Students designing a solar powered charging station used Sketchup to help them with their design. The automatic door group is using Arduino programming software and power tools to build their prototype. Several groups are producing videos and others are preparing presentations. All students are required to demonstrate the four ASFG learning goals, but students were engaged throughout the
Throughout this year, seniors have been working hard to complete their senior project. This largely independent project is motivated by each student's interests and supported by senior mentor teachers, the upper school librarian and the senior project website. Throughout the project, students reported on their progress using blogs as described in a previous post. In addition to their obligation to blog, students chose to use a variety of technology throughout their projects.
process by the ability to choose their focus and determine how to approach the problem. It is wonderful to see so many students choose to use a wide variety of technological tools in order to achieve their goals.
advisory sessions. Students are also using Blogger this year to reflect on their mentoring lessons and share their growth. Recent generation rivalries prompted a post about the idea of houses within the school similar to Hogwarts. Check out Yizel, Ana Paula, Steven or Miguel's blogs to get a better understanding of how 9th grade mentoring is engaging students in the school culture of caring and service.
Seniors in AP English class have recently read the book Grendel by American author John Gardner. It is a retelling of part of the Old English poem Beowulf from the perspective of the antagonist, Grendel. The novel deals with finding meaning in the world, the power of literature and myth, and the nature of good and evil. Students used Glogster to create an interactive poster based on a chapter from the book emphasizing the astrological connections to the characters and themes throughout the book. They identified heroic and philosophical values as well as including sound and video in their posters. See the rubric to learn how this project was assessed or click on the following links to interact with posters from chapter 6 and chapter 2. Students were engaged in learning about analyzing and interpreting text for their interactive posters.
online using the same powerful tools as the desktop version. Learn more about Mexico's independence by reading the news from September 1829 as written by ASFG Juniors. This project motivated students by engaging them in quality research and collaboration.
In 9th grade Spanish classes, students develop an understanding of different types of text. They learn how to interpret, analyze, identify and produce different genres, journalistic styles, scientific and historical texts. Students are expected to read outside of class and come in ready to discuss and work with the text. In class, students answer questions using Google forms to determine whether the readings were completed and to assess the level of understanding. In addition to multiple choice type questions, there are long answer questions that provide information for the teacher to assess writing skills and focus teaching on misconceptions. Students are motivated to read their text in order to do well on these assessments. See an example assessment here.
In AP English Language and Composition students are using NowComment. NowComment allows groups of students to read and have an online "conversation" about a piece of writing. Every week, groups read a magazine or journal article and discuss it among themselves, commenting on the argument(s) and the rhetorical strategies within the piece, focusing on concepts recently studied in class. Students ask each other questions and clarify misunderstandings about the piece, coming to class prepared to discuss, write about, or take a test on the piece. By reading the student comments, their teacher is able to gauge their reading comprehension and see which concepts are giving them difficulty. Below is a screenshot of a recent conversation. NowComment engages students in learning by providing a different way to contribute to class conversations and demonstrate understanding.
As a final project for Creative Writing, students worked in teams to create a short film. This project allowed students to apply their learning about narrative time techniques and film script formats and components. Writing a script and producing a short film requires a lot of planning and revision. Students used mind maps to organize their thinking and created a document with the following elements:
● Log line (trama)
● Personajes (personajes)
● Tratamiento (resumen)
● Escaleta (esquema)
● Pitch (promocional)
Students continued to develop their characters and plot in their first and second drafts before they finalized their script. Each team created and shared a folder with their teacher with their mind maps, drafts and other resources. The final submission is a teaser trailer for the film, a final script and their finished short film. Students were inspired by the freedom to flex their creative writing muscles to create funny, romantic, and suspenseful films. Enjoy!
Students in 11th grade Literatura Latinoamericana wrote a short play for their final project of the quarter. Before beginning to write their scripts, students brainstormed
about problems in Mexico such as corruption, bullying, obesity, etc. As a group, they chose a problem to investigate and learn more about the issues causing or contributing to the problem. They presented this information and received feedback before beginning their script.
Students collaborated on writing and editing their script using Google Docs. They chose and prepared their costumes, sound, music and other staging elements to present on June 4th. This creative freedom motivated students to engage with current issues and writing to produce impactful plays. Students even designed a poster to promote their play and draw attention to Mexico's problems. Finally, they self and co-evaluated their work using a Google form. Learn more about these issues by reading student scripts about obesity and the effects of violence and corruption.
Punctuation is an important part of writing. Each symbol has a specific meaning, and the rules are different in English and in Spanish. Recently, in a Spanish creative writing class, students wrote a fictional composition paying close attention to the punctuation they used. They were required to identify and explain at least ten different types of punctuation in their composition using footnotes or the comment feature on Google Docs. Students were motivated to improve their punctuation and enjoy writing during this project. See an example of student work or watch his writing process in the video below. The video was created using the Draftback Chrome extension, which uses the revision history to create a video.
In addition to the Cold Coffee bulletin, the Journalism class maintains a Cold Coffee website. The website hosts the weekly video bulletins, club and college information, and more. In fact, under the More tab you will find a link to information about submitting an announcement. That's right; the Cold Coffee staff want your input. Teachers, student clubs and administrators with announcement needs can submit video or a request for Journalism students to create video for a future broadcast.