P-Day 2015

One of the current buzz words in education is Genius Hour…aka 20% Time…aka Fed Ex Day…etc.

If you were doing some kind of self-directed learning in your classroom before the buzzwords hit twitter you might feel some pressure to give your “normal” class time a new name to fit in!  I admit, a couple years ago we did do “20% Time” and then went back to what we originally called it — P-Day, the P stands for Passion.  I know, there are classes know doing Passion Projects, but ours follows a few different “rules.”

Links to other posts I have written on P-Day:

P-Day Pitches

P-Day 2014

P-Day Intro for students 

Way back when, I had a day before vacation and I had nothing planned for it.  We decided to do what we dubbed a 45/45 day.  The kids researched anything they wanted for 45 minutes and had 45 seconds to share what they learned.  From there it just grew bigger and bigger until it was every Friday of a five day week and we picked a day near the end of the year to share.  At some point someone dubbed the day P-Day.  I know there are now books being published about Genius Hour, there are flow charts, check lists, and even rubrics being shared to “guide” the students.  We could never write a book because we have no rules.

Kind of…

Maybe one….”share something you are passionate about with the class in June.”

They are guided along the way, but each kid is so different and their interests and levels of independence are so different that there are very few blanket policies that we follow.  We do at some point all make hands!

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All the pictures in this post will enlarge when you click on them.

Sometimes kids pick a topic right away in the fall and stick with it right through to June.  Sometimes they explore 50 different things and don’t pick one until a couple weeks before we share.  It is the scariest thing I do as a teacher.  It is the one thing that I do that makes me feel most like a failure…and a minute later it is my most successful thing I have ever done.  There used to be more rules, and I see some of the same rules that we had cropping up in other teachers’ versions of Genius Hour.  It used to be centered around some grand question,  have to be shared with the world, have an impact on the community, etc…  I dropped all of those simply because I thought of what moves me.  What moves me is doing something for me first.  Changing myself first.  Diving into something just because I think it’s cool and not because I am trying to contribute something to the world.  I think if your learning follows a natural process it automatically will turn into something that is centered around a deep question and the results will impact the world.  It just might not happen he first time a kid is ever given the chance to explore anything they want and I am ok with that. They are 12 and 13 and have never been given the opportunity to self-direct their learning.  They have never been trusted.  Learning is personal first, global second.  I don’t know what the subliminal message is when we teach that we should only be doing things for a greater good.  It’s right up there with people bragging about how many hours a week the work instead of bragging about how many days of vacation they take 🙂

This year the other team on the 7th grade also decided to join us.  What that meant is that for 48 hours 250 seventh graders would take over an entire floor in the school.  They planned the schedule, what sessions would be presented, organize the technology….everything for 48 hours was out of the teachers hands.  The teachers were simply told to sit back and do nothing.  Honestly, I was a lot more worried about the teachers than I was the students 🙂 After months of prep the kids were able to pick a 10, 20, or 45 minute session.  They wrote their name and session on an appropriately sized card and stuck it to a blank session board “edcamp” style filling up each 45 minute period block.

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Eventually the board fills up.  This year we had 193 student led sessions.

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And then the fun starts…the board comes down and volunteers start ripping the puzzle apart and rebuild as necessary.  This is a small group of very trusted kids who look at all the nuances of the board.  Everything from types of sessions being offered in each room, to across periods, to personalities of presenters together in a room, to type of audience each presenter might draw, to a 100 other things.   A simple example is in a 45 minute block they would not put a confident presenter who is doing a topic that will attract a huge number of kids in the same room with a kid who is nervous and would crumble in front of more than 5 kids.  They slowly re-build the ultimate schedule that allows for the best audience experience.  This process takes about 3-5 hours from beginning to end and then lots of little switches in the days leading up to the sessions.

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The finished board included the following sessions.

The kids then created a quick elevator pitch for their session.  I have to just add in their defense that we simply ran out of time at the end of the year.  The pitches were recorded on a day that went something like “AAHHHHH we need the pitches quick! Go into the hall and record them now!!!”

The sessions included every type of “teaching style” that you could imagine.  There were baking demos.

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Lots of props brought in.

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And while it’s not obvious in these images, lots of kids took huge risks.  For example this session was on music and the session leader decided to actually sing some of the pieces that were examined.

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I walked into some in which I really had no idea what was going on 🙂

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Some sessions had packed rooms of 50, and some like “Are you the next Michelangelo?” were small and cozy.

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While it easy find teacher testimonials on why you should take a leap and try a version of Geniuspassion20%  hour/time/day I think there is nothing more powerful than hearing what the kids thought about it.  Here are just some of the comments from the kids on what they got out of the day…

That it is a day to forget your friends and come out of you shell and present your passion whatever silly or wacky thing it might be.

You shouldn’t be afraid to do what you want, be who you want to be.

I got out of P-day that its okay to share what you love with people and show them how much you like your topic.

I also learned how hard it is to be a teacher!

I got to know more about team work. My partner and I hit a lot of bumps in the road in the making of this presentation, we didn’t know how to make it fun and interesting, we didn’t know how people were going to like it. So we kind of just came up with a bunch of things and presented it to our parents and looked for which one they looked most interested in. The thing that really helped us most was teamwork.

I didn’t just receive education on the topic I love, but I also learned a lot more. What I got out of P-Day is that if you truly like to do something, it is a lot easier to show to the world.

I got a chance to do what I wanted for once! I was not being told what to research, and I love being able to do what I am interested in! Thank you for giving me that opportunity!

Everybody is not the same, they are different in their own unique way.

It was a fun and exciting way to share with other people what you are passionate about.

During the experience of P-Day I learned a lot about myself and how I “work”.

I liked that there wasn’t any judgement, and nobody cared about anything else cause we were in the moment and having fun.

I learned some interesting new things that you wouldn’t really learn on a normal school day.

That classes are a lot more fun when you don’t just have to sit there listening to teachers and doing work for the entire period.

Kids in school could be very creative if they just got a chance to show it.

I learned that if you love what you do than it’s never work and that it doesn’t matter how many people share the same interest it matters that you love what you’re doing and if you love what your doing those people will love it too.

I learned to do what you love, because when you love something, you will ALWAYS do good on it. Trust me.

That a passion isn’t something you can make up. A passion is something that comes from enjoyment that you want to learn more about.

I also learned that there are more people who are passionate about the things I am.

I learn to be open to people, and just be yourself. I got to know other people better, and make new friends with similar passions.

I know that we all have a different spark in them, and they all shine bright.

I learned that if we could all just take our time to work on something that we actually care a lot about, then people could end up doing some really cool things.

Also, since I was passion it about my topic I was not nervous to go up and present because I was passion it about it.

I don’t think that i got anything out of p-day because i saw the whole project as stress, stress, and more stress.

I thought P-day was an amazing experience where students got the opportunity to learn and teach about something that they love.

I also learned to never ever put a lacrosse stick in Nate’s hands again.

I knew that I had the freedom to do what I wanted to do and that made me feel very confident about my topic.

Think about the endless topics that can be learned through this amazing assignment. Thank you.

It was amazing to hear what other people had to say about their own, unique topic.

To me at first pday was very nerve racking. Once you get up there though and see all the people that are truly interested in what you’re talking about it’s not so bad.

Singing a song in front of a whole crowd of people for me was honestly very hard to do. It helped me get over some of the stage fright. Instead of being tense and nervous up there like I usually am for presentations, I was very loose and relaxed. I definitely got something out of pday. (I also might of gotten a slight concussion from one of the presentations, but its okay because I learned something new.)

P-day helped me realize that hard work comes with a reward, even if it is a small but reassuring reward of feeling good about what you did. Or after you are done, looking back and saying, I did that.

I think P day really made a mark on my year ( a good mark) it showed me not to be embarrassed about what I love, and not to fake my way through it.

I got to try new things. It made me not do sports and to pick something else that I would be interested in researching about. It was a great new experience for me and I liked doing something that I liked doing.

I learned how to do things on my own and without any rules to follow.

I learned how easily it is for people to just sneak through everyday life, and that this is not just a project in school, but a perspective on the real world. Like how if you work hard and enjoy what you do. Even if it is something weird. But the people who just sneak by and hate what they do and don’t try because of that reason.

What i got out of p-day was that everyone is different…

It also taught us to be independent because in the real world were not always going to be guided through everything.

I got a sense of kind of how not everything is going to go our way and we have to deal with that. This sounds weird because it was talking about what we like but when you got up there and something went wrong it wasn’t like we could wine about it we had to deal with it ourselves.

I learned that when you give a student the freedom to make a class on what they love they will be exited and teach others new material in a fun way.

Something I got out of P-Day is that if you love something you should share it and not only to your friends but to people around you.

I realized how hard it is for a teacher to make a full class period that is still engaging.

In this box you would probably put something you learned from another students presentation, but the main thing I learned from p day is to be more independent and not worry so much about the outcome grade, but if you are proud of which you handed in.

I got a learning experience. I have never done anything close to P-day. Normally, the teachers choose the topic and the students follow the instructions.

This time, the students got to choose whatever they desired. We also got a chance to be the teacher, teaching what we wanted to.

Even though I cried because of my stage fright I’m still very proud of myself because in a way I faced my fear and presented in front of my friends.

I learned a lot about people that i didnt know before and watched a lot of pretty cool things.

I definitely got over my fear of presenting. There were so many people at my presentation and them watching me and actually appreciating what i had to say really helped. If i had to present in the future i definitely wont be nervous anymore.

Pday taught most of us to do what we want and allowed us to express ourselves during school which is pretty cool because normally we sit around and do what were told.

I learned how much more I would love to go to school if I got to do what I loved to do more often.

If you would like to learn more about our P-Day you can read more about it here, here, and here.  If you are on twitter follow #geniushour.  If you wait a year I am sure the name will be different, I am sure people will start writing about how we should not be focusing on being a “genius” and life is more about just following a passion…some folks need to lighten up 🙂

I would like to end with simply stating the reality that you don’t need a day with a funky title to give your kids the chance to have some degree of self-directed learning.  You can inject a bit of freedom into each unit that you do.  Our P-Day fits into a class in which the kids are already doing some kooky things and so for many P-Day is just the natural culmination of what we have been leading up to all year.  It is a bit scary that we celebrate something like Genius Hour as a special project within the school year when instead of having Genius Hours we should be having Genius Years.  Someday I hope we can trust the kids enough to do just that.

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The return of the poster…


There is one thing that has remained constant over the last three years in my class….we have used less and less technology.  Or maybe a better way to say it is fewer technologies? And we have been bringing back some older “technologies.”

One product that was eliminated in my classroom about 8 years ago was “the poster.”  You know the poster project right?  The kid goes home and writes an essay, cuts out the paragraphs, places them under pictures printed from the computer, stands up in front of the class and reads the paragraphs while holding the poster up to the class that can’t see a single thing.  Then when the kid is done they get shared to a larger audience by hanging them on walls where they stay until the backpacks tear them down one staple at a time.  

I have started to slowly bring the poster back into my class.  Why?  Because no matter what I say the kids always ask to make them.  I don’t know why, but there has got to be something valuable about an assignment that nearly no kid complains about.  So I set out to figure out how to make them more meaningful, more thoughtful, and how to let the rest of the class actually see what is on the poster when it is being presented.  Here is one example from this year:

We were doing the philosophical foundations of the United States and discussing John Locke.  It’s just one of those things that I can explain, we can discuss, but I have always had trouble making it stick.  After reading about John Lock I gave the kids the following task:

After reading about John Locke’s philosophy, draw a picture of him as he would look today.  Include things like clothes, house, books, movies, music, profession, places he would shop, what would he eat, etc, etc, etc.  You should have between 10-15 things in your image that connect to John Locke’s philosophy.

Make a “Wanted Poster” with your information.

Explain your choices and connect them to his beliefs that were used to influence the the birth of the United States government.

When the kids came in to present the walked up to the front of the room and grabbed a web cam.  As they talked about the connections between John Locke and the objects on the poster they simply moved the web cam and focused in on what they were talking about.  What the web cam was seeing, was projected up on the screen large enough for everyone to follow along with what was being said.  The pictures don;t exactly show it, but as they talked about each detail they zoomed in so that the detail was large and clear on the screen.

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We were simultaneously recording so one student came up and held up a microphone..obviously not totally necessary but I never miss the opportunity to hook up more wires 🙂  

Here is the video and audio from a few of the presentations:

 

 

This is another one of those assignments that I will use for different units.  I can see the same thing being done for Harriet Tubman or Andrew Jackson.  When I first thought of it I thought I was totally unsure of how it would go, until I worked on mine.  As I have said many times on this blog, assignments that you give the kids that you have never done you must do with them.  I literally sat at a desk in the class and did it alongside them.  One thing that popped out immediately while doing this was that 15 items were simply not needed.  We shortened it to ten, and could have gone fewer.  The second thing was that we originally talked about writing the explanation right onto the poster, and that was deemed not necessary as long as they could explain it when they presented. They other thing I figured out when doing this was that probably for the first time I actually understood John Locke’s philosophy in a way that wasn’t just the “facts.” The poster was basically a big analogy, and analogies are powerful.  Here are a few more examples:

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And before someone suggest Glogster.  Maybe I am just old school, but I am not hooked on Glogster as an online poster worth doing.  After having kids mess with it, I have messed with it, it just doesn’t offer the same learning experience as crafting something yourself from scratch. I am more than happy to see examples that will open my mind!

How to make RSA Animate style videos with your class…

Here is a post on how to make RSA style videos with half the work and time, and with a lot less tech experience needed.  And another post on RSA-lite style videos.

If you like the idea in this post, then you might also enjoy my other post 24 Assessments that Don’t Suck.

Nothing fancy in this post, just the nuts and bolts of how to make an RSA Animate style video with your class!  This is also one of those posts that is so long that there is simply not enough time in my life to go back and edit and revise it…so you get what you get and please don’t get upset.

What is an RSA Animate style video? (The Birth of RSA Style Videos Here)

Let’s start with the most popular one:

 

And the one most popular with educators:

If you want to start at the end and see a student’s final product before getting to the steps involved in making them, pause and watch an example of one of the final videos below before reading on:

This is a unit that was built from the beginning to end with an RSA Animate style video.  Please be careful about just slapping any technology onto a unit to make it better.  If the unit does not need it, then it is probably best to leave it out.  What we have in education is the Instagramafication of teacher’s units.  Just like people think that they can take a poorly composed picture and spiff it up with Instagram filters and it will suddenly become breathtaking, the same thing is happening in classrooms.  Don’t just slap on a piece of technology, or in this case an RSA style video at the end just because you can.  It won’t magically make your unit breathtakingly awesome.  You really have to start off by asking why?  Why is this tool or method necessary for the success of this unit?

So let’s start there…

2012 was coming to a close and I still noticed some important things that my kids could not do yet.  They had a lot of trouble making connections between things that they read, not only across multiple sources, but even in a single one.  They were seeing each paragraph, each sentence as individual disconnected facts.  My guess is that maybe this came from years of “read the chapter, answer the question, spit the question back” without having to put the facts together into a story and make connections between them.  It sounds silly, but yes, what you are reading in the third paragraph happened because of what happened in the first paragraph.

The other problem was that the words they were reading were just that…words.  If they read Benjamin Franklin traveled to France, in their heads he just magically appeared there.  If they read George Washington crossed the Delaware River, they never pictured a boat…or even water.  They are used to simply just reading words and playing a matching game with the questions they received for classwork or homework.  One student during this project actually told me that he was having trouble because in the past he would just write down everything from the paragraph and some of it had to answer the question.  They also still struggle with reading something long, and making it short…getting right to the point.  Another struggle is supporting their point with information from the text they read, and then putting the whole darn thing back into a story.

As I thought about these problems, I decided that making RSA Animate style videos would address all of these.  It was an easy way to make them visualize their information, make connections, and re-tell their facts in a story that had a very tight story line that flowed.  All skills that would transfer nicely to any traditional essay.  I decided on a very straight forward topic, the Louisiana Purchase, and examined it in a very straight forward way without going into some of the nuances of the deal.  I also decided to use the textbook as the main source.  I have faced the reality that the kids will be reading a social studies textbook and anything I could do to make it less scary allow them to read it more fluently will be a huge help in the next 4-8 years of their life.  We also did not have anytime for multiple source research, so the text was our default source.

Day One-Directions and reading

On the first day I handed out the directions:

RSA Animate Louisiana Purchase

 

I then showed them some examples of RSA videos:

 

We did find a couple student examples here.

At this point it was still hard to figure out how we were going to go from information in a textbook to an RSA Animate style video.  I was very honest with them about how I had no idea and we needed to figure out how to do it all together because there was no template out there for us to follow.

The first work they did was to simply read the pages in the textbook on the Louisiana Purchase.  I made them put their notebooks and pens away so that they could not take any notes as they read.  The idea being that I wanted they to get the whole picture first, instead of picking it apart and writing everything that they read.  Next they made ten steps, and placed one point from the story on each step.  Each step had to connect to the one prior to it.  They were able to have no more than ten, no less than nine.  This was not random, I did this beforehand and determined that based on what they read, 10 was the appropriate number.  When a kid asked if they could have 14, I knew they were watering something down, and if they asked if they could have 6 I knew they were missing a point in the story.  By having ten I actually somewhat dictating what they would write without them knowing it.

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Under each step they had to place three facts supporting their step. We talked about how without support the steps would collapse, and without connecting them a listener would “fall through” and not get the story straight.  They had to label each step before writing the supports, and could only support each with three things.  Again, based on me doing this I thought that was appropriate.  At this point after reading the story, creating the steps, and then evaluating which facts to use for support they had processed the information three times and when listening to them trying to figure out which facts to use could her them making decision based on what happened in prior steps, and what was needed to make the next step make sense.

Day 2-Drawings

On the second day they tried to figure out how they would visualize each supporting fact.  They had to have at least one image per fact.  They also had to figure out what types of captions and labels they would need.

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Many kids were concerned about their drawing ability so I told them a story about a bobcat sitting next to three bushes and then drew a very simple picture of a bobcat sitting next to three bushes:
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Now what do you see in the image above?   A bobcat and bushes right?  I then told them a story about a rabbit sitting next to three giant heads of lettuce and drew the same picture.  I pointed to the “rabbit and asked them “what is this?”  The whole class said rabbit.  Then I pointed to the “lettuce” and the whole class said lettuce.  So I acted a bit confused since it was the same picture and they had just identified the animal as a bobcat…ah-ha moment.  People will believe anything you tell them 🙂  Everyone became more comfortable.  Then I made a big mistake…I told them to make their drawings very simple.  They made them too simple and took so little time to draw that when the film speed was increased some drawing were barely visible.

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Day Three-Dress Rehearsal…sort off

On day three I made a decision to have them sketch out their entire drawing from start to finish before writing their script.  This ended up being a good decision.  They really needed to see what their final product was going to look like and this added a jolt of excitement into the project that made them pay more attention to their scripts the next day.  It is absolutely necessary that a day gets devoted to practice.  After watching, there is no way they could have one from little pictures next to their steps to doing this for film. Many kids sketched it out on small paper before going large…something I would require next year since it really helped to do a quick version first before going big.

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When they did a full scale practice some used roll paper and some used whiteboards.  I like the idea of having them do it on a large sheet of paper, even though they might eventually do it on a whiteboard   This way they see everything they have drawn and don’t forget where they just were, and could look back to help remind them as to where they are going.  The same impact could be had on a whiteboard by telling them to not erase anything.

The practice day was seriously orchestrated chaos!

When they were done many groups went back and edited images to make them fit and flow better.  The kids that did it on paper simply rolled it up so they could use it the next day, kids who did it on whiteboards took pictures with their phones.
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Day four-record the videos

The day we recorded the videos was simply wild.  Everyone knew that we had just this one day to record, so they could not start over very many times.  I would guess that the average group took about thirty-five minutes to get together, set-up, and record.

The filming went so much better than I anticipated.  We really had no idea how to do this so everyone figured it out as we went along.  What they learned is that a very tiny camera starts to get very heavy after 20 minutes so they started to set-up in some very creative ways and each class took the best ideas of the previous one.

It was important to stress that the kids filming needed to zoom in and focus on what was being drawn.  So if a kid was drawing a person, the person should fill the the camera screen.  It was also important to stay as still as possible…and I bet you can’t guess why.   Let’s say a kid filming moves ever so slightly while filming, so little that when you watch it you don;t even notice it.  Now increase the speed of the film 5x…it becomes unwatchable.  Luckily what saved us is that on youtube you can click on enhancements, and then stabilize.  Without that feature most of the videos would have been unusable.

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Some groups did start using tripods-I have two in the class.  A huge difference is seen in the final videos that used tripods, but the camera was not able to move as freely…so still undecided what to do next year.

The supplies we needed were actually easier to get than I thought.  3M donated cameras to our school system, but I think between phones and kids bringing in cheap digital cameras we would have been covered. At least a couple kids in each class used their own camera or phone.  We used 12 whiteboard markers, which by the end of the day were trashed.  Maybe four were still usable.  White board cleaner was a must! We went through two bottles, or at least some kind of cleanser because so much writing was done that in between classes we really needed to totally clean each board.  Our wet paper towels stopped working after the first class.  Another thing that we figured out is that paper towels and whiteboard erasers simply didn’t cut it after a while.  We took some sweatshirts that had been in lost and found for months and cut them up.  That might have been the best idea of the week.

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I had a big roll of white paper that we used that a student teacher left behind ten years ago!  The big roll paper used for bulletin boards would have also worked.  We used the white board in class, you could fit three groups at once, and I also had a sheet of shower board at home that I cut into four pieces.  We also went through a bunch of masking tape.  The kids needed it to tape up their practice sheets from the following day so they were easier to follow.

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We also established a checklist and place to return everything.  You now how it goes…first period accidentally walks off with one marker, second period 2 more markers, by last class you have one marker.  So everyone froze before leaving and someone went through the check-list to make sure everything was back where it belonged.

It was important to stress to the kids that they could talk during the filming and give directions and think out loud.  The audio in these videos would eventually be muted.  Many groups tried to be very quiet out of instinct!

Below is what it would have sounded like if you were in the hallway filming with the kids.  You’ll see, the the above images and videos make the reality much more peaceful!

 

Day Five-write the scripts

I am still going to go with it was a good idea to write the script after the images.  Doing the images first allowed them to visualize what they were going to write about, better understand it, and allowed the scripts to flow better and sound more like narration rather than essays.  Scripts are absolutely necessary.  No one could come up the next day without one.  Even the kids who knew the story by heart had to have a script.  Simple reasons why…we had enough time the next day to have each group come in and do one take.  They would be sitting down and watching their video for the first time, it would be 5-7 times faster than when they originally did it, they would have to be able to on the fly go faster or slower to keep up with the video, and simply no ones brain can do all that processing and keep up.  One single ummm would be enough to throw off the entire thing.  There was no issue writing the scripts because they essentially just took their supporting details under each step and made them into sentences.  While the students were writing the scripts I spent the day processing the videos.  We don’t have very good computers.  The 2gb of RAM is not enough to process a twenty minute video quickly.  In my head these were going to be two minute videos, but I forgot that the original file would be around 10-30 minutes long.  That is how long it to ok the kids to film their videos in real time.  The videos were shot at 720p, which resulted in a huge huge file.  Too big to put into movie maker and have the kids watch and narrate at the same time.  The file was so large that if we tried to watch it at 5x speed it would freeze.  So while they wrote the scripts, I placed each video into moviemaker, sped it up 5X, and then rendered it into another file.

Here is how to make the video speed up in Movie Maker(if you have an Apple click here):

Each video could take 15++ minutes.  I started at 6am and finished at 3:30pm.  To give you an idea…using a simple school laptop with 2GB of  Ram, each minute of video would take one minute to get loaded into the video editing software, and then to save it as a movie would take almost 2 mins per minute of video.  Again…cruddy laptop.  Almost every laptop in the world has more than 2 GB of Ram and would do this  process faster.  One idea next time is to take lower quality video, or do larger groups so there would be fewer videos.  If you have better computers, this probably wont be that big of an issue. Also keep in mind that you might need a universal card reader to get the videos off of your camera or cell phones. 

universal reader

Day six-record the narration

When the kids came in to record the narration they knew that they would have a 5 minute block of time.  So they could make a mistake at the beginning, and re-do, but other wise it was probably a one shot deal.  So is our schedule in school and the reality is that I knew that there would be people in our community who would not approve of us doing this  and spending multiple days on scripts would not be a good thing.  If you have time and support for big projects, I think three days would be a perfect amount of time.  One day for practice, and two days to record groups with enough time for multiple takes.

Because we were short on time, and quality computers I had a crazy set-up.

set-up

I had two computers hooked up.  I would have two videos set-up when the class walked in.  One group would be recording using one, then I would switch to the other.  While the second group was recording I would save the first movie that was narrated and then load up another video on that computer.   It is very important to remember that you need to mute the volume in the original video so that their narration is the only audio.  So looking at the picture above, the kids are recording their narration on computer #2, and up on the screen #6 is their video playing at 5X speed.  I used a very simple microphone #5 that I threw into the middle of the table.  While they are doing this computer #1 is saving the narration from the last group, and then I will load up a video for the next group on #1.

So how to switch between the two computers?  I had a microphone #3 and speakers #4 hooked into the computer the girls are recording into, and as soon as they were done I would flip the microphone and speakers to computer #1.

set_up_2

To get the video up on screen I had to take the cable that ran to the projector #1 and simply switch it to the computer being used to record.  Since my desktop computer obviously does not have a monitor directly connected to it, after you disconnect #1 from it you would have to reconnect the monitor #3 to where #1 was so that you can see what is happening on the desktop while kids are recording using the laptop.  Easier than I made it sound! The recordings went smoothly, some kids came back during lunches to either re-do it, or to do it again because they simple kept making mistakes the first time.

Here is a video of a group recording at lunch so the set-up is a bit different.

We added music just messing around to one and what we found was interesting.  I think the music is necessary because the kids simply are not great script writers yet and the music makes it more interesting.  It also helps fill in the dead air when they got stuck or had nothing to say.  Because they did not see the videos before narrating they had no way of knowing how long each step would be, and I only had time to make each video 5X faster than normal, so if we had time we could have messed with the speed, or even changed the speed throughout the video, but again we had 5 minutes per group.  The music also helped block out the background sounds of feet shuffling, sniffles, and doors opening and closing.  We just threw a bunch of songs into a folder and just slapped on into each video.  Again if we spent more time I think choosing the right music and matching it to the action would have been awesome.

We have 17 videos finished, and will do the rest after break.  They are all “finished,” we just have to pop the music into most of them and upload.  Here is a playlist with the completed videos.

Things I wish I did…

  • Had more rags available
  • More cleaner
  • No more than 8 groups per class
  • Have the kids be more complex in their drawings, and draw slower.  There is no rush while filming the drawing.
  • Have kids write key words on board that match key words in script to make it easier to glance up and see where they are
  • Fix cameras on tripods,  music stands, anything
  • Better directions for camera people
  • Have each video end with a zoom out so that entire board could be seen
  • I didn’t have enough time to go over anyone’s drawing or scripts in any detail…which is why you hear almost every kid say things like “Haiti.”  Modern name, not historically accurate.
  • Wish added one more day, we never got to really add just a bit more to the research and writing about the implications of the purchase
  • Keep in mind, this was our first time, so I kept it simple, maybe next time each video focuses on one aspect of the Purchase, like the Constitutionality of the purchase

This is an activity for any class, not just social studies.  Also, pretty much any obstacle you can think of can be overcome.  Even if you paired your kids up and each pair did one step and one did only one video per class.

We also talked at the end about how no professional would have worked under the constraints we did. You can read about how one professional did her film by clicking —-> here.  My kids did an incredible job considering the time and supplies they had.  Imagine if they had a chance to practice their drawings twice!  Narrate once, check for sound, and then do it again…I could go on and on.  It’s just if you can give more time to this than I did please do.  I think the final products would be awesome.  Remember that what you read about happened during 45 minute periods, so after the teacher yapped for about ten minutes they had about 35 minutes of work time each period.  This was also done with incredibly mixed classed.  My kids are super, but we are from average town America.  If we could do it, so can you and your kids.

Quick common core connection at the end here…one of the things that could be positive about the common core standards is that they want kids to behave like professionals.  Do the things, read the things, create the things that real professional artists, historians, scientists, and authors do.  I just also hope that they give us the same amount of time that real professionals spend on their tasks.  I can only dream of being in a place where we could have spent a week researching, a week preparing, and a week recording…along with decent equipment.

So if you made it this far, you have got to try this.  Come back and leave some advice in the comments.  I feel like I need to do this for at least three more years before I have a good handle on it!

As one professional artist has said, “…you may be onto something about this being the only kind of video that you want to make…this approach is engaging, approachable, whimsical, human, AND gets the point across.”

 The folks who made the RSA videos

A pro’s reflection on making one

Another pro’s reflection

And a history of the “meme”

I have a little policy in class…never have the kids do something I have not done.  I have written about it before —->HERE.  I was unable to do a video with the kids…this is so much more difficult than it seems and I was needed during each class.  I did mine after they did theirs, and after writing all of the above.  I must say after doing mine that I cannot understand how it was possible for the kids to do what they did in 6 class periods.  Seriously…I attempted to try and follow somewhat the same rules.  Doodle out pictures, one take for filming, no editing of video, one take for narration.  I finally felt so guilt while filming that on my 10th take I just kept going despite mistakes…it took me at least 2 hours to film and you can see how many mistakes and little things that I needed to fix.  I probably spent an hour narrating, and even after multiple takes, you can still hear problems.  How they filmed in 30 minutes, and did on average one take for narration I will never know.  I was impressed by what they did last week, today I am amazed.  Now after doing this myself, I can really put myself in their shoes and will make many changes for next year.  Two simple  things…have them make two-three doodles for each fact, have a second day of dress rehearsal and write the script during it and then record on next day.

Good luck!

My attempt is below.  Notice the green lines around the outside of the video.  What was in the viewfinder was not in the final video.  In the viewfinder the green lines were not visible…another lesson learned.  I also realized that just like the kids I made simple spelling errors under pressure…did I really spell Napoleon wrong!  and simple historical mistakes just like them.  I was wondering why so many kids wrote and said Haiti…it was SaintDomingue (modern day Haiti)…even though I had planned on writing Saint-Dominque I still wrote Haiti!

 

And of course…a look behind the scenes.  I have to erase in between pictures because
I had no camera person and needed to stay in a fixed position.
 

*edit 5/21/2014*

Below is a video some kids just produced for class.  We did not do RSA style videos as a full class this year, but I showed them this post and offered it as one way to present.  At the end of the video they have a series of “behind the scenes” images and video.

 

If making RSA style videos intrigues you, also consider trying Common Craft style videos!

Also find other assessments that don’t “suck” on this post:  15 Assessments that Don’t Suck.


Signing Yearbooks


I take signing kids’ yearbooks seriously.  I have spent 186 days with them, they will get more than “Good luck in high school!”  I won’t say 100% of the time, but close to it they will get an individually crafted message that reflects on where they were, where they are, and where they will go (obviously I am implying more than just a physical location, but a state of being, their heart, spirit, drive, and passion).  Many times I am bold and tell them what they will do (be a teacher, how they can make a difference, here is how you will change the world…), and other times I might just leave them with questions.  Each is a short story, that like a good assessment, doesn’t end the year, but starts them on a new beginning.  Often times I am told the next day, “Mr. Bogush, I only cried once all year, and that was when I went home and read what you wrote in my yearbook.”  Honestly, I am not a very emotional mushy sorta person during the year, I can be…ummm…quite a hard driver.   So maybe that is why I do what I do in the yearbooks.

For about the half the books I sign, I usually base the story around a quote, which I almost never use twice.  Below I have included some of the quotes I used this year. As I look through them now, some will not seem to be that valuable, but each is aimed at a specific kid.  Each was picked with a certain kid in mind, my “story” helps explain the quote to them, and in the context of that specific kid’s year, it makes a lot of sense.  I know that some are above their heads, and that is ok…it is not uncommon for me to get an email from someone in high school saying “I finally get that quote you wrote in my yearbook.”

“It is never too late to be what you might have been.”
George Eliot

When nothing seems to help…
I go and look at the stonecutter hammering away at his rock, perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it.  Yet, at the hundred and first blow, it will split in two, and I know it was not that last blow that did it, but all that has gone before.
Jacob Riis

If you want to increase your success rate, double your failure rate.

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall
–Confucius

Worry not that no one knows of you; seek to be worth knowing.
–Confucius

Do not fail
To learn from
The pure voice of an
Ever-flowing mountain stream
Splashing over the rocks.
Morihei Ueshiba

” Remember, if you ever need a helping hand,
you’ll find one at the end of your arm.
As you grow older you will discover that you have two hands.
One for helping yourself, the other for helping others.”

“Draw a crazy picture,
Write a nutty poem,
Sing a mumble-gumble song,
Whistle through your comb.
Do a loony-goony dance
‘Cross the kitchen floor,
Put something silly in the world
That ain’t been there before.”
-Shel Silverstein

The hardest thing in life is to know which bridge to cross and which to burn.”
-David Russell

“You can complain because roses have thorns, or you can rejoice because thorns have roses.”
-Ziggy

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”
-Confucius

Fear less, hope more;
Whine less, breathe more;
Talk less, say more;
Hate less, love more;
And all good things are yours.”
-Swedish Proverb

If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.

High school is a lot like toilet paper, you only miss it when its gone.
– Kate Kulikova

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wherever you go, no matter what the weather, always bring your own sunshine.
Anthony J. D’Angelo, The College Blue Book

Be who you are
and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter,
and those who matter
don’t mind.
— Dr. Seuss

“They may forget what you said, but they will never forget how you made them feel.”
Carl W. Buechner

There is no need to reach high for the stars. They are already within you – just reach deep into yourself!

Do or do not.
There is no try.”
Yoda

Success
“To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty,
To find the best in others,
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Never let the fear of striking out get in your way.
George Herman “Babe” Ruth

Be who you are
and say what you feel,
because those who mind don’t matter,
and those who matter don’t mind.
Dr. Seuss

When the world says, “Give up,”
Hope whispers, “Try it one more time.”
~Author Unknown

Creativity requires the courage to let go of certainties.
Erich Fromm

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.
Freidrick Nietzsche

Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall –Confucius

Worry not that no one knows of you; seek to be worth knowing.
–Confucius

All men who have achieved great things have been great dreamers.”
-Orison Swett Marden

The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.
— Ralph Nichols

When you talk, you repeat what you already know; when you listen, you often learn something.
— Jared Sparks

We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.
~Epictetus

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.
~Winston Churchill

If you don’t get lost, there’s a chance you may never be found.
~Author Unknown

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.
~Abraham Maslow

You have two ends – one to sit on and one to think with. Success depends on which one you use. Head you win, tail you lose.

You should listen to your heart, and not the voices in your head.
Marge Simpson

You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.
~John Mason

We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails.

There are two types of people – those who come into a room and say, “Well, here I am!” and those who come in and say, “Ah, there you are.”
~Frederick L. Collins

“It’s snowing still,” said Eeyore gloomily. “So it is.” “And freezing.” “Is it?” “Yes,” said Eeyore. “However,” he said, brightening up a little, “we haven’t had an earthquake lately.”
~A.A. Milne

How to make a lesson stick…

How do you get a lesson to stick?

Why do some lessons survive in some kids heads for a life time, and others don’t make it past the classroom door?

This post is based on my notes from the book Made to Stick by Chip and Dan Heath.  I actually read the book four years ago and just recently looked at my notes again. What follows are my notes put into sentences—so it might be a bit choppy in places(time for my bi-monthly “sorry, but ya get whacha get, and ya can’t get upset” since this blogging gig is just a part-time job). I have changed many of the ideas and quotes to fit situations a teacher would encounter.  This post can in no way act as a substitute for the book.  Buy it.  It will make your lessons stick.

What is the one of the biggest problems teachers have to overcome when planning their lessons? The Curse of Knowledge.
Once we know something, we find it hard to imagine what was like not to know it. Our knowledge has cursed us. And it becomes difficult for us to share knowledge with students because we can’t readily recreate their state of mind. Teachers can present creative lessons in a way that breaks the Curse of Knowledge. Highly creative lessons are more predictable than uncreative ones. No matter the subject, teacher, length, or setting, creative lessons share common attributes. So if creative lessons consistently make use of the same basic set of templates…

…perhaps creativity can be taught.

There are six basic principles that make good lessons stick:
Simplicity
Unexpectedness
Concreteness
Credibility
Emotional
Stories

“SUCCES”

SIMPLE = “Finding the core of the lesson”
Finding the core means stripping a lesson down to its most critical essence. To get to the core, we’ve got to weed out the superfluous and tangential elements. That’s easy…
The hard part is weeding ideas out of our lessons that may really be important but just aren’t the most important. Giving students more ideas and concepts in a lesson can make them less likely to remember any of them. Quantity can cause lesson paralysis.  Lessons that focus on lots of facts are hard to remember. It is easier to remember concepts over data. Compact lessons are stickier, but compact lessons alone aren’t valuable – only lessons with profound compactness are valuable. So, to make a lesson compact you’ve got to pack a lot of meaning into a little bit of messaging. And how do you do that? You use flags. You tap the existing memory terrain of your students. You use what is already there. It is possible to create complexity through the artful use of simplicity. If your lesson has simple ideas staged and layered correctly they can very quickly become complex. It is easier for kids to learn a new concept by tying it to one that they already know. Connect new concepts to schemata they already have. Schema is a collection of generic properties of a concept or category… lots of prerecorded information stored in our memories.  Schemata(pl schemata) help kids create complex messages from simple materials. Utilize the schemata the students bring with them because they influence their attention and kids are more likely to notice things that fit into their schemata.  The kids schemata influence what they look for in a lesson. They will use their schemata to organize what they know and what we present to process and understand the lesson.  Teachers are tempted to tell students everything, with perfect accuracy, right up front when they should be giving students just enough info to be useful, then a little more, then a little more. A great way to avoid useless accuracy, and to dodge the Curse of Knowledge, is to use analogies. Analogies derive their power from schemata.

UNEXPECTED = The most basic way to get student’s attention is this: Break a pattern.
Students adapt incredibly quick to consistent patterns. Constant sensory stimulation makes students tune out. Stop and listen…how many sounds can you hear in the room you are in that you weren’t paying attention to ten seconds ago? How do you get students attention and how do you keep it?

Surprise and interest.

Surprise gets our attention. Interest keeps our attention. You can plan unexpectedness! Unexpected components of lessons violate student’s schemas. Unexpected lessons have surprises that are not predictable…but to be satisfying they must be postdictable.  The twist makes sense, but it is not something you could have seen coming. No gimmicks! Your unexpected ideas will produce insight when they target an aspect of the students’ minds that relate to your lesson’s core message. Think of lessons as mysteries. Mysteries are powerful. They create a need for closure. The Aha! Experience is much more satisfying when preceded by the Huh? Teachers can use mysteries not to just heighten students’ interest and curiosity in the day’s material but to train them to think as scientists and historians. Teachers must present material that sparks curiosity. Curiosity is when students feel a gap in their knowledge. It is the intellectual need to answer questions and close gaps. Story plays to this universal need by doing the opposite, posing questions and opening situations. That gap causes them pain…they want to know something but don’t, it’s like having an itch that you need to scratch. To make it go away, they need to fill the gap. Teachers need to open gaps before they close them.  Don’t just tell students facts, first they have to realize they need them. Kids need to be convinced that they need the lesson’s message. Highlight the information they are missing. Lessons that lead to consensus do not open gaps. Students will be less interested in the topic. The more information students gain, the more likely they are to focus on what they do not know. Students need some content before they can care.  Knowledge gaps create interest. But to prove the gap exists it might be helpful to highlight some knowledge first. Here is what you know. Now here is what you are missing. When students are close to a solution of a puzzle curiosity takes over and propels them to finish.

CONCRETE = Abstraction is the luxury of the expert
Abstraction makes it harder for students to understand an idea and to remember it. It also makes it harder to have students collaborate on an activity because they may each interpret the abstraction in very different ways. Concreteness helps us avoid these problems.  What makes something concrete?  If you can examine something with your senses it is concrete. An apple is concrete. “No Child Left Behind” is abstract. Concrete language helps students, especially when they explore concepts and topics that are totally foreign. If you have to teach something to students, and you aren’t certain what they know, concreteness is the only safe language.  Concrete ideas are easier to remember. Concrete nouns are easier to memorize than abstract nouns — “book vs. justice.” The more “hooks” your concrete ideas have the easier it is to remember. A lesson might hook into a students emotional need, musical interest, school life, or personal background. If you create more hooks, you create more stickiness. Concreteness is a way to mobilize and focus your brain.
Which is easier…
1-Name five things that are cold
2-Name five things in your freezer
Concreteness creates a sense of shared “turf” on which students and teachers can collaborate so each student feels comfortable that they are tackling the same challenge.Being concrete isn’t hard and does not require a lot of effort. The barrier is forgetfulness. We forget that we are slipping into “abstractspeak.” Don’t forget that students don’t know what you know.

CREDIBLE = Why should students believe your message?
The use of vivid details is one way to create internal credibility – to weave sources of credibility into the idea itself. Another way is with statistics. Statistics are a good source of internal credibility when they are used to illustrate relationships.  When it comes to statistics, use them as input, not output. Use them to allow students to make up their mind on an issue. Don’t have students make up their minds and then go looking for the numbers to support their choice– that’s asking for temptation and trouble.  The most obvious sources of credibility – external validation and statistics – aren’t always the best. A few vivid details might be more persuasive than a barrage of statistics.

EMOTIONAL = Belief counts for a lot, but belief is not enough. For people to take action, they have to care.
Mother Teresa once said, “If I look at the mass, I will never act. If I look at the one, I will.” The goal of making lessons emotional is to make students care. Feelings inspire people to act. How do we make students care about our lesson’s message? To make them care you don’t have to produce emotion from an absence of emotion. Piggyback on emotions that the students already experience. Emphasize benefits, not features. Tell the kids what they will get from the lesson instead of all the features of the lesson. Each teacher should answer WIIFY before the start of each lesson or unit.
W=WHAT’s
I=IN
I=IT
F=FOR
Y=YOU
It is the tangibility rather than the magnitude of the benefits that make students care.
You don’t have to promise riches and beauty and magnetic personalities. Promise reasonable benefits that students can easily imagine themselves doing.
Self-interest is important and we can make people care by appealing to it but it makes for a limited palette. Always structuring our ideas around self-interest is like always painting with one color it’s stifling for us and uninspiring for others. Asking “Why?” helps to remind us of core values, the core principles that underline our ideas. Toyota uses a “Five Whys” process for getting to the bottom of problems and avoiding the Curse of Knowledge. Asking repeatedly why we are doing a lesson moves our focus from a set of associations that have no power to deeper, more concrete associations that connect emotionally with students. How do we get students to care about the ideas in our lessons? We get them to take off their analytical hats. We create empathy for specific individuals. We show how our ideas are associated with things that people already care about. We appeal to their self-interest, but also appeal to their identities not only to the people they are now but also to the people they would like to be.

STORIES = When we hear a story, our minds move from room to room. When we hear a story, we simulate it. But what is a good simulation?
Stories are told and retold because they contain wisdom. Stories are effective teaching tools. They show how context can mislead people to make the wrong decisions. Stories illustrate casual relationships that students hadn’t recognized before and highlight the unexpected, resourceful ways in which people have solved problems. Why does mental stimulation work? It works because students can’t imagine events or sequences without evoking the same modules of the brain that are evoked in real physical activity.

The right kind of story is, effectively, a simulation. Create lessons that fit into one of the three basic story plots:
Challenge
Connection
Creativity

The key element to a Challenge Plot is that obstacles seem daunting to the protagonist.
Challenge plots are inspiring in a defined way. They inspire students to work harder, take on new challenges, overcome obstacles. Connection Plots inspire students in social ways. They make them want to help others, be more tolerant of others, work with others, love others. Connection Plots are all about relationships with other people. The Creativity Plot involves someone making a mental breakthrough, solving a long-standing puzzle, or attacking a problem in an innovative way. Guy faces obstacle and overcomes it. Stories can almost single handedly defeat the Curse of Knowledge. Stories are almost always concrete. Most have emotional and unexpected elements. The hardest part of story is making sure that they are Simple – that they reflect the core message of the lesson. It is not enough to tell your kids a great story; the story has to reflect your agenda. Stories have the amazing dual power to simulate and to inspire and most of the time we don’t even have to use much creativity to harness these powers–we just need to be ready to spot the good ones that life generates everyday.

The components to a sticky lesson:
Give it something unexpected, and kids will pay attention.
Make it concrete, and kids will understand and remember.
Add credibility, and kids will believe and agree.
Include emotion, and kids will care.
Tell a story, and kids will act.
And when doing all the above…keep it simple.
Do all of the above and you have a lesson that will stick.

“ That’s the great thing about the world of ideas – any of us, with the right insight and message, can make an idea stick.”
Made to Stick Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die
By Chip Heath and Dan Heath Random House Books 2007

Can’t wait to read their new book Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

Significant Objects

The Significant Objects Unit post has been moved from Blogush to a site I have under construction. Frankly I thought it was of the best things we have ever done, but somehow the post does not reflect what we had to do and the complexity of the project,  and the fact that the goal of the project has been a complete and total flop.  If it wasn’t for my wife and friends feeling bad for me and donating…well…so I just need to move it off of here so I no longer see it (thanks also to 2 online buds for donating).

If anyone would like to visit the link above and give me advice on how to be more successful with the ultimate goal of the project, getting people to click on a link and donate funds for Monique Clinique,  I am all ears.   Really, I am.  I repeat…I would really, really like to get some advice on how to move people to donate for our items.  I kind of feel like I really let the kids down.  I had them all pumped up and then….nothing.  I would like to do this project again, and…one more time… could really use some help figuring out what to do differently.

I am pretty raw about it…I should stop here.

Morning Announcements…a twist

If you drive down the highways in Connecticut you’ll come across signs in each college town stating what sport championships have been won by the local college team. When I see them all I can think about is each one is probably worth about 5 laptops.

Every morning in school we have announcements. There is the smattering of random school stuff, and then the listing of every kid that played in the basketball games and how many points they scored. Apparently it is more important to tell us about someone who scored 4 points in a basketball game than describing a student’s feats in the classroom. There is no mention of anything celebrating the actual reason why we haul the kid’s butts into school each morning.

Why not? Well first of all the re-cap of most classes would probably be pretty boring.

(Please use your best sports announcer voice)

Today Mr. Smith handed out 30 worksheets and watched the students read their textbooks as they answered the questions. 26 out of the 30 were handed in at the end of class. He also collected and reviewed the questions from chapter 3, and reminded the students to make sure you study for tomorrow’s test.

So I decided to write one up to be read this week.

Yesterday Mr. Bogush’s class played DJs presenting the story of Lewis and Clark to a live audience around the world. Ashley scored 97 points, Cameron scored 94, and Kristen was the MVP with 100 points. Joe made an incredible rebound after slacking off the first two days of the project to score 90 points. Anna started off strong, but missed nearly the entire 2nd half because she had to get her braces taken off. Rachel saved the day with an assist in the final minute stepping in to help a group that had a member absent. Bogush’s class will advance to work with the Raiders of Arkansas in a collaborative project next week.

Hmmmmm….I’ll have to work on it a bit more 😉

For now I am working on better opening to each class.  I am thinking of getting a really big spot light and doing something like what is in the video below.  Now this would be a great way to start class!

 

Make a New Year’s resolution to update your blogroll!

Earlier this year I stopped following all of the big cheese bloggers and podcasters.  I even took the blogroll off of my blog.  You know who they are.  Look at 99% of the blogrolls out there and you will see the same names.  If you are a new blogger or podcaster they are the same ones that are in your blog roll right now.  If you are an old time blogger please update your blogroll with all of those new blogs you found after your initial plunge into the 2.0 world.  Nothing against the big guys, I was just looking for something fresh and new, and wanted to find people who were more like…well, me.  The folks who are in the 400,000s for a technorati rating, get a big smile when their counters hit more than 10 people per day, and just a single comment on a post is enough motivation to write again the next day.  During the course of my search I found many small, and many “big” blogs that I had previously never seen.  One of the first that I found was Delaine Zody’s (or did she find me?).  It is the only blog that I have continuously followed through every RSS reader change.

On Christmas Day Delaine left me a present in a comment–she gave me a Pop-tastic award.  I get excited anytime anyone stops by and reads a post of mine, but it is with great excitement and a “tear in my eye” that I come to the podium and accept a 2008 Pop-Tastic blog award from one of my favorite people I have never met, Delaine Zody!

pop-tastic

Part of the deal is that after receiving the award you have to pass it on to six other bloggers.  Here are my six choices for blogs that I read for a wide variety of reasons and have kept me coming back regularly over the last several months:

Tech Intersect

Souly Catholic High School

Successful Teaching

eJourney with Technokids

Army of Dude

One Marine’s View

I know that some of you will think this is a bit silly and have a problem with a picture of vegetables on your site so no offense taken if it does not show up.  But I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate what you do.  Even if I have never commented on one of your posts, they still leave me thinking.  Thanks.

Here are the  Rules & Regs for the bling:

  1. When you receive The Award, please post it on your blog, linking back to the person who gave it to you.
  2. In addition, please link to This Post, which explains the origins of The Award.
  3. Please visit Veggie Mom’s Post , which explains the origins of The Award, and Sign Mr. Linky, so she’ll be able to keep a record of all whose Blogs are Pop-tastic! Feel free to leave a comment, too!!
  4. Pass The Award along to SIX Bloggy Friends, whose creativity merits inclusion in this circle. Link to their blogs in your Awards Post, and notify them that they’ve received The Award.