Saturday, November 17, 2012

Remembrance Day Projects

I am back.    I had a cold that seemed to last from Thanksgiving Day until Halloween.   Life became hectic with Halloween and Remembrance Day and things just didn't seemed to be going quite right with my class.  I felt really ready to retire.
Last week I decided what was needed was a project.  Last year my class did a project I have done a few times before, War and Peace Newspapers.  They did an excellent job.
Now since I had half my class last year, I didn't want to repeat this project but I have to admit I kind of threw this year's project together.  I discovered an excellent website and basically told them to be creative, that they could make prezis, glogsters, newspapers, do top ten booklets etc.
 I basically gave them a week to do the project and only a couple of periods of class time.  It was the long weekend as well.  They could do the project on their own or with a partner.  I made the projects due on Wednesday but did give them an extra day.

 I really wasn't sure what they would be like.  And then I have to admit I was kind of amazed.  I arranged for them to present to each other in the classroom.  Half the class presented and the other half looked at their projects.  And they switched.  They were given post its and they had to write a positive comment and then they could write suggestions.  I gave them about five minutes at each station and then they moved to the next.  I have found this an easy way to do this and having a wireless classroom and ipads makes this quite easy.  On this page you can see some of their great work.
Since the projects were so good-we moved to the library and computer lab Friday afternoon and they presented the projects to seven other classes, generally two classes at a time.  I am not sure how much the first graders understood, but they love to see the older students' work and have their attention.  Those who had prezis presented in the lab and those who didn't were spread out in the library.
The kids were quite tired by the end but feeling proud of their work.  The adults were touched by the power of their words and the art.
Once again I felt the power of projects! And the joy of teaching!

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