Way back at the beginning of course 5 I thought how cool this was going to be. Planning a terrific “real world” unit for the fifth graders. Lots of time. Right. Started out very well. Good idea: students create a dream library – floor plan, with rationale behind it. Members of my PLN, Doug Johnson and Karen Lindsay, thought the assignment sheet that would be given to students was good and they liked the rubric. I polled the students to make sure everyone had a computer and internet connection at home. Then, the whole thing began to disintegrate. One thing led to another. Since we had no computers, no projector and no whiteboard in the library (due to the fire and looting in September), I introduced the project in each of the 5th grade classrooms, which had 2 computers, a projector and a white board. I was relying on the students to do work at home. They all said they had computers and internet at home.
Strike one. No they didn’t. Of course, they failed to mention this to me during the first 3 weeks of the project.
We scheduled the new laptop carts for two weeks in a row – then MAP testing started and the computers were unavailable for 3 weeks.
Strike two. (Ask yourself, “Why didn’t she come up with a new project for her final project at this stage?” )
The idea of using SketchUp was abandoned after the two lessons introducing it and working with it in class. Tears (not all mine) and great frustration led to a vote. Scrap the idea of an electronic floor plan.
Strike three. (See question above.)
We forged on. Presentation boards and models replaced electronic floor plans. They did use Word to publish their bibliography, rationale, and labels for design. The whole effort was finished with a Presentation Day where parents, administrators and other guests came to look out our plans. A great success really. Guests were impressed. I was impressed with students ability to discuss their plans. Not much technology. I did reserve the room via our online reservation system.
Now I am almost to the end of the course final. Assignment and rubric ready to be put into another blog post. Video almost done, thanks to Cheilaugh Garvey. Soon to be posted. Then the pleasure of looking at the videos of my cohort members. Soon, soon, soon it will all be a faint memory. (Lord, I hope so.)