Sometimes counting to ten is how we all get through the moment or the day. We are challenged by colleagues, issues, finances, and minutia.
Other times, everything seems to click. That’s where I am today. And that’s why I want to share what’s been happening around here. The teachers have been coming up with challenging, meaningful assignments (and that IS the key) –one after the other. I can hardly keep up with THEM.
Take a look at what’s been going on around my school:
- the eighth-grade history classes researched events in American history and then posted their research to their wikis, complete with Voice Threads. Visit, if you have a chance, and leave a comment
- one history teacher radically changed his approach to teaching after visiting EduCon last month. I visited his class to share possible ways to help them present project-based learning to their classmates.
- the AP American history teacher has been inspired by Carolyn Foote’s students’ Vietnam projects to do something similar with local Civil Rights activitists
- AP Government students created political commercials before debating as their politicians in front of the school. We Ustreamed it, but it is password protected for families only.
- Latin students drew pictures of characters from a book they had just finished, then found other images online that represented the characters, finally putting them all together in a Photostory, which they will narrate with their analysis of the character this week.
- The French and Spanish teachers are coordinating an effort to create podcasts of public service announcements using audacity.
- The sophomores will be making videos of scenes from Macbeth, while juniors will do much of their research and work toward a research paper online using wikis and tumblr.
- Many of our other ongoing projects are linked here
And that’s just the beginning……I’m meeting with the creative writing teacher tomorrow to talk about ways to do an online magazine (and, she doesn’t know it yet, but I want to have the class explore a ning site together!)
My own learning continues as well. You know, I’ve been in and around the classroom for more than 25 years, and I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited about work as I have been this year, despite the occasional bumps in the road.
- I continue to gather interest from area schools in participating in Will Richardson’s and Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach’s Powerful Learning Practice for the Virginia-DC area.
- The past few Wednesdays, I’ve been able to log into Darren and Robin’s Open PD, which has been a chance to learn and share with even more people.
- Sunday, my colleague Jennifer came over to begin planning for a VAIS presentation on the read/write web and shifted learning we are doing in
April. (Actually it began as simply a web 2.0 tools idea, but it’s
morphed into much more.) David Warlick is the keynote speaker, and I can’t wait to finally meet him face to face.
- Today, we heard that we are one of Best Buy’s award winning schools. I know our digital film teacher will LOVE spending that $2.000 on her digital story-telling class.
- And the best news? Gardner Campbell is coming to speak to us at the beginning of April. He is one inspirational, brilliant man, and I know we will all benefit from his wisdom as he discusses learning, "the digital imagination," and much more. We are ready for you, Gardner.
The ideas are moving from the theoretical to the concrete, and watching students learn and think in engaging ways is what it’s all about.