Reflecting on your teaching practice is always important. It is also vital that the students reflect on their experiences. The final step to our adventure was for the students to reflect on their 20% Project. Time for me to reflect also!
The students were instructed to utilize some technology as an aid to their one and a half minute presentation in class. This could have been a Prezi, a Google Presentation, PowerPoint, Flowboard, Wikipage, etc… There were a couple of students that missed this information and didn’t have the technology piece, but they all did the reflection and that is what I considered the most important part. Next year, I will be sure to be discussing the requirements with the students on a more regular basis and will post them on Haiku to make sure everything is clear.
The kids’ reflections were great! They really did put a lot of thought into what they shared with the class. I know it is difficult to get up and speak in front of others as it is not my most favourite thing either. There were categories that they had to address…brief summary of project, their successes, their weaknesses, any unexpected changes, and what they would they do if they could do another project. They were allowed to use notecards to help them with their speaking points. I would say that most of the kids chose not to use them and they utilized what was in their digital presentation to guide them.
Things I noticed about their digital components…they were quite wordy. We had a chat after day one and I shared with them that the important thing was for us to listen to their speaking and not be trying to read too much on the board where their work was projected. After that quick chat, the students that came after made changes. I was not grading their digital presentations, so by talking to them in the midst of our presenting days didn’t affect anyone except to make future presentations stronger. A lot of the students chose to put titles and some images rather than typing out everything they were going to say…I was glad I had intervened.
In the future I think I also need to give them more direction in the reflections I am looking for. There was a lot of summarizing of the project in their successes and failures. I need to figure out how to get them to go deeper…what were the big picture successes and the big picture of what they learned from their experiences??? Must work on this!
This project will definitely be something I will do with my seventh graders again. The highlights of what they learned: How to work well with others and compromise, make adjustments to be successful, how to plan and accomplish a long range project, how to present to community members and build their confidence, and so much more! Not only did they learn their content…they learned MORE! Life skills that they can carry with them to the future! 🙂 This makes me happy and I know they will remember this experience for a very long time.
The Pitch Night Event was AH.MAZING!!!!! The kids were phenomenal in sharing all they had learned (and sounding so professional), the parents were so proud and their teacher was beyond proud! I confess to tearing up a little at one point because I was just bursting! 🙂
Not only were the parents here, but we had board members, the superintendent, school staff, and other community members who had received our flier. I had a former student’s little brother see the flier at his school and he insisted on coming so he could see me and Mrs. Ash-Bala (his big brother also had her for a teacher). How sweet was that? The positive feedback from everyone was fantastic and just makes me want to do it even more next year. I really appreciate everyone that came out to support the event. Thank you!!!!
My mum was planning on coming to the event by herself as my dad had to work. To my surprise, when I went to let them in the gate for their special parking spot, my dad was there too! He had switched his shift so he could be there. How awesome are my parents?! They are so supportive!!!
The students were great at getting all the tables set up. Turns out they were not all utilized, but that is good information for next time. It took us about forty-five minutes to get them all in position (with nineteen kids working hard) and with Mrs. Ash-Bala’s kids, at the end, about fifteen minutes to break it all down and clear up! 🙂 Of course there were over 100 kids at that point and a few parents pitched in also.
The food truck choices were a HIT! What great food we had…the Grilled Cheese with macaroni, pulled pork and caramelized onions did not disappoint!!! We will definitely utilize them again for a future event!
I have to share a prank that the school librarian and vice-principal played on me. This week was iPad collection week, so I was in the library helping to scan iPads in when the students returned them. I had already talked to the office to follow-up on the table delivery as they hadn’t yet arrived near lunch time. The VP called the library and all I heard was the librarian saying, “The tables aren’t coming? What are they going to do?” I am sure I had a look of stark terror on my face. I took the phone and said, “Please tell me you are joking!” and the VP cracked up! So not funny! LOL!!!!! The tables arrived within an hour, thank goodness. 🙂
I will be posting pictures from the event in another post – hopefully this weekend – so you can see how it all looked.
Again…thank you to all who came out! It was a phenomenal evening and you helped make it happen!
Tonight is the night the kids will present their projects to the community. The students had some time earlier today to work on their projects in class. Lots of activity was going on – posters being made, tablecloths being decorated, final touches to Prezis, etc… It was quite the hustle and bustle.
During the time, one of the students in another group suggested to the Save the Sea Turtles group that they put their tubs on all of the different tables so they could possibly raise more money! What a cool idea and the girls loved it. So much collaboration going on…I love it!!!
This afternoon, just over half of the students stayed with me and we are just about to go and set up the tables. We got fifty tables delivered from the high school and we have twenty of our own. We should be good to go!
After we set up the tables, we will come back to the room to cool down and gather our belongings before we head out to set up, get the food trucks in place, and welcome the community!!!
I am just so proud…can’t stress that enough! These kids faced some adversity and came up with alternate ideas to make things all work out!
Can’t wait to see them all in action!!!! Hope to see you here tonight…if you are in the area!