Friday, January 13, 2012

Back to school

On Thursday I returned to school after a long Christmas holiday. My students returned on Monday, but I was delayed due to a job fair, so they started their Hinduism project without me.

I began by creating a page on my blog with a video about project-based-learning and explaining our project on the blog. Students had to do some reflecting on what PBL means as they filled out a google form that asked for their thoughts on PBL. They also had to answer some general factual questions on PBL so that I know they understand the concept.

The project we are working on right now is to create a set of postage stamps that represent Hinduism. Serendipitously, I came across a video on youtube about the history of American women as represented in postage stamps. It conveyed the idea that postage stamps can represent ideas.

I then explained to the students how I was going to form the teams. They completed their google form job applications. As a teacher, it was fascinating for me to see how self-aware some of my students are and how some students who are very strong students seem to not know how they are perceived at all.

After I received the job applications in google forms, I downloaded the data into excel and created a mail merge document that resulted in each student's application printing out. Here is a copy of what the job application forms looked like when complete, although this copy has my notes on it in red to let you know why I asked the questions that I asked.

Once team leaders were chosen, I kept the team leaders in the room and sent the others to the hallway. Leaders then had five to ten minutes to look over job applications. All job applications were as anonymous as possible with all names whited-out. The team leaders then went through a typical schoolyard pick during which they alternated turns choosing numbers. They quickly realized their "dream teams" were not going to be formed and that they had to accept others into the group.

When the teams were picked, I encouraged the team leaders to go into the hallway and welcome their group members. Their first task? Chose a group name.

Aside from a small incident in which one group chose to be the potheads (a decision I discouraged and eventually thwarted), everything went very smoothly.

The next step will be to, quite frankly, figure out the next step. How am I going to merge the content, how am I going to encourage the students to ingest the content - all of them - while working on this project? Looks like I have something to figure out this weekend. Ideally it would have been prepared long ago, but I'm adjusting as I go along.


samantha jacob said...

If you add the sample template its very useful....

Job Description Template

Post a Comment

Add This