With the crazy end to term one we didn’t get a chance to talk too much about how learners could use the holidays for their projects. Also, when we came back to school , the first week was a shortened week and the second week I was away with the GR9’s on a camping excursion. This meant about 4 – 5 weeks had passed, since our last class meeting on 20% Time. I realised it would be important to have a session reconnecting to the project and affirming the reasons for why we were undertaking such an adventure.
Getting back on Track – Session 8
In order to guide the session, I made the slideshow embedded above. The main idea was to emphasise that the project was a journey and just undertaking the process was a worthwhile exercise . It was also understandable if you were feeling a bit overwhelmed by the amount of freedom and choice available. I pointed the learners back to their own curiosity as a compass. I outlined strategies and ways of thinking that I thought would be helpful. We then looked at short video clips of successful 20% Time Projects and proceeded to discuss and critique what we had seen. By the end of the session it felt like we had accomplished our objective of reconnecting to 20 % Time.
Reflection – Session 9 (12 May)
The focus of this session was to reflect on the progress we had made so far and to emphasise the importance of the weekly blog task. The learners were given a variety of tasks they could do that would be reflective in nature, the image of the whiteboard gives some examples. Quite a few learners carried on working on their projects with one group managing to build an impromtu video stand out of a cardboard box and scissors, then proceeded to film the first bit of a stop animation.
Mentor Focus & Timelines – Session 10 (19th May)
I started this session with a focus on the part of the project that deals with finding a mentor. We discussed some important considerations to keep in mind when trying to establish these types of relationships. The importance of being respectful and using the appropriate tone and formality. The concept of approaching people from different generations and how one’s approach might change was also briefly discussed. I asked the learners to post a more detailed timeline of their project in this weeks blog post. I felt it was important to shift our focus to how we would take advantage of the last two weeks of term, after exams. This time period and the 3rd Term is when the actual “doing” in the project would get done. If we failed to plan for that time efficiently now, it would signifigantly limit what was possible.
The main part of the lesson was devoted to watching the video below, where a young student described the value of mentor relationships and the process of how one goes about trying to create one. This video really is amazing for me because of the sense of ownership (agency) the student has for his learning. My mind wonders what a classroom would look like if I could empower my students to believe in themselves in the same way. The irony is, I can already see their potential is not particularly different. It’s just a matter of them seeing it too!