- Earthquake Drill tomorrow morning (AKA class will be ruined)
Earthquake drill or not, I was determined to give the students their 20% time for this week. We were going to find a little bit of time for them to work on their projects and report out. To help ease this, I quickly set up an assignment in Edmodo for students to tell me what their progress has been during the previous two sessions that we've had with 20%.
- Mentors and their schedules
One of my mentors (nutrition specialist) had to cancel due to a scheduling conflict. Nothing I can do about it, nor can she. We set up another time for her to come in during our 20% time next week. When we call on mentors, we need to realize that their work schedules trump any assistance they are offering. The other was the NICU nurse, who also happens to be my wife. She was all set to come in and talk to the group of students who want to learn about the NICU. However, with the onset of the previously mentioned earthquake drill, I told her not to come. We will have more time. Plus, it gives the group another week to refine their questions and gives her an opportunity to put together an incredible mini-presentation for them.
- Students not mastering their class work
This is the biggie. The safest way for me to justify this 20% time to an administrator is by saying that students are working on what they are passionate about because the have demonstrated proficiency in what we have been doing for the past 4 days of school. When students don't demonstrate that mastery, it prohibits them from working on their projects (counterproductive to what we're trying to establish with the concept). I modified the "ticket in" to their 20% time for this week because they deserved a chance to work on it.
Even still, there was a small group of students who basically refused to do the work. The benefit of rolling this project out is to give me more time to interact with my students. The scenario turned into a positive opportunity to intervene with the students to determine the cause of their struggles. It wasn't 100% effective, but it was a lot better than what my alternatives were.
With that being said, organized disorganization was in full effect today:
What to take away from Week 4
"Be students, be teachers, be politicians, be preachers"
Another great takeaway from this week's time was the discussions I was able to have with a few groups. Using the BYOD network, students are on their phones or tablets to research, create, and ultimately publish their work. When they were asked about the benefits of BYOD and what they have learned from it, the overwhelming answer was "I never realized how easy it is to research materials from my own device". I'll take that as a "win".
What's more is the idea of fostering the various interests of students we currently have in our classroom and coaching them into "Hall of Fame" caliber citizens in whatever path of life they decide to take.