CDAT News‎ > ‎

Saturday Morning QB, Sept. 3

posted Sep 5, 2010, 5:10 AM by Michael Reilly   [ updated Sep 5, 2010, 5:25 AM ]
I'm assuming people know the inference of the Saturday morning QB.  If not: people are called a "Monday morning Quarterback" if they second-guess the previous day's decisions of their favorite NFL team.  It's along the lines of "hindsight is 20-20", that anyone could see the obvious after the fact.  This blog is in the same category as that, reflecting on the lessons learned.  I'm not necessarily second-guessing, I'm hoping it's little more than that at times.  On to the week in review:

I thought the week's ending with Labor Day would be a good definition of irony (check definition 2a on the link).  But, as I discovered, I misuse the word on a regular basis.  One of the keys of project-based learning is the relationships.  In many classrooms, there is a relationship where a teacher demands, and the students submit.  In some classrooms, there is teacher direction, and student participation.  In our room, we're looking for two-way dialogue and constructive criticism, and the students are NOT used to that, especially 9th grade students.  So the fact that the week celebrates labor is not ironic, but appropriate, because we labored together to develop improved understanding and communication this week.

The week coming up should be a demonstration of the lessons learned by the teachers:  students will receive much more guidance and detail, as there was too much freedom too soon.  Oh well, I'm an idealist.  Some students will continue with the freedom given, as they've run with it.  Our class will be putting out the online school newspaper this week (sneak a peek at the development:, no one else knows!), and two groups have been putting together some cool video games.  For those who have not thrived on the freedom and flexibility, they will still have many choices within their work, as that is a huge motivator.

In 3 weeks we take our first "common assessment", to measure our students in CDAT against traditional students.  We're optimistic based on the first test.  Not all performed at a high level, but it showed promise.  The students are  well-aware that their performance is the key to changing the way they learn.  Yes, their learning results dictate their learning choices.  We believe they can do it!