Classical Play Project Redux / 2017 – Increasing Productivity

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The dynamic in this year’s class is very different from last year’s, largely because of size. We went from 22 in the class last year to 7 in this class this year (a bit embarrassing to admit, I agree, but there is a valid reason that it’s that small and that it ran: because of a new scheduling system, 5 students dropped the day before school began because of a scheduling conflict).

So last Friday we had a particularly unproductive day. Now, granted, it was last block on a Friday and we had rotated out on Thursday, so that didn’t entirely surprise me, but it did make me think about my role in productivity and the lack thereof.

We meet in a conference room with a big table that essentially takes up the entire space, with me at the near end of the table and everyone else around (including the other end). But this set up means I have nowhere to go. I have to be at the table with the students; I can’t remove myself to let them work without my (passive) presence. Last year, with 22 in a traditional classroom, I could sit at the back and be out of sight but still within earshot and speak-shot.

So today I figured I would remove myself. I gave the students a few options: I could leave the room entirely and go to the room across the hall, or I could sit at the table with my headphones and be there but shut off. The students came up with a third solution: put me with my back to them in the room at the countertop with my headphones on. So that’s what I did. And it seemed to work out. I didn’t hear much but I could tell by the end that they were much farther along than they had been when we began.

I think we are very nervous about not only letting go but also the perception from others, either fellow teachers or administrators, about the amount that we are working. (I was secretly hoping that an administrator would pop in just for the shock value.) But ultimately we have to do what’s best for the students, and for this project my presence was hindering them. By removing my (figurative) presence, I let them be more productive. And I’m ok with that.

I had one of the students take some pictures of my set-up:

Classical Play Project Redux / 2017 – Text Debate

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So the Classical Play Project is back. You might remember “The Michaels” (links / entries are not necessarily in chronological order), the modern adaptation of Plautus’ Menaechmi that my Classical Lit class worked on last year. One of the big questions was whether or not we would do it again this year.

But this year’s class is on board, so off we go. This year, though, with a twist. The class has elected to pen and perform a play for the elementary schools. More to come on all of that but we had a pleasantly spirited debate about the text / subject matter in class and I managed to video some of it which I include below. (And the lapel-camera quality is me getting used to a new lens I got for the iPad.)

And, as these things often go, despite what the video suggests, we ultimately did not decide on Hercules but rather (back to) Pyramus and Thisbe.

ScreenFlow from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Latin Movie Trailers

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At long last, the Latin Movie Trailers. Here they are in all of their glory (or lack thereof). In no particular order (except I did put Rogue One (Furcifer Unus) first because I believe the BluRay comes out today or hereabouts). Enjoy.

Rogue One

Inception

 

Despicable Me

 

Toy Story 3

 

Song of the Sea

Baby Boss

My Movie – Small from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Slumdog Millionaire

FCB2A039-8796-48FD-B413-4808E570CBE0_HQ from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Sleeping Beauty

Movie Trailer from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast Latin from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Jungle Book

Latin Movie Project (1) from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Wall-E

WALL-E Latin Project from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

To Kill A Mockingbird

Latin Movie Project-1 from Ed DeHoratius on Vimeo.

Wallace and Grommit

Beauty and the Beast (a different one)

Princess Mononoke

Grand Budapest Hotel

“The Michaels” on YouTube

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So, in a catch-up technological moment, I finally (stupidly) figured out how to upload longer videos to YouTube (by verifying my account; I’m not a big YouTube user, so had never gotten that far). I had the video files of both productions of “The Michaels”, our Classical Lit project from last spring, on my desktop, but wasn’t quite sure what to do with them: they were too big for Vimeo and too long for YouTube (though I of course knew longer videos existed). In any case, for your viewing (pleasure?) and for posterity (and potential future embarrassment), here they both are.

Lego and Structuring Design

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Saw this article on medium.com and was pleasantly surprised by it. Did a good job framing some thoughts about implementing such an approach in the classroom, with potential for our school-within-a-school. I particularly liked the before, during, and after diagram.

screen-shot-2016-11-27-at-4-58-34-pm

Innovation Summit 2016 – We Are Makers: Educating the Next Generation of Innovators

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screen-shot-2016-11-04-at-10-47-35-am

  • Project Zero Classroom –> go for a week (in Cambridge) and experiment with various routines
  • Agency by Design (of Project Zero) focuses on making
    • sketching an object from different perspectives
    • taking the object apart and sketching its parts
    • [could this be a jumping off point project for the SWS?
    • students bring an object of their choice and, it is hoped, the project / approach leads to a problem, a solution, an idea, a question, etc.?]
  • three phases to making: explore, create, share
  • each of us breaks into groups of 2-4 and are given a plastic bag with a plastic pencil sharpener, small tools, paper, and pencils
  • we first sketch the object from various perspectives, in the process considering the following:
    • what are its parts?
    • what are its purposes / the purposes of each part?
    • what are its complexities?
  • then the object is dismantled and each part is sketched and labeled
    • what are the parts of the system?
    • who are the people connected to the system?
    • how do the people in the system interact with each other and with the parts of the system?
    • how does a change in one element of the system affect the various parts and people connected to the system?
  • now innovate –> list improvements, sketch design ideas
    • how could it be made more effective?
    • how could it be made more efficient?
    • how could it be made more ethical?
    • how could it be made more beautiful?

Innovation Summit 2016: Amplifying PBL Through an EdTech Redesign

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Shaelynn Farnsworth

• starting at TodaysMeet (.com) with a question: How can PBL benefit students?

• why PBL: student-centered, authentic, present-ready

• how can EdTech enhance those areas: accessibility, communication, demonstration of understanding

• Google’s MyMaps for accessibility / ‘travel’

• communication: join the global conversation while maintaining their own identity

• bring in experts in the field: Google Communities; local people; Twitter; colleagues

• RecapApp lets you set up a video response, whereby kids can answer questions through videos to you alone unless you share it

• a reemergence of podcasting: Soundtrap –> collaborative music / voice creation

• ScreenCastify

• how do we foster the 5th C –> Curiosity

• inquiry is the engine of PBL

• telling stories through data

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