- The Photojournal project that my kids worked on has concluded its first few phases-- they have turned them in, the Desktop Publishing kids have built their mockups, we've sent them to Ms. Morris's classes for review, they've responded, and we picked a winner of the bid. After all of those steps, the winner (only one guy!) got to solicit applications, pick a design/project team, and now, they are actually building out the site. I can't wait to share (via Twitter and in this space) the final project.
- At Cheryl's school (East Bay Arts), they host the Great American Smokeout, an event designed to get kids (and adults) to quit smoking. My Public Speaking and Desktop Publishing students are writing and filming PSAs (mostly using iPhones and editing in WeVideo) to show at EBA in a couple weeks. The Desktop kids have also created print ads/flyers (on Google Draw) for them. I will share some of those in this space when they're done as well.
- The Desktop kids are also at the very beginning of a new design/proposal cycle to make an online literary magazine for a Creative Writing class at Highland High School near St. Louis. Thanks to Patti Swank for helping to make this possible.
- The junior English class is finishing their reading of Looking for Alaska. If you haven't read Cheryl's blog about her experiences in class with LfA, you should do that. They are also into about a million other things--brain science, good learning practices, how to take notes, imagining characters complexly, writing a personal narrative about something they're good at-- which will have to be fleshed out in a separate post.
Anyway, a couple days ago, I was feeling kind of doldrum-ish-- that kids weren't learning anything, nothing I was doing was working, etc. A student (who is not in my class) came by after school to ask me to look over one of her papers, and she asked me what all we were doing in class. I started listing off the stuff I just shared above, and her eyes got wider and wider and wider.
"That's so freaking cool, Thomasson. Can I just be in your class?" ( I wish.)
Sometimes I forget how much new stuff we're actually doing in our classes. Sometimes I forget that being out on the edge of educational pedagogy-and-practice-Land means failing. A lot. It means doing things that don't work, or that don't work the first time, or that students don't really get. I have to keep telling myself that's okay, and when I forget to tell myself, I am grateful that I have Cheryl and Karl and all of the other #coflip AllStars to remind me.
So thanks. Truly.