I have been reading for a while about Fed Ex days, Identity Days and 20% time but I never did anything about it until this year. I think with some projects I just need the one extra push. The push this year was Paula Naugle (@plnaugle on twitter) organizing a 10 day project with a bunch of classes of different levels connecting through edmodo. I decided to have my two classes join in.
We had already used edmodo throughout the year so it was easy enough you just have the kids join another group. I got the kids pumped up by showing the kids a couple of TED(x) talks that showcase kids. They had already seen Caine's Arcade so I just reminded them about his passion. We went through a presentation that I tweaked just a bit from a school in Australia that talked about passion projects. We also went through a slightly adjusted Prezi about identity projects.
After all the initial discussion, they had to submit a plan/proposal to me that told me what their focus would be, how they would spend their time putting it together and how they would share it with the classes. The students knew the day the projects would be shared was May 13th (which was about a week and a half out). They worked on their projects at school but also at home instead of our typical homework.
While this was going on they got on edmodo and answered the daily questions that were posted to the group by Paula. They also tried to leave some meaningful comments for other participants.
When presentation day arrived we had a nice range of topics from pets to sports to WWII to favorite celebrities. One student did hers about Egypt and brought her grandfather with some goodies since that was his country of origin. We also had a variety of types of presentations like: PowerPoint, Wixie, Prezi, iMovie, triboards, and just oral presentations with props. The kids (along with some parents) rotated around the one class to see all the presentations and then we switched and had the other class share. While visiting the projects the parents and students left positive comments (and the occasional question).
Here are a few pictures from the day.
|some good conversation|
|and attentive audiences|
|leaving nice comments|
|while students brought it to life with props|
|presentations complete with gear|
|and even live (tap) demonstrations|
|we shouldn't forget the guest appearance|
I can't believe I didn't get a picture of the big pen with the guinea pigs that were brought in by two of the girls.
It was definitely a neat project for the end of the year and I hope to do it again next year.