Saturday, April 30, 2016

Week 30 -- Projects and the Value of Play

We often talk about the importance of play in the learning environment. This has been brought home to me especially clearly as my class works on their various long-term projects.
Throughout much of the fall and winter, the class worked on small-scope projects that I had crafted with specific learning goals in mind. This is all well and good, and certainly has a significant place in the our school.
However, the true motivational power of the student center classroom is only unlocked when the children start to explore projects that are born of their personal interests. As the teacher, I still have a major role in aiding the students to: clarify the scope, break down and manage the workflows, provide materials and emotional support.

We'll be showing a preview trailer for the movie at Monday morning meeting.

In this week's photo dump you see the fruits of the students labors:

We spent some time on Wednesday making zombie masks for the movie project.
Identifying and locating props has been a major task for the movie team. Managing
the frustration of paper-craft also turned into a teachable moment for some.
Chris Swinko gave us a bunch of peppermint (and other herbs) from the garden.
Jenna was excited to find out how our syrup project was going. So she came
 and watched Eli and Kaden making the first batch of peppermint syrup.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Week 29 -- Flavored Syrups and The Zomedy Pre-Production

Two successful, though 
slightly different, mint syrups.
An unsuccessful attempt at mint syrup.
(It was cooked for too long.)
Most of our homeroom time this week has been devoted to the long-term projects that we started last week. Kaden, Jarod, and Eli have been making flavored syrups, while Owen is working on a written protocol (ie recipe) for the simple syrup that is the base of the flavored syrups. 

Chris Swinko generously offered to let us use herbs from his class garden. So far it's just a lot of sage, but peppermint and spearmint are on the way.

Lisa talked to the class about the importance of accurately documenting each step of the process to enhance repeatability. In the photo, Kaden is making notes on the sage syrup that Eli is developing (not pictured). 

Jarod works on a ginger syrup with help from Kaden.

The whole class movie project, "The Zomedy" is in the pre-production phase; principal photography will hopefully begin next week, but there may be more location scouting and set design that needs to happen first.
Rushil, Owen and Becca going through a plot summary with the class. 
Tentative Scene List (The red line separates Part 1 from Part 2.)

The pre-production team: Becca and Will (sets, props, costumes)
and Maddy and Rushil (script/screenplay).

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Week 28 -- POOT Banquet and Projects

This week was full of field trip and projects. On Monday we took the AATA bus to the POOT banquet. It was the first time some of the children had ever ridden the city bus. One of them remarked on how similar it was to the People Mover. Tuesday we went to the A2 Symphony (sorry no pics of that). The rest of the week most of our time was spent working on the long-term projects.

On Monday we went to the POOT banquet.
Will, is dressed for the POOT banquet, but is working on a step-by-step plan for making and marketing our carbonated water flavor enhancers.

Below the children are working in their project groups:

Kaden and Jarod are making a simple syrup for the Flavor project.
Sophie and Chris are making an abstract board game.
Rushil, Maddy, Owen and Becca are the pre-production team for our, yet-to-be-named zombie movie.