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Period 3 - Diya Panda
Thank you for participating in TIRP service-learning outreach!

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Session 1 materials: [The first line of your report is the session number and full title of the database item(s).]
Focus Q: [On a new line, list your focus question from your TAP form. If you changed the question then add the new version after the TAP version.]
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Session 1: Evolution of ideas: Equality
- On time 0/3
- Substantive 6/6
- Student specific 6/6
Comments: You did a good job of providing student specifics and highlighting the unique teacher engagement in the session.

Session 2: Equality is an ideal: Dimensions and Distinctions
- On time 0/3
- Substantive 6/6
- Student specific 6/6
Comments: Your response was very detailed and helpful by including the real-world examples not included in the TAP that your group used to keep the students engaged.

Session 3: Coping Multiethnic Groups at the Bargaining Table
- On time 0/3
- Substantive 6/6
- Student specific 6/6
Comments: You included great details of the lesson and how your team operated. If anything, you could focus more on specific conversations the students had and what got them the most engaged.

Session 4: NYT: What makes us all radically equal?
- On time 0/3
- Substantive 6/6
- Student specific 6/6
Comments: Your final report was very detailed in capturing the conversations you engaged in with students, and it was easy to follow.
[font=UICTFontTextStyleEmphasizedBody][size=1]Our third [/size][/font]session was the most engaging session we’ve ever had. I was so proud of how it went. We conducted the Policymaking in Multiethnic Societies simulation and divided the students into 4 groups of different sizes. Zabos had 9 students, Abas had 6 students, Boros had 4 students, and Obos had 3 students. we instructed the students to read the different status quo in their handouts. We then gave them 5 minutes to come up with a series of needs that they wanted to take place in the country of Zabros, before giving them another 10 minutes to reach a consensus between the groups. To simplify the game, we told the students that if they cannot agree on a consensus by the end of class, there will be a civil war as incentive since I was the Supreme Leaser The students quickly got intrigued by the handouts, then started to discuss the initial needs for their region. Most of the students chose from the suggested options in the handout, but we also encouraged them to come up with their own needs based on their situation. During this time, the students quickly get to know their groupmates, especially in the 9-person group in Zabos. At the end of the 5 minutes, we asked each group to send up a representative to tell us what their demands for their faction was. After each faction went, we told them that due to limited resources, we can only fulfill four needs that have to be agreed on by the entire class (the entire country of Zabros). We then told the students that we will have a vote, and only if majority if the class aka 12 or more people voted for yes, the bill can be passed. We then had the students break out into discussion. Student A from Zabos quickly took the lead and grouped everyone in the class together. She suggested that as the most rich and populated region of the country, Zabos will help establish universities across the country, but Zabos has to be the official teaching language. Student B from Boros suggested that there should be an equal amount of representatives from each region to vote in the government which I thought was a good idea. Throughout the discussion, we constantly walked around the room and reminded students to keep in mind their voting power. We also asked the students to be as specific as possible in their needs while giving time calls. When there was only one minute left, Student A called everyone together and read out the four needs they had before turning them into us, which was really intriguing to us since she had taken the lead the entire time. The four needs were 1) Zabos will help construct universities in other regions of the country, but the teaching language has to be in Zabros; 2) the profit in Zabros will go to development in other regions; 3) there will be 2 representatives from each region voting in the government, and 4) build more industries. We asked the students to be more specific when it came to the fourth need, especially how and where the country could build industries. After a brief discussion, they told us that Zabros would be the only one collecting taxes and distributing money for industrialization. This sparked a huge controversy in the class. We then conducted the vote. Surprisingly, only the 9 students of Zabros voted for the bill while everyone else voted against it. That meant Zabros fell into civil war. We then discussed why the bill didn’t pass. Student C from Boros pointed out that while each region participated in the discussion, Student A and others in Zabos had the most say, thus only making suggestions that met their demands. I was so happy they noticed that detail Also, the suggestion that Zabos would be in charge of taxation and finances wasn’t agreed on. We finally asked the students whether this game is applicable to real life, and everyone agreed. I think our simulation was a great success because the students were truly interested in the game and trying their best to reach a bill while maximizing the interests of their group. It was an example of how government works and the inequality in it, which left the students very self-reflective. Overall, I am so proud of how this turned out.
Our recent session was so much fun! We taught using this simulation called "Policymaking in Multiethnic Societies," and it was hands down the most engaging session we've ever had. We split the students into four groups, each with a different number of peeps: Zabos had 9 students, Abas had 6, Boros had 4, and Obos had 3.

Our goal was to get them thinking and collaborating. We gave each group a set of instructions in their handouts and let them think on those and strategize for 5 minutes. Then, they got another 10 minutes to come to a consensus about what needs they thought Zabros, our fictional country which was the whole case, should prioritize.

The twist at the end was that we added a little pressure by telling them that if they couldn't agree by the end of class, there'd be a make-believe civil war. Yours truly played the Supreme Leader. And let me tell you, the students got super into it. They dove headfirst into those handouts and started negotiating out what their region needed. Most went with the suggestions in the handouts, but we also encouraged them to come up with their own ideas.

This whole exercise had them bonding fast, especially in the big 9-person Zabos group. After the brainstorming, each group had to send a rep to give a little speech on their demands. Then, we dropped the new constraint that we couldn't make all their dreams come true due to limited resources. We said they had to vote, and if at least 12 people said yes which is the majority of the class, the bill would pass.

That's when the real discussion began. Student A from Zabos stepped up and took charge, rallying everyone. She suggested that Zabos, being the wealthiest and most populated, would help build universities across the country, but only if they used Zabros as the official teaching language. Student B from Boros proposed equal representation from each region in the government, and I thought that was a pretty good idea.

As they debated, we walked around, reminding them of their unequal voting power and pushing them to be specific about their needs. When there was just one minute left, Student A gathered everyone and shared the four needs they'd agreed on: 1) Zabos building universities in other regions with Zabros as the language, 2) Zabros sharing its profits for development, 3) Two reps from each region in the government, and 4) More industries.

The last point stirred up quite a debate, especially about where and how to build those industries. After some back-and-forth, they decided Zabros would handle taxes and money for industrialization. That's when things got really heated.

We held the vote, and it was surprising the end. Only the Zabos crew voted for it, while everyone else said no. Thus, Zabros ended up in a fictional civil war. In our debrief after Student C from Boros pointed out that even though all regions had a say, the folks from Zabos, especially Student A, had the most sway, and that's why the bill didn't pass.

To end it, we asked the students if they thought this game mirrored real life, and they all agreed it did. Our little simulation was a big hit and I am SO proud of how it played out. The students were really into it, trying to work out a bill while looking out for their group's interests. It was an eye-opener about how governments work and the inequalities within them, and it got the students thinking and self reflective.

In our first class with these AP students, we started by asking them what is the first thing they think of when they hear the word "Equality." The responses were all over the place, from "fairness" to "equal rights." It was clear that this word had different meanings to each of them.

We then asked them to brainstorm words that are like the complete opposite of equality. They came up with terms like "discrimination," "racism," and "stereotyping." It was interesting to see how they associated these words with inequality and prejudice.

These kids are in the AP program, so they're used to complex terms. But during our discussion, Student A asked us, "What does 'prejudiced' mean?" which surprised us. We have a simple definition: making judgments about something or someone without really knowing what you're talking about. It helped clear things up for everyone.

With that,  the students tackled the task of putting these words on an "equality continuum." Surprisingly, they nailed it! It was impressive to see how well they understood these terms and could place them accurately.

The best part of the class, though, was the "think-pair-share" discussion. Each group had to tell us which word they thought belonged on the far-left end of the continuum. Student B came up with "racist" and "domineering," and that started a huge debate about which one was the most extreme. We also threw in words like "oppressive" and "exclusive," deciding they didn't quite equal fascism but definitely had a strong relation to xenophobia.

On the other end of the spectrum, Student C's group put "empathetic" under "cultural relativism." They thought empathy represented the ultimate understanding and acceptance of different identities. Student D's group, though, went with "empathy" under "cultural awareness," saying that you can empathize without fully grasping someone's situation. It was fascinating to see how they interpreted "empathy" in different ways, from basic awareness to a deeper cultural understanding.

Our teacher, Ms. Mejia, chimed in too, adding her insights to the mix. Her input gave the discussion a little better understanding of the words, which was pretty helpful.

This semester, our class is on the smaller side with just 25 students. We got to know each student better by having them share fun facts during our introductions. It was a fun icebreaker that helped everyone relax and made it easier to explain activities and assignments.

Ms. Mejia also told us about the different roles each student has in their groups, like "reporter" and "secretary." These roles turned out to be really handy for group work, and they helped everyone feel more responsible and part of a team.

Overall, it was a smooth and engaging class. These students seem like a great group, and we're excited to do the rest of the activities coming up with them. We've set the stage for some interesting discussions, and it looks like we're in for a fun discussions ahead.

After our initial week of getting to know each other, the students seemed way more at ease during our second session. With them more comfortable, we were able to delve deeper into the discussion of different forms of equality. To start we decided to pick up where we left off in our previous class. We went around the room, with each student reading a sentence from the text. It was a collaborative effort, and it took us about 10 minutes to get through the material.

Once we'd finished the reading, we introduced a think-pair-share activity that helped start the discussion. We asked them to place the authors on the equality continuum based on their interpretation of the text. It was interesting to see how the students interpreted the authors' stances.

For the most part, students placed Douglas under "xenophobic" or "ethnocentric." They talked about his explicit fear and exclusion of black people since he denied their citizenship their humanity. On the other hand, most students put Lincoln under "cultural awareness" because of his recognition of people of color's fundamental human rights. However, Student A introduced a fresh perspective, suggesting that Lincoln should be positioned between "ethnocentric" and "cultural awareness." She said that despite Lincoln's admission of black people's rights, he still believed they were "not equal in color or intellectual endowment," which hinted at underlying hate. Student A's reasoning was super insightful and it led to many students adjusting their opinions after considering her perspective.

With the discussion started, we moved on to explore different forms of equality, including equal rights, equal treatment, equal political access, equal political influence, and equal opportunity. We divided the students into groups and tasked them with two objectives: to find an example for each form of equality and to place them on a continuum ranging from 1 to 10, using its relevance in the United States.

During the group discussions, all of us walked around the room, offering help in understanding these different facets of equality. One form that stumped several students was "equal political access." We explained the definition according to the handout and then used the example of "voting rights." Most students initially agreed that everyone in the US has an equal right to vote. However, Student B pointed out that while the right to vote is universal, the actual access to the election process is not entirely fair for everyone. This insight turned into discussing the fact that equality isn't merely a yes-or-no; it is actually on a spectrum with varying levels of equality.

Our next topic of discussion was equal opportunity. Many students gave great examples, such as equal opportunity in education and medical care. Ms. Mejia came in and mentioned AP classes, raising the question of whether everyone has an equal opportunity to enroll in these courses. We gave the students a moment to think about this, and eventually, they realized that not every school in the country offers AP classes. Even our own school, SVAH, only introduced a number of AP classes recently. We pointed out how AP classes can significantly impact college applications, which in turn plays a role in determining future opportunities.

This led us into a lengthy conversation about the various things that can affect college applications, including grades, AP classes, SAT/ACT scores, extracurricular activities, and more. We asked the question to the class: Does the college application process offer equal opportunities to everyone? Student C suggested that, while not everyone has access to AP classes, college applications become more well-rounded through extracurricular activities. However, we challenged them by explaining that even extracurriculars, like clubs and sports, are not equally accessible to everyone.

In the end, we didn't complete all the handouts we wanted to. However, the discussion about college applications turned out to be an appropriate and passionate topic for the students. It gave them a real-world understanding of the inequalities that exist in their surroundings, making them take a look at the inequalities in the life around them.
In our final session with the students of Ms. Mejia's Period 3 APUSH class, our focus was primarily on reading materials. Building on our previous discussions about various forms of equality and a related simulation, we aimed to get serious and focus on the topic of how inequality, specifically in terms of living opportunities, impacts our daily lives. Our session revolved around the theme of gentrification, which serves as an example of how different individuals within the same city have unequal access to resources and opportunities like the USC village.

To start, we passed out  a New York Times article titled "What Makes Us All Radically Equal: It's not our brains and it's not our bodies." This article helped us explore how gentrification occurs when individuals lack equal access to resources and the challenges and obstacles that hinder community reconstruction efforts. As the class primarily involved reading, we aimed to keep it engaging. We started by revisiting the various forms of equality, with a specific emphasis on the equality of opportunities we had talked about in earlier sessions like the simulation. We listed various opportunities that can significantly impact people's lives, such as education, employment, housing, and healthcare.

We defined gentrification as "the process by which the character of a disadvantaged urban area is transformed by more affluent individuals moving in, improving housing, and attracting new businesses, often displacing current residents in the process." At this point, Ms. Mejia directed the students' attention to the high-rise apartments outside the window and asked, "Can your families afford to live there?"

This question sparked a passionate discussion. One student (Student A) shared that her family had to relocate to another area of the city due to rising rents caused by the construction of luxury apartments in her neighborhood. We then asked the students, "Is it a positive development to have apartments like these in your neighborhood?" The students' responses varied, with some appreciating the improved amenities while others pointed out that these luxury facilities aren't accessible to everyone and may deplete the already limited resources of the local community. You could tell the students were starting to understand what gentrification was after that example.

We clarified to the students that gentrification is a complex issue with no easy answers or solutions. It can have positive effects in one community while negatively affecting others, underscoring the importance of taking a comprehensive view of the issue. Another student (Student B) chimed in, mentioning that gentrification might be beneficial in some areas while detrimental in others, a point we agreed with.

With the students now having a better grasp of gentrification, we showed a video about the Life Modeled project, which aimed to assist under-resourced communities in Detroit, serving as an example of gentrification. We then distributed the New York Times reading about the project, with students taking turns reading it sentence by sentence. After reading the first paragraph, we asked the students whether, based on the video and the introductory paragraph, they thought Life Remodeled was a good initiative. The students hesitated initially, but another student (Student C) mentioned in Line 35 of the article that "miscommunication" is a debate between the local community and those who promise to rebuild communities. This led to a discussion about the understanding needed to address historical mistakes that have persisted for centuries.

We then guided a discussion on what these "historical mistakes" are in our society, with students pointing out issues like "racism," "segregation," and "marriage laws," among others. We didn't have time to read the part of the article about Frederick Douglas. Instead, we spent the last 10 minutes addressing the students' questions about ourselves, our school, and college applications. It was actually really sweet, we gave them our emails in case they had any other questions.

While gentrification is a challenging topic and the class involved a lot of reading, I think the students still learned a lot, particularly in viewing social issues like gentrification through a more comprehensive lens. Overall, we love Ms. Mejia's students and wish them all the best for whatever is next for them

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