Saturday, September 10, 2011

September 6-9

This was a short week, thanks to Labor Day weekend...but, it was a difficult one. At the beginning of this week, I think the students had simply gone on too long with unstructured group work that they believe they could get away with misbehaving. I had to give out an ABC to a student who would not stay quiet while I was giving directions. I was not happy about this and neither was the student. But, things improved as the week went on.

Students tested their bridges before and after "Earthquake DOWLING". This "natural" disaster was hilarious. The students would add weight to their bridge until they thought it was close to it's breaking point and then the bridge would have to submit to this terrible experience that was "Earthquake DOWLING". My mentor teacher, Mrs. Dowling, would bend and twist the cardboard land that the bridges were built on to cause damage to the bridges and then the students would test their bridges again to see if it held the same amount of weight. The students loved and hated "Earthquake DOWLING", so classes were definitely interesting.

One of my students with special needs made an incredibly strong and durable bridge. The other students were so impressed with his bridge that they cheered him on throughout the bridge weighing/testing process. His bridge held the most weight out of his class period and the students clapped for him when he was finished testing his bridge. It was a really amazing moment.

Another student with special needs made a not-so-strong bridge, but it didn't matter to him, myself, or the other students. In fact, I am so glad that his bridge wasn't sturdy. You know why? Because as this child was adding more and more weight to his bridge, it caved in so far that students began reaching out to hold the cardboard against the table-top just to keep it from completely falling to the ground. I have never seen students so supportive of one of their peers. They cheered him on and made sure he got to add every single weight to the bucket. What a strong bridge they formed that day! So amazing!

On Friday, the students began working on their conclusion videos. They are going to make a "News Report" in which they will be reporting on the devastating earthquake and the bridges that were affected by it (of course, this means the bridge they constructed last week). The students began writing their scripts and figuring out how they wanted to film the news report. Some students wanted to make a movie trailer instead, which sounds really interesting and creative. I can't wait to see how they turn out. They begin the actual filming on Monday.

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