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Back 600 years ago...

posted Oct 27, 2010, 5:25 PM by Michael Reilly
I'm imagining one of the those minstrels from the middle ages, like the guy in the picture.  They would go around to villages, telling the tales of heroes and villains (now I can't get Monty Python's "Holy Grail" out of my head).  Why bring this up?  That's where some of our students are headed these days, and that's a good thing!

Some kids were really stuck on how to interpret "The Odyssey", in their personalized epic story.  While most of the group loves music, and are actually talented singers, for some reason they wanted to do a movie.  Maybe the shiny new cameras were distracting, maybe it was peer pressure.  But when their main movie director was going to be out, they were paralyzed.  If I'm teaching them anything, it's to be able to adapt, to re-plan!

And then this guy came up: what about a modern epic told in song?  After all, the first one was a poem, and people told stories in song for centuries.  They were so excited, going VERY old school!  And so many other kids are excited too: we have board games, room-size interactive games, movies, interactive text-based video games, movies, robots, and more and more and more!  

Is it all perfect?  Absolutely not.  I still have a couple of kids who can't seem to get motivated, even with choice.  We still have some issues with students not paying attention to detail, and getting lost in their interests (not horrible I guess).  But it's cool to hear teachers walk in and say "Wow, this is really working."

We hope to speak to some experts regarding some professional development tomorrow.  We also got to visit the NGHS Studio today.  I'm so optimistic that if we can pool our resources, share our successes and challenges, then we could really be on to something here.  Sure, our district just own #1 Urban by the Broad Foundation, but I'm happy to say we're not satisfied!
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