So I have had the privilege to attend the NC GAFE conference this week to learn about all of the amazing things Google Apps for Education has for us to use in our classrooms. The keynote speaker, Kevin Brookhouser, talked about a really innovative project he does with his classes each year called the 20 Time Project. It's really innovative and really excited, I'm so jazzed to try it in my classroom!
Essentially, the idea was based off of the 20% time policies at Google and 3M in which employees of the two companies can propose to explore a question or interest and receive funding; they are able to explore this interest for 20% of their time at work. At 3M one such project, a failed project intended to create a super-adhesive, resulted in the glorious Post-It note and at Google Gmail was developed! It sounds like this could be a really exciting opportunity!
In his classroom, Brookhouser gave the students free-reign and allowed them to pick a project based on any subject, whatever they wanted. At first, his students felt restricted by the traditional "educational contract" between student and teacher wherein the teacher tells the student what to do and he/she does it, which was obviously violated when Brookhouser refused to tell them what to do. After a failed brainstorming session, Brookhouser decided to do a Bad Idea Factory, essentially an anti-idea brainstorming session. Surprisingly, from that Bad Idea Factory, students ended up coming up with great ideas that led to fantastic 20 Time projects, like one student who said it would be a bad idea to pretend to be in a wheelchair for a month. After his peers said that it was actually a good idea, the student wheeled around for a full month and realized that his campus was not wheelchair-friendly, so for his 20 Time project he built a sidewalk that connected two buildings that were previously connected by a precarious dirt path.
It all sounds like an opportunity for chaos and wasted time in the classroom, but in order to keep students accountable, Brookhouser decided to have students write up a formal proposal, create an elevator speech (30 second explanation of their project), and do a weekly blog post about their progress. It seems like there would be a lot of front-loading and extreme planning, but it really sounds like a great opportunity for students to explore and problem-solve in a way they just can't do in a traditional classroom experience.
There were SO MANY amazing projects that came out of this idea that I have decided to do this in my classroom. I'm struggling a little with trying to figure out how to tie it to my content area, but for now I think I will use this with my Level 3 students and have them write their weekly blog posts in French. We shall see!
Welcome to my blog where I share tips that I have learned as a young teacher with little to no resources seeking to create a relevant, rigorous French curriculum.
Click on the link to find resources that are useful in the French classroom!
My name is Mme Probst and I am a French teacher who, after years of struggling to find resources without a text, decided to share my resources with the world so that other teachers didn't have to do the same.