Saturday, April 30, 2011

And now for Ancient Rome

Well after hip hop there were the Ancient Rome presentations.  The kids began these about three weeks ago but were rather interrupted with the Easter long weekend, a field trip to Granville Island to see a play set in Ancient Egypt, that they of course really enjoyed, and all that hip hopping.  Don't ask about science and French kept getting delayed...
The presentations again turned out well and kids learned on their own to use prezi, not that Alanna, my faithful teacher librarian or I have mastered it.  I am going to attach some of their presentations and maybe even a video.  We will see how that works out.
One form of presentation they enjoy are online posters called Glogsters.  These are neat and they even can embed video.  Here is a sample of Jane and Anjana's.

Steven and Gaven used Prezi and here is a sample of their presentation.  If you want to see this in full screen just go to where it says more.  Another Prezi was done by Sadie and Simran.  They also did a neat cartoon (those bath houses kind of fascinated the kids)  using a program called Bitstrips.

Again we had some neat models.  Van, this time built a ship and even used pine, a wood that the Romans used.  

What impresses Alanna and me is how far they have come in terms of quality of presentations and their use of technology in particular.  Also this requires not only research skills but such skills as  choosing the right video clips,  and really making the information their own.  I laughed when students noticed that one group had Julius Caesar dying ten years earlier than another group.  Earlier while preparing the projects their was a spirited argument about who was the first emperor, and yes, it was Augustus, and not Julius Caesar.  I honestly don't think they see it as work and there are no complaints about doing these projects, and I can have quite a few critics in my class.  Steven was shocked to hear that I had been a spelling judge for a TV program, for instance, and questioned why he had to do a scavenger hunt at Granville Island as to its educational value. 

As students were doing their presentations, they were asked to tell what they liked about each presentation and what suggestions they had to improve the presentation.  We went through this at the end.  Usually the students were dead on.  In addition to self evaluations using the criteria I will use, I asked the students as well to look at themselves as learners to see what they are able to do now that they couldn't do at the beginning of the year.  They demonstrated again lots of insight. Now, of course I have to use the criteria to evaluate and decide who is going to be the grand research winner this time.

Me, I am still trying to learn to use my new camera and we will see how successful I was with my videoing attempts.   Well, okay, but I haven't managed to upload my video  here.

I am going to post my last assignment as a page here in case anyone is interested.  And yes, I am already being asked what their next project will be.  I suggested that I needed to do some science!  Now maybe they could just design their own experiments.  Sounds good to me!

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