Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Culmination of Creativity

This has been an odd week for my students. In Massachusetts we have "April Vacation" which starts next week, and we completed our unit on Ancient Greece last Friday, thus I'm in the weird gray area between units. Rather than start Ancient Rome before vacation, I have elected instead to extend our normal one day "culture day" to a whole week.

Culture Day takes place after we finish a civilization, students bring in food, music, fashion, games, and other things from that area of the world both in ancient and modern times. Prior to the flip this was the only time my students got to work in groups and do in class projects. Now we do that on a daily basis. Since each student has 7 projects from the past unit (yes that means I am currently sitting in a pile of 700 student created posters, models, dioramas and maps) I thought it would be nice of their parents could actually have a chance to come in and view their work.

My vice principal was kind enough to let us use the library tomorrow afternoon, so we are having a full "Greek Festival." The kids have been building columns, making signs, togas, laurel wreaths, and generally planning some pretty cool stuff. Their projects will be set up like a science fair, with each student getting table space. I am going to project videos of in class plays that some of the students performed in one corner (the students are setting up a "Greek Theatre", and the "legacy of Greece" powerpoint the students did in another. Two of my students even created a "QR Code" scavenger hunt that will go throughout the fair.

I am excited to have parents come in and see all the hard work the students have done. Furthermore I am hoping it will be a good chance for other teachers to come and see what cool stuff we were able to accomplish when we didn't have to spend class time listening to lectures. Finally the students are excited and enthusiastic, I'm hoping parents and colleagues can see how beneficial this has been for them.

Below is a sample of the "legacy" slides the students put together. Keep in mind it is very "rough" I basically gave them the microphone and let them coordinate their own Screencast. It is simple, each student making a one sentence statement on what they thought Greece's legacy was. Keep in mind this video was done in my inclusion class, so there are students of many levels and abilities...again its rough...but it is theirs.


I'm excited to see how our "festival" goes tomorrow, I will be taking pictures and posting them here.

video
video

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