Now that the school year has ended …

I was trying to gather up some of the links from projects that my students did this past school year, now that they have left for summer vacation and another school as they make the big leap up to a combined middle and high school.

But looking at the list of these projects, and thinking of the ones not even listed here (such as prompts and exploration over at The Electronic Pencil), I realize how much they did while with me in writing class. I just completed the web pages for the Claymation and Digital Picture Book projects because the pieces seemed scattered all over the place and I wanted to bring them under one webby roof.

Here are some of our shared adventures this year:

I think my push into using more technology to showcase their work was worth it, although it inevitably led to troubleshooting, work-arounds, and other headache-inducing periods of time. Still, as a collection, I think this list shows my students as creators of content and creative thinkers.

One of my regrets is that Youth Radio did not take off this year and there are a variety of reasons for this. But we saw, and see, the possibilities for podcasting across the world for young people and we need to figure out if it is worth re-launching the project for next year. Any ideas?

Peace (in sharing),

  1. Hi Kevin,

    I had the same problem. I had work scattered all over the place at the end of this year and spent a day last week putting every type of video we’ve ever made into a Tumblr blog. I’m going to use it to archive ALL video projects from here on out. Tumblr works great because it’s super easy to embed video. It also offers an archive page that makes it easy to access video by date/year. Here’s the link:

    As always, thanks for sharing Kevin! PEACE

  2. I love your students’ stories.
    How did they go about doing it?
    Can you give out some details?

    And tumblr does seem interesting.

    Any word on Space 3?


  3. These projects are incredible, Kevin. I’d like to know more about the logistics of doing all this. Organizing the kids to they manage to accomplish the projects. when you do them, how much of your class time is actually spend on digital projects, where you do them – is iti n your room, or does your school have a computer lab that you use. The nuts and bolts of such work. I’m so impressed!
    Thanks for sharing

  4. Lynn
    We do not have a computer lab at our school. It was dismantled a number of years ago to make room for a regular classroom (mine, in fact). But our principal has worked hard to get grant money for rolling laptop carts and now we have three (the third — a Mac cart — arrived in the weeks before the end of our school year).
    I teach writing to all of our sixth grade classes and I have been working to find ways to make meaningful integration of writing into my curriculum. Our tech work comes and goes, depending on the unit that we are doing. But we do quite a bit of podcasting through the year, as that is a natural extension of writing with voice.
    The end of the year is when the digital book project and claymation comes around for us, and it is a struggle to find enough time to finish up projects. One student completed his digital book project on the very last day of school. Yikes.

    I find my role as a teacher is to show them some of the tools, and then let them go at it, with me wandering around, helping them here and there and encouraging them to explore. And to share with others what they have found and learned. Reflection is important, and I work that into almost every project.

    I am always amazed at what they do and how much tech captures their interest. I don’t want to use the laptops for surfing for information. I want them to be Creators. That simple idea is really what drives so much of my instruction with them.

    Thanks for asking about it.


  5. Thanks Kevin. You said a lot with this sentence: “I don’t want to use the laptops for surfing for information. I want them to be Creators.” That moved me to a different understanding of what you do. I’m looking forward to trying some things with my new seventh grade class in the fall, and I will remember that. Thanks again.

  6. So writing is all you are responsible for? I am jealous! I could do so many more creative things if I only had to teach one area. I get so bogged down with planning the art/music/drama/PE/IT/math/writing/reading/science/social studies that I find none of them are covered exactly as well as I would like.

  7. Lisa
    I am lucky, even though the schedule has its drawbacks. It’s difficult to do more cross-curricular integration when you are teaching one subject and there is a pretty strict timeframe (45 minute classes) that don’t allow for a project to be extended right in the middle of an inspired moment.
    But, overall, our focus on individual areas gives us more depth into our subject areas, we think.

    Yep — that sentence says it all, I think.

    Take care

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *