Low-Tech Fun: Senior Project on GoogleMaps

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No, I have not hacked the NSA, nor am I running my own double-top-secret operation. I teach a sibling of a former student this year, and I mentioned to her that I noticed an addition going on the house. I know where she lives because her brother and some friends made a battering ram for their final project for my Medieval Lit class and, since the house is near the school, and I wasn’t sure how admin would feel about a battering ram on campus, we walked to his house to see it. I mentioned this to her and she laughed and said that the battering ram shows up in the GoogleMaps image of their house. Clearly I had to check that out and memorialize my Medieval Lit project’s brief moment of fame.

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PBL – Classical Lit Play – Next Steps

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The groups are continuing to specialize and develop their assigned work. The Tech Crew has split into a Marketing group and a true Tech Crew, the former of whom are developing advertising posters and the latter of whom are today starting on making the masks for the show. The writing crew is finalizing the script (the English teacher especially enjoys me hearing them have discussions about scenes that work, how to develop ideas, etc.).

I’ve included some pictures below. The top one is the writing group (didn’t realized until I posted it that AG is shooting an amusing glare at me / the camera). The next is the marketing group (another glare from EZ; they were on me documenting). And then the bottom three are the Tech Crew working on the masks.

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I continue to be impressed and pleasantly surprised by the amount of work that is being done in class. It is by no means intense; I would not describe the atmosphere as tense or stressed (yet…?). But it is consistent with few to no deviations, i.e. once I get them focused (and I do wish that they would begin without me prompting them, but I am happy to accept that as a minor blip), they work straight through class and are / seem pretty much on task the entire time, and certainly more so than they would be in a more traditional setting / approach.

PBL – Classical Play Project – Table Read

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The script is done? Ok, so the script is on its way; we at least have a working draft of the script. And today, both because of the performance approaching and because I didn’t want the same groups working on the script for too long at a time, we’re doing a ‘table read’. The class is in a circle and the actors are reading the script through. The goal is to get a sense for portions of the script that are awkward, forced, loose, off-topic, etc. The class has access to the script via GoogleDocs and are editing / commenting as the actors read through.

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I had originally conceived this as a straight read through, saving comments until the end, for continuity’s sake. I have quickly found, however, that that is pretty much impossible, that students are invested enough in the script and its writing to not be able to resist commenting as the script is read through.

The read through itself is going, well, predictably. There is enough double entendre and implication in the original that my juniors have taken that and run with it, likely too much so, which we’ll talk about.

Otherwise, it’s interesting to hear the class as a whole interact over the writing. Much of the interaction has been digital, via the GoogleDoc, especially over the bigger picture points of discussion, but there has also been some interesting discussion. A lot of that discussion hasn’t actually been discussion but non-verbal reactions (laughs, one-way-comments, etc.) but it’s been interesting to hear students accept those reactions well / without defensiveness; there have really been no arguments, so to speak, which has been a pleasant surprise.

So we have to cut down on the (unnecessary) profanity (all of it? we’ll see) but otherwies an interesting beginning to the script. We’re on our way?