Saturday, September 17, 2011

September 12-16

This week was full of technological crises. The students were wrapping up their videos and putting the finishing touches on them. We had issues with editing due to file type compatibility with MovieMaker. Some videos would only play sideways on the computer screen. Then the videos would not play at all, because they were saved in a file on the server which made them VERY slow and glitchy. The students thought they'd never get to see each others' videos. It was just a mess. But luckily, my mentor teacher is a tech savvy genius.

Note to self: When using any technology, make sure software and file type are compatible, make sure you have a safe place to store files, and make sure you can open and effectively use those files. Ugh!

The videos, for the most part, were very creative and thorough. The students loved watching each others videos, but when it was one of their own turns to show their video they did not want to be in the room while they were on the big screen. It was interesting to see their reactions to their own videos. Embarrassment was probably the most obvious reaction, but that is middle schoolers for you. Secretly, they were proud of themselves and their videos.

I also gave a quiz on the material covered in the bridge project (Scientific method steps, variables, etc.). The Bridge Project is OVER! Here we come, simple machines.

I have changed my bulletin board. Previously, I had a contest with scientific method graphic organizers and had posted these on the bulletin board. Now that the Bridge Project and the scientific method unit is over, I have decided to put up student drawings, newspaper clippings of students, and other random student work that they are proud of enough to want posted on the bulletin board. The students seem excited about this, so, we shall see how this goes. I hope this shows them how invested I am in them and that I appreciate their doodles! :)

Highlights of this week include:
- SMS dance on Friday - These kids can Dougie!
- Watching one of my special needs students grin the entire time his video was being played on the whiteboard.
- Watching a student-made video with a student rapping about "Earthquake Dowling".

Thing I should work on:
- Backup plans when technology fails.
- More concise directions for students when using technology or doing a BIG project
- Patience with technology.

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