Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Independent Novel Projects and Catch-22.
Instead, we compromised on a project to take us through to June 15 (my last day of school). With about 3 1/2 weeks to work with, I didn't want to read the remaining novel that was designated for the class (Alas, Babylon. No, I haven't read it). And since some of them had already gone and read Catching Fire, that was out as well.
So, we decided to do an independent novel project, with almost all of the work being done in class. I managed to get 8 laptops from the Media Center to use in the classroom each day, so that the students can post on a private forum in response to questions, prompts, etc about their novels. They're also being required to respond to each others' posts, so it should be a nice, interactive way to read their novels of choice-like mini book blogs!
The requirements for their novels is that it needed to be something of a reasonable length. Since the writing and posting portion of the daily work will only take half the hour or so, they will be getting almost 30 minutes of reading time per class period. That's a lot! I also pointed out to them that we read The Hunger Games in three weeks, and Ender's Game in 3 1/2. Their books must be fiction and can be in any genre. We've read a pretty heavy science-fiction diet in class, so I am assuming they're going to branch out from there.
The last few days will be spent creating a Photo Story using a program by the same name. The program allows you to integrate images, music, narration, etc to create a mini-movie. On the day of their final, we'll eat breakfast and watch everyone's reports on their books. :) It should be a wonderful day and a great way to end the year.
I have also decided to participate with them. I very much believe in modeling for my students. I usually bring a book with me to school...even though I never read it, to show them that hey, I really DO read outside of school. I also update my back whiteboard with the titles and authors of books I am reading, or recommendations.
I'm hoping that by the end of this, they all walk about with a few more books to read in the future, and the knowledge that no matter how old you get, reading and exploring literature is important.