Monday, February 20, 2017

Launch Week 3: The LAUNCH Cycle

At first introduction to the LAUNCH cycle, do you see any ways that you can use it in your classroom? Or does it still seem to vague or like it won't fit in your subject or grade level? We will learn more about each step of the LAUNCH cycle as we continue through the book, but for now share your initial thoughts. When you have a few minutes, be sure to check out Caine's Arcade. So inspiring!

If you are wanting to get a late start in the book club, that's fine. Just be sure to comment on every week's blog post. I know a few people have had problems commenting to the blog and also signing up for email alerts. If you have problems, please try logging in from a different network (if you have problems at school, try from home and vice versa) or try commenting from a different account. If you still have problems, please contact me (Meri) at carnahan@doe.in.gov. You might also check with your technology staff. Here are some other details about the book club:

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Next week we will read and discuss chapter 4, "Look, Listen, and Learn." 

161 comments:

  1. I love that the author went step by step through the launch process and explained each step in detail. When I reflect on my teaching and see the lessons/projects that went well and the ones that didn't I realized that the ones that went well followed the LAUNCH cycle. I think going step by step gives the students and teachers a foundation to follow. It gives students the guidance they need, but also the freedom to create and explore.

    I love the LAUNCH cycle, but I'm having a hard time seeing it in my classroom. I think what's missing for me is some examples to see how the author has had this work in classrooms. I do think it's possible, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around how much time I need to plan for this and what I need to do. I'm excited to keep reading!

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    1. I am with you on wrapping your head around the process as well. I teach 3 year olds...I am sure there is a creative way to hit it or walk with them through the process but sending them off independently doesn't seem realistic...especially when I only have them 2 days a week for 3 hours.

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    2. I would love seeing examples too. I teach math and the author stated in the reading that it would be hard to do in that subject. It will be interesting for me as I continue to read through the book exactly what part I can use, or if nothing will work for my classroom.

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    3. Yes, I agree, I didn't realize until I read your comment what was missing for me..its examples! I need to see it in action so I can get some ideas for the alternative school setting.

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    4. I also agree. I think it would really help me brainstorm ideas for my own classroom if I could hear/see what others are already doing. Hopefully, through this blog we will be able to help each other!

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  2. Design thinking is a way for students to problem solve while using creativity. I loved that the author developed the acronym LAUNCH. I think students will identify more with this one word. I am already thinking of a section in my library devoted to LAUNCH. It may be just one small section of a library with hanging stars and rocket ships, but will be filled with materials to LAUNCH creativity in students.
    The author's explanation of the phases of the LAUNCH cycle was very easy to understand. His step by step approach can be utilized by every educator out there.
    I am excited about using the LAUNCH cycle in the school library. Our school library is the hub for grades six through twelve. Now that I can see the LAUNCH cycle working with all grades, I see that I need to scaffold especially for the middle school students. I do believe that I'm in a different environment other that a classroom, and this does have me thinking about how this will work in a school library. As I stated before, my library is not in any way a traditional library. Our school library is the place in the school that is filled with activity, questioning, and discovering. It is a very active place that I can see the LAUNCH cycle taking place. I love the LAUNCH cycle and I can see it in my library, however, I believe some of my colleagues will have a difficult time with it.

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    1. The previous post is from Jean Lovasko, not sure why it came up with the profile name of Mrs. L!

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    2. I never thought about putting the LAUNCH into a library! I think that this is an awesome idea and pushes students to think more critically! This gets my brain thinking about ways I could use this in our library at school!

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    3. I know...I am trying to come up with some way to use it in my library. Maybe with both our minds working we can think of some new and exciting ideas!

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    4. I will be very curious to hear how you incorporate LAUNCH into your library. Jean, you mentioned above that you can see it in your library. Would you be willing to elaborate on that? I too work in a school library and wish to create a more interesting and exciting place for my students to ask questions and discovery new things. With all the information and stories that are found in the space of a library how do we open up that knowledge/resource during the LAUNCH?

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  4. As I read this chapter my brain was instantly thinking of ways I could try this in my classroom. I would love to use this process, I think it makes learning very personal and worthwhile. The kids have something at stake other than a grade.
    As I continued to read though I struggled with really thinking of any great ways to implement this. Again, telling myself, "see you aren't creative". Even though we all know from last week's reading, we ARE creative-you have to tell that small voice to STOP and just keep reading. So although I don't see this working in my classroom right now, as the prompt implies, there are MANY chapters ahead that will help. I also am not against parts of the LAUNCH cycle-maybe you don't do the ENTIRE process but you let the kids research and get involved. If they take that outside the classroom (such as the college students and the incubator) isn't that REAL learning? Students completing a task on their own, without incentive, just because they want to learn?

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    1. I think trying one part of the process is a great place to start. And then hopefully as we continue through the chapters it will be easier and easier to figure out how to implement the next steps. Good luck!

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    2. As I read the chapter I was trying to think of ways to use the Launch Cycle in my classroom too. I think breaking things down, like the Launch Cycle explains, is beneficial for students.

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    3. I agree with Natalie. I get a little overwhelmed when I think about the entire process needing to happen.

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  5. I am pondering ways I can use the LAUNCH cycle in my classroom. I do believe it is possible. First, I am looking at which subject(s) it might be easier to incorporate into. My students and I are currently talking about money in math, and serving others in our study of the Bible. As we research and get to know groups of people in need, we could decide what they might need the most and create something that would benefit them. Then, we could decide how much it would need to cost.

    I remember reading somewhere about how the post-it note was created. If I remember correctly, at least parts of the LAUNCH cycle were involved.

    Also, I appreciated the metaphors the author used to explain how the steps of the cycle worked. I could paint a picture in my mind of how it actually worked.

    I agree with Samantha in desiring to hear about examples of the LAUNCH cycle being used in the classroom.

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  6. I see many ways to use the LAUNCH cycle; my main obstacle would be the time that could be consumed by the entire process. For example, this week in my eighth grade math class I am teaching volume and surface area of figures. I have long thought that students could investigate some creative ways that they can redesign how products are packaged, managing both volume and surface area and considering a manufacturer's need to consider materials and costs. However, the class time that this would require has been the reason that I have talked myself out of giving students this challenge. I have an entire alter-teacher-career that I could fill with my ideas if there were not so many other topics that need to be a part of the curriculum. I am interested to read further about the authors' suggestions for the frequency with which the LAUNCH cycle is used in the classroom. Is once every quarter or semester (in a particular content area) enough to give students the experience? It seems better than not ever using the approach. I look forward to the ideas and the nod to practicality of making the shift to this method in departmentalized areas.

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    1. I love your idea of students investigating real world volume and surface area and creating ideas for redesigning packaging! This is the class that I would want my son to be in. I think it's so interesting that teachers have such wonderful ideas where the students would learn so much, be creative, and think outside of the box; however, we are all held back by time constraints and other obligations. We all know that the "real world" lessons, such as yours, prepare the students better for life and future careers, but our hands are tied.

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    2. Tammy, have you considered an after school club? This sounds so great. I know that I have a couple of third grade students who go to math club once a month at our local library.
      I am interested in the how often question as well.

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  7. I think I use the LAUNCH cycle already in my classroom or at least part of it. For me though, I don't get a lot of the "asking a ton of questions" part, at least not as many as I think would make it beneficial for the students. I see the majority of my students not asking questions because they are either too nervous to, or because they try and figure it out on their own.

    I see the LAUNCH cycle being an issue for some of my colleagues, mainly due to the time commitment I think it involves. There are so many other things that need to be covered in a set amount of time that I think doing each step of the cycle, or even the thought of several steps, would deter a lot of educators that are already feeling overwhelmed.

    I'm super interested to see how other teachers are incorporating this into their classrooms!!

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    1. John Spencer's youtube channel has so many engaging ideas to try out. I've done a few with my students, but after reading chapter 3, I've realized that I could have gone deeper especially with the asking lots of questions part https://www.youtube.com/user/OurSocialVoice (Check out the Creative Thinking Challenges for Students playlist).

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    2. What a great idea...Thanks for sharing this resource. 😀

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  8. I am a believer in the LAUNCH cycle! I love that it keeps both students and teachers organized, but still allows for so much freedom and creativity.
    I think I already use some of it in my classroom during Genius Hour. My hope is to use it even more across the curriculum. I know the authors stated that incorporating it into math can be a bit more challenging. I totally agree as it seems a lot of math concepts can be pretty black and white. There may not always be a lot of research that needs to be done in math. However, it seems that many LAUNCH projects can fit across the curriculum. There will most likely be math concepts involved somewhere along the process.
    I also totally see the importance of having an audience. It makes it so much more engaging and REAL! Caine's arcade project was truly amazing, but it became real when he had an audience. I can't wait to give the opportunity to my students. Love that technology can help bring a global audience in!

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    1. Genius hour is the perfect place to use the Launch cycle. Awesome that you're doing that!

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    2. I was just introduced to Genius Hour during a recent PD meeting in our district. I was intrigued to find out more. I've been looking into it and researching if it is something that may work for me next year.

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  9. I really like how the author listed the LAUNCH process step by step and discussed how we could incorporate it into our rooms. The diagram was perfect with the pictures... It reminded me of when I did the writers' workshop process with first graders (I also had a chart posted in my room with coordinating pictures). We spent a lot of time going through the steps together in the beginning to get them to understand how to do it...and then it turned into a natural process. However, I currently teach 3 year olds...and I am unsure at this point how to incorporate each of these steps (especially since I have them only twice a week for 3 hours)...I am sure as I twirl the ideas around I will be able to come up with something or modify it to simplify the process. This makes me think about a science activity I did with Peeps (you know the yucky marshmallow things)...I put one in the microwave to show that heat expands things...and when it cools it goes returns to a smaller size. The kids began asking questions: what happens if we leave it in longer, how long until it explodes...we began to investigate and document what was happening...then they wanted to check other items as well to answer these questions. Now we didn't create anything but we did explore with little minds!

    I love the quote: "No matter what obstacles we face (including flat tires) we'll find a way to reach our goals." That should hold true to all of us...

    And for sweet boy Canine! What a story! He had such a sense of drive and work ethic...and passion for what he was doing. It made me smile when his dad say he loves to take things apart to see how things work but can't put them back together! I ended up watching several videos of him on youtube...what an awesome kiddo!

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    1. Caine is great role model for our students! I showed my class his video and they were instantly hooked! It was very inspiring for my 3rd graders to see just how meaningful their creativity can be. Always think BIG!

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    2. I agree! I just watched the video and was amazed. I can't wait to show this to students when they need a boost of inspiration!

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    3. I saw Caine's video before I read this book. I was totally amazed at what happened. I was touched at the young boys story, how he never gave up. He believed he could do it. He was so creative and had such passion.

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    4. I am glad to know I am not the only one struggling to understand how to incorporate the Launch cycle into my classroom. I currently teach Kindergarten and they do great with visual aids! They are very curious, but they also lose interest quickly. I am worried about how I would keep my students engaged for so long. I'm sure I could incorporate the Launch cycle into science; however, I am worried about how to do it into other subject areas.
      Thanks for sharing your story about the Peeps. I may have to try a science experiment in my classroom soon!

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  10. After reading chapter 3, I'm a little overwhelmed with all the steps of LAUNCH. The time commitment is still weighing heavy on my mind. I think that I do creative projects, but I know that I don't follow all of the steps. For example, my 5th graders' end of the year project is to write a simple song and perform it vocally or instrumentally. Sometimes we do it as a whole class, but if time permits it's done in small groups. I know that I skip the answering questions part, and the audience is always their class peers and myself. I'm trying to think of how I can tweak my composition lessons to give them more freedom and follow the launch process more completely. As I was reading, I also thought it would be fun to have a project where students designed their own instrument. I think this would be a great experience, but again time and especially the space to store projects would be an issue for me.

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    1. Sounds cool...maybe we could work together to create the instruments:) (art teacher friend across the hall...for everyone else wondering :)

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    2. What a great collaboration for the two of you. Amanda, that is so cool that the students write songs and perform them. Hope you will share a few with us in the corporation. LOVE THIS!

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    3. I too felt a little overwhelmed when seeing all of the different creativity styles at first. How can I corporate so many different learning styles in a day!?! However, it was very comforting to see the examples of different creativity styles and how to work with each. The metaphors and examples made it all the more vivid and practice for me; but that could
      Be my creativity style talking:)
      I do think that adressing and accommodating the more frequent styles will be my first step. Incorporating and working to accommodate the others, little by little, will be my next step. But that's all we can do, right? Take it day day, and style by style;)

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    4. Wow...That is awesome! I bet the students really enjoy that project. The process of LAUNCH will be a great tool to use in the music classroom in the process of writing a song.

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  11. I have enjoyed reading the launch book so far and look forward to trying some of it in my classroom. I loved the video of Caine's arcade. If you read down in the article it also mentions that his college has been fully funded and he's only 13. He also traveled to Washington D. C. I also like how he has inspired so many other kids to also do the cardboard challenge. What I like most about the book is that it challenges you as a teacher to let your students be creative. As an art teacher I feel this is so important not to limit what your students can do! I'm looking forward to the rest of the book. I like to challenge my students and see where their imagination takes them. Sometimes it is difficult for students when I do give them freedom! It is so neat to see their faces when they realize how talented they actually are. They need to feel successful and not worry about trying new things...if they fail they can try again. Caine is a great example of this. He never gave up or got discouraged :)

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    1. Wonderful philosophy! "If they fail they can try again" - you have created a classroom environment where there is no fear of true failure. Students will enthusiastically make more attempts without hesitation and experience success.

      (I wish my art teacher would have been more like you!!)

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  12. I really enjoyed chapter 3 as an outline and forerunner for things to come. I found it very helpful to see each stage listed but I found myself getting very excited about the Navigate Ideas and the create. I so love asking the students how they could learn this better, what areas would they like to learn about or how they would like to learn about it. I teach high school so at times it is really frustrating to ignite this but I find when I am open and honest with the about wanting to make it accessible to them in a way that would help them the most, they are willing to see it through. The difference might be in this, learning clothing vocabulary for example, one class wanted to 'get up and move with it' having a style show. The other class became fashion designers in different areas {sports, evening wear} etc. and hand made the items in miniature form. Both ideas worked with the LAUNCH process but I need to do more question and answer and assessment with them- both groups- to assure that they are mastering the material as well as enjoying the project.

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    1. Oh oh oh! Borrowing the vocabulary ideas! Thanks for sharing....

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  13. I think the LAUNCH cycle seems like a great idea but I am looking for how this was done in a classroom and the amount of time it takes to make this work. This seems like a good outline but I am wanting more details and the time it will take to make this work. I also worry somewhat about how my students will react to this. I think they will take a while to get into this method but am willing to give it a shot. If I get more of the steps needed to work this out.

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    1. I think a good starting place could be to see what your students are interested in. Depending on your subject matter, you could see what they are genuinely interested in learning about, it may surprise you. If you find what they're interested in, tht would help you get started, and it'd be a good introduction to your students. You all could learn the LAUNCH cycle together, and find a good common ground.

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    2. Hopefully as we read the book it will get more and more into detail.

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    3. I am also worried about the amount of time it takes. I would love to start the Launch cycle in my classroom tomorrow; however, I think it would be best to start at the beginning of the school year when you are already working on getting students into a routine and following procedures.

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  14. At first introduction to the LAUNCH cycle, I realize I do that on a regular basis, without even realizing it. As a middle school teacher, if my students are not interested, we will not get that far in the learning process. I continually try to make each lesson relatable to my students in whatever way I can think of. Currently, I am a co-teacher in a life skills classroom, but teach math, science, and cooking as my stand alone subjects. It's important to make my classroom relatable to “life skills”, but also important to grab their attention and make them “want” to learn about each subject. While reading this chapter, I kept saying to myself, “wow, I already do this, is this what I have been doing all along?” I think it's awesome that there is actually a name to the process that I am sure many teachers go through to create a lesson that is successful in the classroom. I also think it was important for the authors to point out that being “creative” in the classroom is outside of STEM, and it doesn’t always look the same and/or comes in different forms. That is, as long as the teachers pique the student curiosity, creativity is possible- that really resonated with me.

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  15. What first comes to mind for using this in my classroom is my babysitting unit. I think the LAUNCH cycle could work if I had them use it to create a product that is developmentally appropriate that they could use for a child they might babysit. I used to have them just pick out toys/things they could use that fit a theme. With the LAUNCH cycle I could have them create something to use while babysitting. I had a couple days dedicated to that project as it is so the time component is also there already.

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  16. I would like to see how LAUNCH works in the classroom with more examples. I teach special needs students and I teach them Algebra. They are not very good about asking questions or why do we have to do this, this way. I have 2 projects that the students do during the year. One is for slopes and the other is a STATS project. I'd like to see how I can possibly do LAUNCH with this project. I would like to get the students to ask more questions and to see how much extra time it takes to use this approach.

    I am going to show Caine's video to my math class this week. I hope that it inspires some of my student's to explore their creative side and help them see that they can learn while doing something fun.

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  17. When the authors stated that design thinking isn't a subject or topic, but a way of solving problems, it helped me connect LAUNCH with the problem based learning we do in class. I see steps in LAUNCH that will make more meaningful connections for the students that I have not used before. As a social studies teacher I think what LAUNCH would look like in my room would be starting with a service project which could turn into a "techy" creation in the end. We cover a lot of issue and concerns found in the world in our learnings such as poverty, disease, and unequal access to needs such as education. My goal for students is that they become active participants in their community or the world and what a great way for that to come to fruition by using the LAUNCH process.

    Watching Caine's Arcade showed the value of LAUNCHING the work of students to an authentic audience and the value that is added to their creative work encouraging them to be excited of what they did and want to do more as well.

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  18. I see many ways that the LAUNCH design is used my classroom, but I also see many ways that I can still be using this in my classroom. I think the issue that gets a lot of teachers from implementing new ideas in the classroom is the overwhelming feeling that you have to apply the new idea to all facets of your teaching. Take one idea and apply to one subject. Gradually add in the other content areas as YOU feel confident and comfortable. If the students see this confidence from you, they are also going to display the same enthusiasm and confidence. On the flip side, if you show that you are unsure or flustered, they are going to show the same emotions.

    I can see the LAUNCH design being added to more of my curriculum. It is time consuming, but I do like the step by step process.

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    1. I love to try new things in my classroom. It keeps things interesting for me and my students. Just like you said though, I only try new things in one subject at a time. If it works well, then I can try to incorporate it into more subjects. It becomes less overwhelming and more interesting and engaging for the students.

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  19. I'm understanding the launch cycle more now. But I'm still having a hard time seeing how I will use it at the alternative school setting. Our program is set up for students to work on their own. But We may be redesigning the program in the future. So I'm reading this book to trying to see how launch COULD look in our program if we made some changes to the program. I love the opening statement of chapter 3 "the more we practice the easier it gets". I see myself as being fearful to try something new.... even though I know the more I practice the better it will be.

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  20. I am a visual learner, so seeing the launch cycle in a step-by-step process helps me out a great deal! I orginally saw this as a middle school or higher cycle, but after reading about Caine's arcade and watching the video I do think it could easily show up in elementary as well. In fact, I agree with the author that young kids are inquisitive and aware. I do fear, that kids are somewhat losing their imagination and see some kids who are "bored" at recess and just want to get back inside. The circles of kids playing games and making up fun things to do at recess are getting smaller and smaller so finding a way to tap back into their natural curiosity. I also cannot help but think of my own son, who is almost 14 now. He as literally been digging through our recycle bin since age 4 to create all kinds of things. I will also admit, that on occasion my need for everyting in it's place may have stiffled his making of things. I see him skipping steps and wanting to go right on to the actual launch phase. At this point, I see this helping my own son to make his ideas come alive.

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    1. It is scary to try it for the first time without seeing it done. I try to look at the learning that will allow for growth as the hiccups in the process happen as part of the process.

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  21. WOW! How cool and motivating is that story about "Caine's Arcade". If you haven't gone to YouTube.com to watch the videos about him, you need to!

    I am also so thankful that these chapters are short! The book was not available as an audio book and as a slow reader I am really able to get a lot our of these chapters which are short and to the point.

    The author specifically mentioned that LAUNCH works really well in subjects like music and that he hopes we could use more subjects that are considered "extra" and see them as important as the "core" subjects. As music teachers, I feel as though we are always on the outside looking in, so I am excited that the author has recognized the importance of what I teach. :)

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  22. There is a project my department is undertaking to have kids find ways to connect the fitness components with designing their own fitness routines or workouts. In the past, we have provided the stations for them. This project is designed to provide them with the tools to generate their own stations. So far the process has the three in my department going through the LAUNCH steps first together so we then can communicate better the process and end goal. I have found a way to utilize the LAUNCH cycle. The great thing about the process allows for problem solving along the way. Even a re-evaluation after it is "completed" is included. We are diving in with both feet and will grow with each roadblock.

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    1. It is just as important for the teachers to go through the Launch process first to see what problems may come up. Even the best planning will find hiccups, but it is definitely a learning and growing experience for the teachers and the students.

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  23. I think the author did a great job describing the LAUNCH cycle and each step along the way. I think it allows for a great process that could easily be taught to students methodically and could be used over and over again in a classroom. If as an educator, I could stick with the process I think I would find it easier over time. I also think the students would find it easier over time as well and engage in the process where it would not seem like a process but more as a natural learning flow.

    As a school leader, I think the LAUNCH process could be used during professional development to teach the LAUNCH process by modeling. It wouldn't be done in one meeting but over time so that staff could learn the process and engage in it through the eyes of both the teacher and the student. I'm looking forward to continuing in this book to learn more of the process.

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    1. What a great idea, using with staff development. Especially for those teachers in the areas that the author mentioned it applying so well to. I also think we need to share the conversation about redefining what it means to be creative to our entire staff. That was eye opening to me.

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    2. Hey boss! I agree with you and Mrs. Lee. I think this is a great idea! I believe that experiencing this process from both perspectives would be a tremendous help to our teachers!

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  24. I understand the LAUNCH cycle to be very similar to the Scientific Method with some steps being presented in different order. I like the idea of generating questions as a result of observations (looking, learning, listening) then making sense of those ideas in creating a prototype. Revising the prototype before launching to the world is what we do as teachers every time we design a unit. I'm inspired to attack problems in this format myself. As far as implementation in my classroom, I do think it is possible. Students can be encouraged to assess their own progress in their physical development in our strength and conditioning program. Some degree of student adaptation and innovation can be merged with our curriculum. I think I'll need to read and learn more in order to see how I can make it happen.

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    1. I also thought the LAUNCH process was similar to the Scientific Method. I think it's possible to do in my classroom, but on a much more limited and basic level, since my kids are 3 years old. However, as we can see in the video about "Caine's Arcade", age isn't always a determining factor on how creative you can be. My little ones would need a lot of guidance and a more specific framework to work within, but we do science experiments in the classroom on a regular basis, so they're already seeing a lot of this process in basic forms.

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  25. Great description of the Launch Cycle and using the acronym to assist us all in remembering the various portions of the cycle. Really liked reading how all phases work together - leading to the "launch" and audience feedback. Looking forward to utilizing this as mentioned above in staff professional development.

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  26. I like the idea of this LAUNCH Cycle but I am still having a hard time picturing what it would look like in my classroom. I have students who would love to do projects but we don't have a lot of time like they were suggesting in this chapter. I am looking forward to keep reading to get a better picture of how I could apply it in my class. I love that in this chapter, they included the last story about a young boy making a game out of cardboard and tape. I think my students have the capabilities to create amazing things just have to find the time and make sure there is a purpose for it.

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    1. This chapter also reminded me of the movie Tomorrowland. The main character tinkered and played with items to make things that no one else thought possible.

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  27. The launch cycle did seem a bit vague for me in the beginning. However, when I got to the sections about "Working in All Subjects" I began to see how I could use this in my AP Psychology class. The curriculum requires that I engage my students in experiments and current research/data. Design thinking causes me to give more responsibility to my students, whereas, I have usually given them the data and told them what to do with it.

    Also, I teach US History, and I could see working by way of bringing in guests as a primary source. Heaven forbid that I mention this, but I am required by the standards to use primary sources. My usual primary source assignments involve old documents or photos. I happen to know a local historian that has a personal Civil War library so vast that our local University brings history students to his home occasionally to review his collection. This technically would be a secondary source, but would be a much more valid/interesting source than good old Mrs. Lee, whom they see very day.

    I like where this chapter took me.............

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  28. The steps to the LAUNCH cycle are very similar to what happens daily in an art room. They just appear a little different. Step 1 in my class can possibly be when I am presenting a new art element/principle or medium/technique or even an artist. Students will be given set requirements based on what I am presenting and they must then create their own artwork that achieves the requirements (solves the problem). Steps 2,3,& 4 students will sketch out their concepts, determine if they are achieving all requirements and come up with ways to create the artwork. What materials will be best used, size of final piece, etc (all solutions to the problem). Step 5 & 6 happen when they are creating the artwork and the changes are made to improve areas as they create it (self assessment). Step 7 is when we come together as a class and critique the artwork or when the artwork is put up for display in hallways or in an art show/contest.

    Even though it seems that I am already using this daily in my classroom, I don’t always have the most creative results. For me, this happens when they do their research. Instead of pulling from multiple images to combine and use as references for creating their artwork, I am finding that some students just don’t know how come up with their own concepts, they are “okay” with just having it handed to them. I am hoping that the upcoming chapters will help me with this.

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  29. I love that the author breaks down the process of design thinking into steps that can be discussed and used to organize a project. I am having a difficult time imagining how I will be able incorporate design projects into my third grade curriculum while worrying about the million standards that need to be mastered. I want to believe I can balance everything, but the time factor keeps popping into my mind as a major road block. I hope that as I continue reading I will have that "ah-ha" moment of where exactly to start with a design thinking project.

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  30. I really like how the book lays out all the steps. It gives you questions to get the students thinking going. I think it lays it out well enough to use in the classroom. I am just trying to figure out how can I use it in my small groups. I only see a group of children for about 20 to 30 minutes at a time. I would like to do these launch steps, but don't know how to use it when I don't have my own classroom of children all day.

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    1. Would you be able to work collaboratively with one the general education teachers you work with to do a project?

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  31. We use the Project Lead the Way curriculum in my elementary STEM class and the engineering design process is quite similar to the Launch Process. My class is centered around using this process in every unit, so I feel like I'm in the perfect place to really take our design process to the next level using the information I'm learning in this book.

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    1. I teach a similar class on the high school level and agree with you that the processes are very similar.

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  32. Many experiences we take for granted may lead to a problem-solving opportunity from which to begin the LAUNCH process. I was reminded that I already use inquiry techniques, information gathering from primary sources, and multimedia literacy skills in my Language Arts classroom. I appreciate the clearly delineated steps of the process and the reminder of the importance of having an authentic audience to provide feedback as part of the innovative process. The goals of increased confidence, risk-taking, teamwork, and creativity are often overlooked in these days of extenside standardized testing, but they are no less important. I appreciate the opportunity to think about how I can incorporate all of this into my classroom and read about what is working beyond my school's walls.

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    1. Elizabeth Stracener-I agree, Heather, many teachers, myself included, probably do include many of the aspects of the LAUNCH cycle, but I know that my students need more opportunities to share their creativity and knowledge with the world outside the classroom. I hope that learning more through this book study, I can help them create more chances to share their work outside of our classroom.

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  33. After Reading Chapter 3 "The Launch Cycle", I was surprised that I actually do many steps of the cycle but in a different way. At first I thought this chapter would be more for the Science teachers when doing different experiments or for students doing Science Fair projects. As a Language Art and Digital Citizenship teacher I can use this in a variety of ways. Many of the activities though may not include all 6 steps. I do believe it is important to break down activities for students so they do not get overwhelmed. I agree with the statement that said "There's no getting around the fact that it is harder to spend significant time on large projects when you are in a high-stakes testing environment." These types of projects I could do more at the beginning of the year or in May after testing is over. I am finding that I can use bits and pieces of it through out the year when prepping for tests. I do believe that student choice is important because then students will take more pride in what they are completing.

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    1. Kari, I felt the same way! I caught myself realizing I do a little piece of it throughout the day(s) or in projects, just never bundled together like the launch cycle. Do you have any tips for how to take a large project and perhaps simplify it into smaller pieces for students? I tend to look at the whole picture and struggle with this concept myself.

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  34. As someone who teaches different types of classes (6th science, a rotational STEM class, 8th grade ELA and next year an engineering class) I can see how this fits into different classes in different ways. In writing we revise and edit and go thru the cycle. In science class we follow the scientific method and this cycle goes well with that. Next year I'm teaching an engineering class for 6th graders and I'm excited to see how the rest of this book will help me plan for that curriculum. Talk about good timing!

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  35. In reading this book, I realized my class was set up around LAUNCH (I just didn't have the proper terminology!) I love the part on asking questions. I always ask questions, and I have always encouraged my students to ask questions - that is how we learn! However, this is a very different mindset for education. I know many feel they don't have time for this "type" of teaching due to high stakes testing, so it is going to take time to show and prove that this "type" of teaching is just as, if not more, beneficial to our students!

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    1. I need to learn to use this phase more! I think asking questions will give a student much more ownership over a project rather than just being told what to do. Any suggestions as to how to do this better? It's also a little scary, to be honest, to give the control of a project over to the student! I'm used to having very clear-cut steps and outcomes for the student to follow but I think I need to open my mind more!

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  36. I, like so many others, also like the precise outlining of the steps in the LAUNCH process. Sometimes I take for granted that students go through each step. Now I've been reminded that I need to consciously allocate time to discuss the steps with them

    Next year we are moving to a schedule with 80 minute classes instead of our current 50 minute classes. That will really allow me time to have students go through the entire process step by step.

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    1. Agreed! Our longer classes will definitely allow for more time given to each of the LAUNCH phases!

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  37. My initial thoughts on the process is that it is an excellent methodology to use in the creative process. Despite all of the great examples the authors give, I am struggling (though still trying) to apply this process to high school history. Especially with the limitations on my students and resources, I was inspired by some of the examples they gave (especially the arcade) of how students and teachers made use of limited resources. I will be trying my best to apply that level of creativity to my classroom. I am hoping that if I can design a project utilizing this system, that "getting my foot in the door" will allow me to come up with more and more ways to continue using the LAUNCH system. I am hoping that the more in-depth the book gets explaining the steps, the more the proverbial juices will get flowing.
    My boss mentioned in her post that she might use this system in a professional development training. I think it is an excellent idea, and hope that she does so. I agree that experiencing this system from both the teacher and student perspectives.

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    1. I empathize with you and the struggle to create projects with limited time and resources, and I don't think you're alone! I agree that this "Launch" cycle needs to work through the teacher first before he/she can apply it to the classroom setting. Developing the project is a creative process in itself for sure.

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    2. You must have a great boss if she is willing to do a professional development with this system. I wish my administration would provide these opportunities. Let me know how it goes. Maybe she could talk to my administrators.

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  38. After the brief overview, I think the LAUNCH system sounds like a valuable addition to a classroom. Right now, I don't know how much of a good fit it would be for a resource room setup based upon the recommendations for successful implementation. I did appreciate that the authors mentioned that young children are naturally curious and want to be inquisitive. I think that is sometimes forgotten because so much instruction needs to be crammed into each day. I am looking forward to more details about each step in the cycle to see if there are ways to use this in my classroom.

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    1. I am sure you could do it in a resource room! You may have to break it up a bit more; although you can give students (some) choice in what they do as well. I bet you already do it in some way and just haven't realized it.

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  39. I am still wrapping my mind around the LAUNCH steps. I do feel it is age and subject appropriate for my classes. It is coming up with a way to "launch" it that has me stumbling. I am looking forward to looking at each step in more detail. I have a couple of projects coming up that I have been thinking about how I can use LAUNCH design.

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  40. I appreciated the statement, when referring to Caine, "If anything, the limitations in his environment and the freedom to experiment pushed him toward innovation." What an incredible experience this is for any student!

    How many times when I am designing lesson plans, do I feel like I can't do a project because I do not have the necessary supplies to make a project idea work?! My thinking is now going through an intense paradigm shift. I need to embrace the "less is truly more" approach. Children are intrinsically creative and have a natural curiosity that will drive their own learning.

    So to answer the question as to whether this would work in my classroom? Yes, undoubtedly. The common core standards can be the much needed framework while design thinking will provide "the way of solving problems that encourages positive risk-taking and creativity."

    While I have always incorporated hands-on, creative thought in my classroom, I still kept firm control on the resulting path toward final products. I need to allow my students more freedom of thought and inquiry.

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  41. While reading this chapter, I reflected on how leaders in education can utilize the launch cycle. Instead of a "strategic plan", what if we used this as our framework?

    I also think a lot about PBL and project-based assessments in our school. Some of us that are new to PBL might struggle with how to facilitate the classroom on the day to day. I think this framework would be very beneficial to that transition.

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    1. I'm so interested in PBL. Have you done a lot of research on it?

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    2. To tag on what you said, Diana, I think it would be a fun switch for leaders to use the LAUNCH cycle for teachers to be the explorers. It would be so much fun for me personally as a teacher to have the freedom to investigate where my questions lead instead of where to go within someone else’s framework or topic.

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    3. We aren't a PBL school, but we do utilize performance assessments in place of a traditional final exam. I haven't done tons of research on PBL itself, but on active learning.

      Lauren, yes- I agree. I love this idea!

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    4. Lauren--kind of where our PLCs are this year where teachers select the learning they want.

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  42. I would like to try to implement Genius Hour again and give my kids one day a week where they can explore design thinking. The LAUNCH cycle will give me more of a plan to be able to implement this. It is hard being an ELA teacher to fit in the design process. I feel it is important to encourage creativity and problem-solving as well as risk taking. They are absolutely right - kids want to immediately CREATE without taking the time to do all the prep work. I like the LAUNCH acronym. I did something similar to the LAUNCH process when I tried Genius Hour, but didn't have an acronym to help.

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  43. I really do like the idea of the launch cycle. As I was first reading through I really wished that there were examples but as I thought about it I'm happy that there isn't because it will actually help me become more creative when developing a project. If there were examples I would end up finding my self using some of their ideas.

    I think that LAUNCH can be used in many classes. I teach Read 180 as I could see me using the cycle to create a project at the end of our workshops. And when it comes to projects I love to get my students up in front of the class so a skit or presentation could be a good idea for schools without many resources or technology.

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  44. I really enjoyed this chapter the most so far. The incubator story is fascinating! What makes the most sense to me is the structure needed for design thinking. Often in the age of 1:1 computing, teachers are pressured to have students constantly working, creating and problem solving. I agree that students need to be doing this, but the problem lies when an evaluation visit happens to fall on one of those "scaffolding" days (Look Listen and Learn/Asking Lots of Questions/ Understanding the Problem), and teachers could get "dinged" in their evaluation.
    I do see the need for more formal teaching methods to help students before launching them into their creative projects. This goes back to chapter 1 where they explain that creativity often happens within the most constrained environment (Apollo 13 mission).

    I think that having a system for creativity/project-based learning like the one outlined here is incredibly useful from an instructional standpoint.

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  45. I like the acronym that leads the students through the steps. Having steps to follow is always helpful. I agree with the other readers; I am excited about seeing examples later in the book. Caine's Arcade brought tears to my eyes. He was so invested in his project. He really wanted someone else to just see what he had created. I recently assigned an informative brochure over a book we read. One of my students said he couldn't do it, because he didn't know what I wanted. I told him to use his creativity and dazzle me. He sat there for 20 minutes and again said I don't know what you want. I told him as long as he talked about the book, the rest was up to him-pictures, articles, etc. I knew at that moment that my students lost that ability to be free and creative in their thinking. I am planning on more open ended writing activities. I look forward to new ideas using the LAUNCH too!!

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  46. I believe the lunch cycle is a great process in which you can formulate ideas for students to actually interact with what they're learning. I like how there's a finished project that you actually present to an audience that is a target audience of what you have created. I do also feel that it is very vague. Although you cannot be precise with something like this. I believe that when teachers are coming up with new ideas they sort of go through this several steps in order to achieve their goal anyways. This would be an easy model to apply to health class however it would be difficult to apply to a physical education class or a weightlifting class. It has already spark many ideas in my mind just reading about it. What concerns me the most is the amount of busywork that the students are put through. As a health teacher I get complaints often about how involved other projects are in other classes and how time consuming they can be. I feel as though health class is an extra class that should not be time-consuming at all. I cannot say that I blame them I have used some of their agendas and see what type of work that they are actually put through. I do wish that there was a way to make things such as projects seem more enjoyable rather than just be busy work for them.

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    1. Elizabeth Stracener-I appreciate your comment regarding students interacting with what they are learning. One of the points I try to make with students is the "why" behind the content we are covering. So when we learn about genetics, we discuss, why is this something we should understand, and how does this apply to the "real" world?

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  47. I came back to respond.....and can't find my original post, so here is what I think I said...
    I was overwhelmed at first with the LAUNCH process, feeling like my students need to be changing the world in my class! Then I felt better reading that even writing papers goes through the process!
    I think that in a unit, we naturally walk through the LAUNCH process, in a World Language class. The kids look, listen, and take in the information as we work through the initial vocab or grammar. They ask questions in the preliminary stages. Once I see an understanding, we start to navigate ideas, using old and new information. They then create the language, putting pieces together. Maybe my first year students are creating a life-saving machine, but they are creating paragraphs and communication. We review their creativity to see what worked, and what needs more understanding. We may go back through steps U, N, C before we get to H, and feel comfortable creating language.
    For my more advanced students, they work through the process in different ways.

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    1. As a Spanish teacher, I also see many ways that LAUNCH is a part of my classroom. I am using VOCES online program for first year students; and while I appreciate the resource, there is a massive amount of vocabulary that is presented in list format (not too exciting); however, it has made me approach lessons with more creativity. I give them more choice about which words they learn because sometimes there are too many to tackle. Students have more freedom to determine how they learn, as well. I had previously been afraid to give students this freedom at lower levels of language because I needed them to learn 'basics'. I now understand how this can look a lot of different ways as long as students are actively learning.

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  48. While I was reading the weekly chapter I kept coming back to a project that my 7th grader is working on in his Language Arts class. It is called "Make a Change." The kids each pick a problem in the world, research a way to solve the problem, create an innovative solution (or improve upon an existing solution), build the solution and produce some type of advertising to distribute the project. His teacher seems to be following the LAUNCH cycle word for word. My son is ecstatic about this type of learning and loves to go to school every day so he can work on his world changing project. The great part is some of these kids will really change the world.

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  49. Students always amaze me with the ideas they have. I think sometimes we need to let them tell us what problem they see and then guide them as they begin to create a product to solve that problem. Once students have chosen their project then we can work on bringing in the curriculum to support their work.

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  50. I am still trying to figure LAUNCH cycle out. I feel for me it could work in elementary and middle school but am trying to figure it out for high school. As I read on, I hope to gain some ideas.

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  51. After reading through the beginning stages of the Launch Cycle, I do have to say it seems a little overwhelming. Especially when it talks about having the proper amount of time to complete a project and making it meaningful. I have some ideas that come to mind as the author's discussed the different steps of the launch process, and like some of you... things come to mind that we already do in our classes. In our Health class, we complete a project on communicable/non-communicable diseases. We allow each student to go home and discuss with mom and dad, grandparents, aunts/uncles about various diseases that run in the family or maybe that have impacted their lives somehow. Students' will come back and be very excited about starting their research because it is close to home for them. I completely agree that if a student' is interested and excited to learn, they will try so much harder and show more pride in their work. After the research, they may come up with any type of presentation to demonstrate the disease, what it is, how it impacted their family, research on disease, and cures/no cures. It is shocking to see the end results of their projects because I was not aware of how much they know about technology. Needless to say, they do an excellent job on this project (7th grade Health). I would love to try new things though, and come up with some exciting ways to teach various Health topics that normally students' find "boring". Also, in P.E. I would love to have students develop their own videos and pick a sport or a game that involves physical activity and have them teach it to a class/or even a different class. I can see some ways that I could use the LAUNCH cycle, but I would also like to see more examples and specifically to my subject areas. I am excited to read on, and see other ways I can utilize this and connect to my curriculum somehow.

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  52. I think the author's suggestion that I ask students what they wish they were learning right now is a good place to start. In the past,when trying to come up with a written expression activity that interests students, I have played a song for students, and then asked them to write a response to the song. It can be interesting to read how a song brings out different feelings or connections to one's past, or how a student interprets the words so differently from his or her peers.

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  53. First of all, I love the author's use of humor. The comments about frozen yogurt, candy and Dora the Explorer were awesome.

    I simply love the idea of allowing students to be more creative and discover ways to solve a problem or craft a new "thing," be it a novel, product or video. I echo what most have said before me in that I like how the author broke down all the phases of the LAUNCH cycle. For me, it's not a matter of IF I can use LAUNCH in my classroom, but how.

    I teach high school English. This process is perfect for writing projects, be it poems, short stories, essays, reports or novelettes. It's basically taking the student through the pre-write, write and editing phases but with more clearly established goals. I like the idea of a student first just being curious about a topic or an audience and then addressing both or either in some form of writing.

    I've used a more "non-English" project in my classes that I never before realized really fits this process. After reading The Odyssey, writing essays about personal obstacles and other explorations into the topic of obstacles, I give groups of students an obstacle to overcome; armed with only 10 sheets of paper, a paper clip and a little tape, their task is to build the highest, free-standing structure that they can. I can see the different phases, now that I know them, being worked through in my past students. Some skip right to the create part and often have to start over completely or become so frustrated that they give up. So I can definitely see the benefit of the first few phases. To be honest, those initial phases of observing, questioning and researching would be the most difficult for me...I just want to create and launch! So my challenge would be to rest in and enjoy those first few phases with my students.

    Especially in English, I think it's so important and beneficial to provide more hands-on projects for my students that relate to their readings or writings. Although the authors point out that this process can be used for writing quite well, and I agree, reading about the process just makes me WANT to think up more hands-on projects for my students. I'm excited to start exploring this idea more.

    Finally, as an interesting side note, this year I began using Bell Ringers to start each class. This has been something that I am tweaking and developing as we go along. One thing that has evolved is that on Fridays, our Bell Ringer has become an inspirational video about which they write after viewing. I've shown Caine's Arcade to my students these last two years. They've loved it. This year we followed up with the Caine's Arcade movement that was sparked by the initial video. The initial video, by the way, was brought to my attention by one of my students. Their task at the time was to simply find a video of an inspirational person which they would use for a paper later. Groups voted on the most inspirational people and videos and Caine's Arcade was one of the winners.

    It's interesting to see how previous projects used in class already somewhat follow the LAUNCH cycle, but I am excited to tweak those projects (especially with more focus on the initial phases) and more importantly, discover new ideas to spark more creativity in my classroom!

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    1. I forgot to mention how I love the idea of empathy being part of phase one of the LAUNCH cycle. I had never thought of it like that, and what ownership and caring that would bring to a student's eventual project!

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    2. I also like his sense of humor and his writing style. Part of the reason I'm doing this book study is because he will be our Keynote speaker at Making a Splash with Digital Learning summer eConference in Batesville, IN. I'm so looking forward to meeting him!

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    3. I agree with everything in your response this week. I too would like to come up with more hands on projects in my Literacy classes.

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  54. As I am reading through LAUNCH I keep asking myself how this book can be relevant to my job as a media specialist. How can I use the LAUNCH idea in the library? At first when beginning to read this chapter I was thinking that it would not be realistic to attempt something like this in the library especially for the time it takes compared to the little time I actually have with students. Yet, as I kept reading I realized that my part with a LAUNCH program would be that of a collaborator with teachers and students. My job could be to help facilitate the access to research and information technology. On page 61, "And technology provides endless information resources in video and multimedia formats." If I was collaborating with teachers/students I could be looking for video and multimedia formats for them to use in their research. This is starting to get me excited.

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    1. I think media specialists can play a crucial role in the LAUNCH cycle. It's just a matter of coordinating with teachers who are using this design thinking. I am excited for you and feel like you can be involved in MANY LAUNCH projects in the future!

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  55. The launch cycle is awesome. I use it with my Industrial Technology classes all the time. My Technical Enterprise class is in the middle of this process. Their objective for the class is to create a product and sell it. Each one of the steps of the launch cycle they will go through to develop a product to launch to an audience. I would imagine that if we would go into a manufacturing business we would find a poster similar to the launch cycle. I am thinking about using this picture of the launch cycle to help my kids see the process they need to go through to reach their goal.

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  56. I have done a lot of STEM projects with my kindergarteners over the last several years so I am pretty comfortable with letting children use creativity. The launch cycle takes STEM a step further, making it more in-depth and giving students' more ownership and purpose. I am struggling a little to envision what that would look like in kindergarten, but anxious to see what the next chapters will unfold. I am especially interested in reading about tying it to standards because the reality is that if I am going to invest that much time in a meaningful project it also has to align with standards.

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    1. I, too, am anxious to see how this might develop into ideas for Kindergarten! I can see how Kindergartners might actually be easier to work with in some respects (natural inquisitiveness and less inhibited) but much more difficult in others!

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  58. I began this chapter by first tapping on the Caine's Arcade link. I read each blog entry before watching the videos. Tears fell for Caine, for his dad who gave him the freedom to dream and create, and for the heart of Nirvan who had the ability to 'see'. Tears fell for every 'Caine' who had never had the freedom to dream and the audience to appreciate him. I woke in the middle of the night wondering 'what if...', and I could not go back to sleep. So, I sent the link to our principal. I wondered if we could use the inspiration of one child and turn it into a school wide project based learning assignment to earn funds for our new playground. I wondered how an event by kids and for kids would impact our learning community. I wondered if teachers and support staff and parents and grandparents would see the magic. I wondered if I could create makerspace alternatives for recess. I wondered about a lot of things until the sun came up.
    In our STEM Robotics programs, in and out of school, we use an engineering design team process. The process is similar to the LAUNCH process. The students love the freedom to set goals, make choices to achieve their goals, build and test their ideas, and most importantly that it is ok to make mistakes. I see the pressure put on teachers due to the high stakes tests. I am hopeful that the education system can find a common ground for the sake of the learner.

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  59. I love the step-by-step instructions on the Launch Cycle and the helpful charts that visually represent the process. I, too, am anxious to keep reading about the process. I'm hoping that we will read about more examples of implementing this into the classroom. I've already got my wheels turning with some of the other participants examples, so hopefully those will keep coming, as well. I think creativity is so important in a student's development and can influence the course of his/her career path. I know that so many employer's today value creativity and thinking outside of the box to come up with new ideas and solutions to problems. I think implementing the Launch Cycle will be so beneficial to our students!

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    1. I agree with you. I think creativity is extremely important. I would really like to try implementing Launch projects, but am not quite sure if it will work out the way I want it to. I think it is probably normal to hit a few bumps in the road.

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  60. I like the ideas of Launch. I teach fifth grade and can see my students really benefiting from this. I am currently implementing some STEAM in my room and I feel this can be used now and after I get more comfortable with STEAM. I just went to a conference this past week and our superintendent of education shared that 80% of future jobs will require more STEM knowledge.

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  61. At this point, I would love to try this (and be brave enough) to try this LAUNCH cycle and see where it leads. But realistically I don’t know enough about how to do this in my foreign language classroom that would make sure the students tackle the things they need to learn instead of just typing it into Google Translate and saying “Done.” I would like to see specific examples. I even see how this might be used in an English class, but getting students to do that investigating in a foreign language area seems… well, I don’t know how to do it. But I am willing to keep looking for ideas and keep an open mind. Another question I have is what type of “real” products have students made in this subject area? Has anyone done it?

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  62. I'm looking forward to more details and examples about each stage in the LAUNCH cycle. I liked the thought that design thinking = solving problems. It was interesting to me that "navigate ideas" or what I would have traditionally called brainstorming is step 4. What he says makes sense, but I always have thought of brainstorming as one of the first steps in solving a problem. It seems to me to be the age old debate of depth vs. breadth. If we spend more time on projects that require making and problem solving by default there will be less class time to cover more material. I'm looking forward to how he incorporates the many standards teachers are required to cover into his example projects. I buy into his theory that adding design-thinking leads to student ownership of learning.

    And another plug for Caine's Arcade and the Global Cardboard Challenge. If you've not looked this video up it is a MUST see.

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    1. I include standards with all of my project-based learning, so my suggestion would be to allow students that research piece of LAUNCH which would include questions that they study in the content area. For example, my health students make a PSA video over an STD topic. So if I were to LAUNCH this project, they could make it into a YouTube video, and also target the audience that is most relevant to their topic.

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  63. I appreciated the steps of the LAUNCH acronym. I also like the thought that said to allow students to create, test, recreate, and launch to a real audience. Students make many presentations to peers in my class, but we don't often "put things out there". So I am encouraged by the idea of design thinking that this author suggests a way of solving problems and encouraging risk-taking and creativity. The separation of the 7 phases lets me feel that I can try a new LAUNCH activity for at least one unit in each of my courses. I do think that we can bite off more than we can chew if we attempt to LAUNCH 24/7 in all of our classes. I have 5 preps/6 classes a day, so I would have to strategically plan to include LAUNCH when it has relevancy for my students.

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    1. Forgot to put my name in the above response-Elizabeth Stracener

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  64. The LAUNCH cycle is deffinately something I could incorperate in my classroom. I think many teachers use parts of the cycle a lot more than they realize. To get the total benifit student and teachers must take the time to follow each step.

    I agree with those who would like to see examples of how to incorporate it into the classroom. I have been thinking of ways my students could use this process. My focus is on the actual launch. The audience I would have them launch to. We recently we to Marango caves on a field trip. While there we watched a movie on caves. I teach science and I found it boring. One thing I thought my students could do was to create a middle school friendly video and send it to Marango caves for possible use on Middle school field trips.

    I know it will take some time and planning but I am interested in seeing the outcome in my classroom.

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    1. I totally agree with more teachers do it then they even realize!

      I love your idea of having your students create a video; how better of a way for others to learn than from students of their own generation and age? I hope that project works out for you because I think it could really benefit others for years to come.

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  65. As I read through the description of the LAUNCH cycle, the author captured my initial reaction. "At first glance, the seven stages feel convoluted and time-consuming." I think the process would be difficult to implement on a regular basis in my math classes. (The author even indicated that the framework was a little more difficult to implement in math). However, I could see the process working with a few concepts in my Geometry classes - possibly as an end-of-unit project. I'm looking forward to the author showing more examples.

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  66. I liked how the author described all of the steps of the Launch cycle. The entire time I kept thinking how would this work in my first grade classroom? It does seem very time consuming for the grade level that I'm working with. We have done some STEM activities where I gave the materials and the general plan and they worked as a team to create and solve. I would love to read examples of how the Launch cycle works in a first grade class. Maybe more will be explained as I keep reading the book.

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    1. I am in the same boat. I've started this book study later than most, so I'm scrolling up through all the responses to find educators in younger classes to see what their thoughts are. I'm trying to figure out how to make this work in my Kindergarten class. In some ways, it seems like younger students would make it easier. In others, it seems like it would be too hard!

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  67. Trying to relate this chapter to my language arts classroom is difficult for me. As students come to the middle school from the elementary, I feel like they ask so many questions prior to even starting a creative writing in my class. They want specific details and guidelines; how many paragraphs, how many sentences per paragraph, how many sentences do I need in my introduction, my conclusion? I often ask them to just get their words/ideas down after they have had a fair brainstorming phase. I want them to explore on their own with where the writing may take them. After reading this chapter, I see that the question stage is very vital to the overall process. I will alter my thinking next time and consider maybe giving a few more phases to go over before I turn them loose. I remember one of my methods professors 27 years ago stating that "teachers stifle creativity" in the early ages by having students all do the same thing. She used making a simple picture in art class as an example. The teacher putting hers up and describing how everyone would make his/hers to look as much like the teachers as possible. We can only hope that those days are in the past! I believe that it is very difficult for some of my students to think outside the box and even that this is a more difficult concept to teach. Much of the problem I think I struggle with is finding the time to take with each project.

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  68. As I was reading each stage I was trying to think of how I can or already do apply this in my classroom. My subject (FACS) is a natural fit but the time factor seems to be something I would have to work with. Having the students decide the problem is probably the hardest step for me so I am looking forward to learning more about it. I hope to see more examples in the book as well. We have PLTW at our school and this is exactly what they do in that class so I am hoping for some help there as well. I definitely see the value in this process.

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  69. As with many others, I am struggling to see how the LAUNCH cycle would work in my room. I am definitely brainstorming how to work it in but I am unsure of how it will look in my third grade classroom.

    Having 8 and 9 year olds decide a problem and what to do with it is a bit daunting. I feel like they would need some more guidance from me and I'm not sure what that should look like.

    My class is currently working on a service project after reading and article about children their age that helped in a community. We first read about helping others and had a discussion on Google Classroom about what that would look like for them. They narrowed it down to a few different options and they decided that they wanted to make superhero capes for children at a children's hospital. They wrote letters to their families describing the project and asking for donations to buy materials. Some of my students went to purchase the fabric with their parents instead. They designed appliques and helped put them together. I'm not sure if this meets the LAUNCH cycle entirely but it took a lot of guiding but they do feel good about it and loved this project.

    I would love to see more practical examples at all grade levels to see if I would be able to fit this in on a regular basis.

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  70. As a building level principal, I feel it is my job to help the teachers find the resources they would need to implement the LAUNCH cycle. I think that sometimes we all get stuck at phase 1. The kids are used to us telling them what they have to learn instead of having the exploration of ideas, and teachers are used to the state and admin. telling them what they have to teach to the kids. Often times we make this thing called education out to be harder than it has to be.

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    1. Your words are just perfect! Sometimes those of us in education just try so hard that we easily overthink the simplest things and miss out on the beauty of all that we are doing.
      You seem to be a great resource to your staff, which I know makes all the difference within a school and corporation.

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  71. While I found Chapter 3 to be a bit overwhelming, I also realized I do frequently do parts/pieces of launching without even realizing it. I am such a worry wart that I love to follow a "plan" and launching tends to follow a type of plan, but also can go back a few steps. I feel as though I would struggle a little with that because I usually learn the hard way that I need to go back. I am hoping the next several chapters put my anxiety at ease of doing it "the right way" and being able to let go and allow more creativity to flow through!

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    1. I was very overwhelmed with this chapter as well. I also frequently do parts of the process. I think adding the component of presenting to an authentic audience would make many of the projects we currently have students create much more meaningful.

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    2. I feel the exact same way. I felt a little overwhelmed after reading Chapter 3 as well. I feel like I do bits and pieces of the Launch cycle, and can now pinpoint a name for the various parts. I love the step-by-step description of each step. I am looking forward to reading about specific examples of what the LAUNCH cycle looks like in a third grade classroom. Sometimes, I have a hard time visualizing what that may look like, so reading about other teachers who have been using it will be most beneficial.

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  72. I think using the LAUNCH cycle in my history classroom is possible but challenging due to timing of our curriculum and the standards we have to meet. We do create a Global Issues project at the end of the year, though, that has students identify, understand, and try to solve issues they see in the world around them, so I plan on implementing this cycle just to give it a try! As the authors stated in this chapter, it takes time to implement this cycle fully, which I can completely see, but putting the ownness of their education on them, which I think is what this cycle does, is worth the time, to at least try it once or twice a year in the beginning. I think the major goal for me is to create life-long learners, and I think this cycle can help create that. The asking questions aspect of the cycle, is one of the biggest pieces to creating lifelong learners.

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  73. I think utilizing the Launch cycle within our time constraints would be difficult. I like the idea of having students present their work to an authentic audience. I think that it may be difficult to accommodate students having choice of topic for every project if you are looking for the projects to align with your curriculum. The launch cycle definitely outlines an authentic learning experience. I would really like to try using it, but I am a little bit overwhelmed and wouldn't know exactly where to start.

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  74. Though I believe that the launch cycle is a good idea, I am very unsure how to incorporate it into math. Yes math is used in engineering and all of the sciences, but many of my students are very low in their math skills. I do not see how we would be able to come up with a project that would strengthen their math skills. Now I feel like my creativity is in question. I would very much need to see examples.
    Also, I was part of school that tried to have students produce something along the lines of the arcade. I think that one of the reasons that the original was successful was because the boy was bored due to his situation of being at work with his father and the time he had available to him and a desire to occupy himself contributed to his creativity. Children faced with free time to fill are far more creative than children who have their time occupied by activities provided by others.

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    1. I agree with you about children who have free time being more creative. I think often times parents feel the need to get their children involved in EVERYTHING. They feel if they do this it'll keep them out of trouble, but we still need to let kids be kids and let them have that time to be creative instead of scripting their every move.

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  75. I think I missed posting last week. The LAUNCH seems like something I could do and have done in the past, but I am intrigued by the design of the LAUNCH. I always feel like I need a structure or pattern and then fill in that structure with a variety of topics. The LAUNCH design sounds like it will fit my thinking. Every time I read this book, my head spins with new ideas. I've started taking notes as I read because nearly every paragraph stirs a new idea. Although others have viewed the LAUNCH cycle as an end project, I see it as an introduction and/or a thread of activity available while students are learning topics.

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    1. I feel the same way about this book; so many ideas! I like to have my students do most of the discovery in my lessons instead of me standing up and saying, "this is what it is". I think the LAUNCH cycle encourages this thinking.

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  76. Giving educators a specific framework will allow teachers the structure and a starting point for wherever they are on the continuum of implementing design thinking into classrooms. Teachers can find value and relevance with all the stages of The LAUNCH Cycle. One of my AHA moments was the discussion stating that making is messy, but that without a framework, the mess stays a mess. The cycle and framework boost creativity by providing students and teachers guidance and permission to create. I look forward to reading the next chapters and to delve deeper into actual implementation for each.

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  77. I feel like I do a very loose interpretation of the LAUNCH cycle in my classroom already. I like how it broke it up into each individual step and explained what exactly needs to happen to accomplish that task. I think it would benefit the students to know what each step is called and the chapter has a diagram that would be great to display; the cycle names really pinpoint what to accomplish.

    I feel like, for a teacher that hasn't implementing something similar to this before, the starting process might seem overwhelming and hard to wrap your mind around. Since I already do the majority of these steps in my 6th grade reading class, it seems more manageable to start now.

    I also like the comedic writing throughout the chapters so far.

    NOW YOU'RE THINKING OF CANDY...

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  78. I got teary watching the Caine's Arcade video. What a humble father and son. I could use this video with our community unit to show students how communities come together to support and help their citizens. Such a great story.
    With regards to the LAUNCH cycle, I believe I have accomplished various forms of these steps through the years but never with a purposeful ending of launching a product!
    I've seen our high school students design items with CAD and then present their finished product to an audience of local business owners. They are given constructive feedback on their items by their audience. My boys still have the spatulas that they created for an "ultimate grilling experience", in their bedrooms.
    I'm sure that students who have had this experience will remember it for a very long time.

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  79. I teach social studies at the high school level and I feel we could certainly create a LAUNCH cycle for one of our units. There is a lot to plan following all parts of the cycle. We already do activities that incorporate some of the stages. I too watched the Caine's Arcade videos and was impressed and inspired to do something with my students. It was great to hear that Caine's grades are better, his stutter is gone, and he has a drive or confidence now. It got me thinking about what a well designed LAUNCH cycle project could do for some of my students.

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  80. The LAUNCH cycle is very intriguing. I look forward to each area being explained in detail. As I look at the things that I have done in the classroom I see that I am using parts of the cycle now I need to put these parts together.

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  81. My biggest problem with the Launch cycle in my class is finding a way to make it more tangible. Creating "products" is often hard. The study of language and literature - in the minds of students anyway - is NOT product related. For me, it is, but communicating that idea and getting students to buy into it is a challenge. I look forward to seeing some practical ways I can incorporate more problem-based learning in my classroom as the Launch cycle describes.

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  82. Yes, as an overview, it does seem a bit vague. I love working with more specific examples, especially when tied to my own subject matter (English). The chapter specifically states that this process works well in writing classes, so that’s encouraging. And even as an overview, I’m already excited about using the process in my classroom. To be honest, I’m thinking of using parts the LAUNCH process myself to figure out how to effectively approach it with my students.

    As an example, as we are finishing To Kill a Mockingbird in the next few weeks, I will be Looking and Listening for ways to incorporate creativity to the end of our unit. I will Ask both myself and my students lots of questions to see where there is the most interest in this unit and the opportunities to explore things further. We will then decide on a problem to Understand, etc… While I don’t have anything specific in mind yet, that’s ok, because I’ll start at step 1 and learn!

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  83. The struggle I have in using the LAUNCH cycle in the classroom, is that I typically I am in the classroom for a day or two doing guidance lessons. To fully allow students to benefit from this approach, they should have time to learn, ask, and understand the process before navigating ideas, creating, and then revising their creations. If you rush this process, I imagine most students would feel frustrated and give up.


    In a counseling situation I can think of a few ways to use the LAUNCH cycle. One tie a student wanted to design a game - and I can see how we could have time for the steps, as we met regularly. The design and revising phases could be used to teach resiliency and the importance of continued effort. I could easily incorporate more projects to work on with students that focus on their issue - such as anger, social skills, etc.

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  84. While I am anxious to incorporate the LAUNCH cycle in my 6th gr.Language Arts class, it requires paying attention, asking questions, finding resources and references, planning before designing, building and testing out the end result. When students transition from elementary to middle school, they are still wanting specific details and guidelines; how many paragraphs, how many sentences per paragraph, how many sentences do I need in my introduction, my conclusion? Kids seem to be losing creativity and the desire to do things on their own. They are "bored" before they know what is needed for the project, and they give up because they "just don't know what they should do." I see them taking "short-cuts" and forging to the end to just eliminate homework. Have they been exposed to PBL? Absolutely, in 4th and 5th grade but there they were given the topic, didn't need to rely on the group coming up with questions, and had a rubric that checked off the process required to get an "A." It took little creativity, was not time-consuming, and they didn't get why they had to try something different. Maybe because we are heading into 4th quarter in another week, I have this negativity hanging over my head, but this is what I've been dealing with the entire school year! I guess what I'm saying is I've got to get back on board and work with the LAUNCH process myself before I attempt this with my students.

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    1. Sue, I too, teach middle school, and understand your frustration! I cannot even count the number of times I have given students a project and one of the first things they ask is how long it has to be, rather than asking questions about the subject area or their curiosity with the material. It does seem at times like they are more considered with meeting the basic guidelines than the learning experience itself-but I too agree this might be a product of the way our schools are designed in the present day. However, I think maybe having steps built within the LAUNCH process in which students must get approval before moving on to the next step (and approval that is quite hard to attain) might inspire them more than just an "A", or even allowing them to focus on a project that they choose. This way, they feel motivated by the progress they are making rather than rushing through the project. Alas, I am new to this as well, so I suppose we will embark on this adventure together.

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  85. I can see how the LAUNCH cycle could fit into most grade level/subject areas that have research as a standard that needs to be covered. Each phase can be modified by the teacher to fit time constraints, although I think caution should be used to prevent short-changing students in the first three phases. Overall though, in order for the cycle to be most effective, devoting a significant amount of classroom time would be necessary. Since I only have 35-40 minutes with each of my groups, I would really have a time issue to wrestle with!
    With younger students more time in phase three would be appropriate and more structure would be needed, but I think the LAUNCH cycle could be used successfully at the elementary level.

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  87. After reading this chapter,I would have to say that I have used this process several times a semester for the last several years. Saying that I will often pick which parts of the process I want to emphasize and then offer additional support to students in the other steps to try to keep us in a good time frame. I think in a perfect world we would do this weekly but we are on time constraints and curriculum restraints that unless we shorten some steps of the process the opportunities to use the process will be very limited. I do know that my students and I both enjoy the design process each time we do get to use it.

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  88. I must admit, as I began reading this chapter, I wondered how in the world I could make any of this apply to my Kindergarten classroom, but once I got to the the end, I see how this could work with any age! In fact, some of the steps might actually be easier with these younger students, as they are often less inhibited in their thinking and creating! (On a side note, I had to laugh about sitting through Dora, as this is my live at home, right now!)

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  89. First off.... Caines Arcade was great. I loved it. Back to the author...I really liked how each step was broken down. I love the idea of the launch cycle and think that with practice and modeling I will be able to use this in my primary classroom. I have really enjoyed the book thus far. I often fine myself reflecting on things I have done in my classroom and how they connect to topics from the book.

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  90. I definitely see the LANCH cycle having a place in my classroom after reading chapter three, especially as a social studies teacher who frequently enjoys inquiry projects and using projects to stimulate students’ interests in topics. I feel that projects are a good way to help students learn because it allows them choice in how they like to express their understanding, more so than a test. My school district uses the Universal Design for Learning framework (UDL) which emphasizes student choice and multiple means of action, engagement, and expression because students are all different in how they learn, and therefore should be presented with information in different modalities as well as offered the opportunity to express their knowledge in different modalities. I think the LAUNCH cycle, due to its emphasis on choice and student centered learning fits well with the ideology of both my classroom and district. I am anxious to incorporate this cycle in an upcoming project I would like students to complete in regards to human rights issues around the world in my final quarter of the school year. This cycle will, I believe, truly help students feel less overwhelmed in the research phase and more empowered because they have clearer ideas of the questions they are answering in their research and what problem they are attempting to solve. Though I did not use the LAUNCH cycle in my first year of teaching (in the high school level, I now teach middle school) because I did not know it existed, I used a similar model in having my students complete National History Day projects. In these projects, students were given a “theme”: exploration, encounter, and exchange. They were then tasked with developing an awareness of what those three terms meant, asking questions of how those terms have been represented in global history, and then given time to research either a person, place, event, or movement in history that encompassed the three E’s theme. There were many phases of scaffolding in these projects in which I had students propose many ideas on what their history project would be on- from projects on deadly encounters with the Columbian Exchange to projects that focused on art theft as an illegal exchange. Students created a project from picking from a list of formats (poster, play, website, video, or essay) and were given time to revise the projects before the “launch” of the projects in a school wide competition. While this project definitely needed some revision on my part because I was still developing it, I do believe that it is evidence that the LAUNCH cycle can work in my curriculum, subject area, and my classroom. However, reading about the LAUNCH cycle now more in depth, I REALLY wish I would have known about it when I did the National History Day projects last year. This would have been much more helpful in crafting these projects with my students-in reading this chapter, I realize that in my projects, I did not necessarily have a very lengthy “Look, listen, learn” phase. I gave my students the project theme, and turned them loose into the asking questions phase to work towards developing their research model and project thesis statements. Looking back, if I would have clarified the project theme more clearly, more students would have been engaged in the project, not intimidated by it, and I would have had to spend less time re-explaining what exploration, encounter, and exchange all mean. I agree with the authors’ that frontloading with the LAUNCH cycle would have saved me more time in the long run. I cannot wait to read more and learn about this cycle to see how I can better projects in my classroom!

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  91. I had to chuckle while reading this chapter! It reminded me of a very old toy I keep in my closet for indoor recess games. I have had this set of wooden blocks and marbles since I was a child and I am 48 years old. I have had to make a schedule for this toy because everyone wants to play with it on indoor recess days. The kids get to build up the blocks and let the marble find its way through the structure. I always wondered why this is soooo popular. On page 61 of the book the author says "Young children are inherently inquisitive and aware". This explains it! On page 66 it says that creativity is deeply human. I also have had a Chinese proverb posted in my room for 25 years that says 95% of what we learn is by doing and teaching others. This supports what the author is saying in this chapter. I am going to try and use the LAUNCH Cycle in my classroom more often. Our corporation uses standards-based grading which will be helpful to use the cycle. I also have some freedom in allowing this to work. Sometimes the administrator creates a high-stakes learning environment but she is also supportive of design thinking. One barrier might be that I only have 50 minute periods and I only teach English/Language Arts and Social Studies. However, I am already thinking about ways to incorporate the LAUNCH Cycle into an inferencing unit. My students go to a STEM Lab once a week. I plan to go with them the next few times they go. It is my prep period but I can sacrifice the time to learn more about design thinking. I really liked the part in the chapter that said Design Thinking is a way of solving problems that encourages positive risk-taking and creativity. This also ties in well with my personal goal of student engagement. When kids are engaged they will learn so much more and Design Thinking is definitely and engaging process!

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  92. After reading Ch. 3, I had lots of ideas spinning in my head. The LAUNCH design cycle is such an authentic method of learning. I can see students really getting into this as they will be creating a solution for a real-world problem. I would need to lay the unit out so that students don't jump to the Create stage of the cycle but must go through every step of the cycle. I teach Geography and History of the World, and one of our units is Innovations and Revolutions. I can see using this during that unit. Some of the questions I have surround time. How long does this entire process take? We currently have 4 weeks for the entire unit, and I'm thinking that to get through the entire LAUNCH cycle, it would take every bit of 4 weeks. That doesn't leave time for anything else in the unit. Maybe my timing is off and students can do it in less time. I'm guessing that future chapters will help make this clear. I definitely do see possibilities though.

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