For many of you being evaluated is part of being a teacher. This year I am being evaluated. For regular readers of this blog you know that I work in a very special place. I love my job and love my school. I work in a building where people look after each other, respect each other and work harder than the average Joe. We do this because we respect the two women who run the ship. My principal and vice principal are amazing. They are energetic, ontop of current trends and rarely say no to my crazy ideas. Instead of handing in a "formal" lesson plan for this evaluation I am composing this post with a bit of interactive fun to show what happened in the class ......
The Grade 8 students this year are working on a project called 2 Minutes to Make a Difference. Each student can be in a group of 4 and will create a 2 minute movie on a topic that is important to them. The project started off with the grade 8 leadership students creating presentations for the rest of the school during the pre-Christmas season. All students created posters and pamphlets for the school and a few leadership students created presentations to be used at assemblies. These students were taught how to make a powerpoint (or google presentation) and to use pictures instead of text to weave a story. It was very successful. The students raised more charitable donations than usual.
Following their return to school in January the students chose groups to work in for their 2 Minutes to Make a Difference. A website was created to give them access to different topic that they might choose. The students were then given a google form to fill in to show the assisting teacher their groups and topics.
This now brings us to the lesson that was used for my assessment. Imagine if you will a room filled with 70 students watching the smartboard. All students have a piece of looseleaf and a sheet that describe Debono's 6 Thinking Hat strategy for creative thinking . To set this up I created a google presentation that described the different types of questions and the "different hat" thinking that would be needed.
First Day's Activity (Thursday February 5)
Second Day's Activity (Monday February 9)
The great thing about using google is that I was able to harness the power of the student's google accounts. All students had an account. Before the afternoon sessions I got all the students to become collaborators with these presentations. Following the movie the students were then able to simultaniously enter their data on these presentations using the lab at the back of my room. For those students who were unable to get access to a computer they could work at home or write their questions on chart paper.
The movie was excellent. The students did an excellent job in watching the video and trying to understand why 300 million children world wide are forced to work instead of going to school or being a child.
During the movie when some important information would be discussed I would stop the video, reexplain the message and allow for students to discuss with one another. With the movie being 83 minutes long the students needed a chance to stretch their vocal chords and refocus their attention.
During these breaks the students would start to look at their notes and create questions that would fit into Debono's Thinking Hat Strategy.
This brings us to where we are going next. The timeline for the project has been mapped out for the next few weeks. Students will be working or questioning and essay work.
Following the movie the students are expected to fill in this google form. It will display their topics and questions. In the weeks that follow students will continue to work on their google presentation and start to gather first hand evidence to make their movie spectacular.
So I was evaluated. In reflecting on what happened in class the 2 days that the students participated I can say that they were great. They listened, collaborated and helped each other out. My lab had some problems but we overcame the technical glitches by allowing the students to do work at home. In April when the movies are done they will be wonderful expressions of student intrinsically motivated learning. A true inquiry based project!!
I love my job. Thanks for bringing me into the Sargent Park Team.