, five, six all the way down the line so it's real process-oriented. They'll send me a link to their DP every two weeks. It's the same link, but by sending it to me they're saying they've updated it and they're ready to be assessed. So I assess it by going and finding the things that are due. That's how we communicate. That's how I keep the student accountable.

They're going to meet with you on Wednesday for posters.

Jeffrey Robin: right.

Blair Hatch: And then meet with me on Thursday for visual scripts.

Jeffrey Robin: Oh that's right, tomorrow-

Narrator: Hatch and Robin meet every morning to coordinate the project.

Rob Riordan: The fact that we have teachers coming in here an hour a day before their kids is the unseen structural feature that really makes this place work.

We're trying to create an environment where all of our adults are engaged in and learning together.

Blair Hatch: You like the way the poster is. Therefore we have the art.

Jeffrey Robin: To get him to want to be partners with me and to do this, I learned about iron and oxygen so most teachers don't go out and learn another subject area but you have to do that when you do this team teaching project based learning.

Blair Hatch: The heart has to pump constantly.

So it's important that you know what the other guy is teaching but that makes you a lifelong learner as well and then that's a good role model for students to see.

Jeffrey Robin: Yeah, I like how it bounces back and forth.

Blair Hatch: I've learned a lot about my own teaching practice by being interdisciplinary and thematic with another professional. It's creative so it keeps me on my toes.

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Credits

Video Credits

Produced and Directed by

  • Ken Ellis

Written by

  • Carl Bidleman

Coordinating Producer

  • Amy Erin Borovoy

Editor

  • Karen Sutherland

Production Assistants

  • Doug Keely
  • Neil Tan

Camera Crew

  • Rob Weller
  • Darren Kawasaki

Narrator

  • Michael Pritchard

View all our videos about High Tech High:


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The DNA of Learning: Teens Tackle Animal Poaching Through Genetics
Eleventh-grade biotechnology students use DNA barcoding to help save endangered African wildlife.

Team Teaching: Two Teachers, Three Subjects, One Project
A pair of educators are sanguine about their art, biology, and multimedia program.

Adult-World Connections: An Internship with Real Impact for Rescuers
A high school intern improves emergency-helicopter communications for San Diego's police and fire departments.

High Tech, Higher Learning: A School Grows Its Own Teachers
This school has its own master's plan for developing the educators it needs.

Taking the Lead: An Interview with Larry Rosenstock
High Tech High's founding principal and CEO speaks about its innovative teaching and learning model.

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