Tuesday, 11 September 2007
Its Raining !!
The rain is falling again and suddenly I have some energy!Jo McLeay has posted about using Myspace as an assessment tool when asking students to write on character and it is a really brave and (when you think about it it)incredibly obvious way of engaging the kids where their heads are already at and applying their skills more broadly. Great idea Jo and I will be applying it myself, probably with year 9.
At the moment the work which is catching my interest the most is something I found on a website which asked students to nominate six items which would be put in a museum display to represent these times. I raised the idea with year 11s as they finished their work on Freedom of the City by Brian Friel, and we had some really great discussions where students who rarely speak in class actually were really engaged and contributed.
After starting with the obvious of mobile phones and ipods we moved to fibre optics,and then the digital divide. I spoke about my blogging and how Web 2.0 has changed the control of information flow and how we are now increasingly producers of our own content. We discussed climate issues, terrorism, fear, poverty, body image, obesity, drugs -wow all in one lesson! The kids left the room -eventually- buzzing and still coming up with more ideas. They then came to the next class after their assessment on the play, ready to produce an argument for six objects or symbols and are now making powerpoints to present an argument to the class. Hopefully I will include some when they are done as examples.
This has been quite galvanising after the issues raised by the play and they have been making connections back to work done in first semester on the Bruce Dawe poetry in Sometimes Gladness by themselves- yippee -and pointing them out to me. For example sport as a religion - Life Cycle. I have included some of the really excellent images about global warming that some of them have found. I await the presentations with excitement- they are talking about their own worlds and their own understanding of what is happening.
The second thing I am excited about is that I am getting the Year 9s to write about their week in the city by creating a Zine. They will do a paper one this time till I can find some appropriate non blocked software for us to do E-zines.The students had a fantastic time and I am getting them to work in pairs to produce their own reflection on the week with the audience of other students as their target. Should be quite a challenge for some of them and I hope to include one here when they are done. I have been to Sticky a small alternative shop in the laneway under Flinders Street between the station and Degraves St and bought some examples from them. These are alternative independently produced short run magazines with really interesting layouts and articles. The shop is the centre for the group which does art in the arcade there and performances. The whole area is a hive of interesting shops and young designers and artists trying to make a statement in a very individual and independent way.
I am still deciding which sites I want to write about for my last two reviews as I have found some terrific ones lately, but it is also reporting time and I have lots of marking so that might have to wait till the holidays!