Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's ERIC week

About eleven years ago, I cobbled together a unit I named ERIC.  We study four ancient civilizations, Egypt, Rome, India, and China concurrently.  The unit has an oral presentation component where each group presents their findings to their classmates, parents, and other interested friends.  This year, attendance has averaged around 85-90 people.  The presentations last roughly 50 minutes.  This is a huge block of time for seventh graders to fill.  They write the entire presentation, design all the visuals, costumes, blocking, etc.  My fellow core teachers and I provide broad guidance, but, the presentations are all kid productions.  I never cease to be amazed at how much seventh graders actually know about how to do things.  This year, students have filmed and edited movies, created executable flash animation files, collaborated on powerpoint presentations, used document cameras, choreographed dances, created delicious foods for cooking demonstrations, and exhibited amazing creativity in so many ways.  Their facility for technology is jaw-dropping.  They use Flip cameras, still cameras, document cameras, etc. with  such ease.  My job seems to be making sure the technology is available to them.  We have one group which even needs two projectors!  The energy level is high.  The quality of the presentations is stunning.  It is a very fun week.

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