Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Present me is very very happy with past me

Last year, I designed a project.  I turned my school into a small city, gave each of my student a map to exactly half of the city, and had them talk on their cell phones to give each other directions to points unknown.

It was HARD.  I had a print copy of the school's emergency exit map, but nobody seems to have a digital copy.  So I had to manually create that.  I had to assign street names to the hallways and store names to all the classrooms (the easy part).  I had to secure permission from the administration, the custodial staff, and all of the individual teachers whose rooms I would be turning into churches and ice cream stores and municipal government buildings.  (Not a problem, everyone said.  Go for it.)  I had to find a system for keeping all of those papers organized as I was hanging them up.  That was the hard part.  Last year I was one step away at all times from dropping an armload of papers all over the place and ruining everything.  But I got it all up in time for the project, and from my perspective, it went very very well.

Flash forward to this year.  It took me about 45 minutes--one planning period--to set the entire project up.  And this year I'm doing it with three classes. 

As I was agonizing last year over how to do all of these things, I made a lot of good decisions for longevity of the project.  I made all of my materials reusable.  I kept them uncharacteristically well organized.  I made the project's outcomes align with what I wanted the learners to know and be able to do.  We're going to call this one a lesson design win.


Ray said...

This sounds really cool and would love for you to share it with our Spanish teacher. What a great learning strategy.

Ganesh Balimidi said...

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