Welcome to Ayrit's Weekly WACO Update. I've been thinking of a way to reach staff members, without overwhelming your inboxes with tons of emails. My goal is that I can put all the little stuff I'd like to share throughout the week into this one spot. That way, you can use what you're interested in, and leave the rest. As always, I'm open to feedback. Please, let me know if you have suggestions.
Need to know
Looking at the calendar for the end of the year. I just wanted to take a minute to point out the remaining +1 days. We'll plan on "3rd quarter" +1 classes running through the 24th of March. That means that we'll have to get students signed up for their 4th quarter +1's by the first week of April. If you could come back from break with an idea for your enrichment course. I'll get the sign-up put together that week, and we'll have students register the last week in March.
If you're in need of more ideas for an enrichment class, you can refer back to the notes from our class discussions (linked below). Based on student suggestions and past sign-ups, anything where students are outdoors and active would probably be a safe bet.
I'm trying to get a head count on how many people at the high school are using Google Classroom in some capacity. If you wouldn't mind taking the very quick survey linked below about your Google Classroom use (or non-use), I'd appreciate it.
Also, I'm looking to get into a classroom or two where students are working on projects. I'm interested to see how other teachers facilitate and assess project work. If you are working on projects with your students, I'd love to stop by and pick your brain a little bit.
Tools To Try
I purchased a little gizmo a couple of weeks ago called the X-Lapse. Basically, it is an egg timer that you put a camera on, and over the course of an hour it will spin in 360 degrees while capturing images. The purpose is to take a moving time-lapse. You can use a camera, or just a smart phone with an app like Time Lapse Video Editor Pro. You can see an example below:
I'd like to set this up in the middle of a room when students are working on some sort of a hands-on project. The busier the room, the cooler I think the video will be. If you have a project coming up that you think this could work for, let me know, and we'll set it up.
What I'm learning
I've been doing some more work this week on what it looks like to teach and learn in the 21st Century. We were directed to this wiki in one of my classes, and I thought it presented a nice example as to what 21st Century pedagogy can look like.
Creativity in the classroom continues to be a major topic in my program. One example of creativity that seems to be mentioned a lot in pop-culture today is the remix. Because of widely available editing software, remixing has become a very popular way to express creativity in the digital age. Although currently popular, remixing is hardly a new idea. In his documentary, Everything Is A Remix, filmmaker, Kirby Ferguson, argues that remixing is something we've always done as a culture, and that the act of copying or altering someone else's work is the first step in developing new and novel ideas.
Do we allow students enough opportunities to be creative in school? It's hard to talk about creativity in education without mentioning Sir Ken Robinson's classic TED Talk, Do schools kill creativity?
That's it for Ayrit's Weekly WACO Update No.3. I hope you found it useful and interesting. If you'd like to discuss any of the ideas, articles, or tools featured in the letter further, my door and inbox are always open. Cheers.