This blog entry is a little late, but  the past couple of weeks have been a whirl wind. I think I have spent more time away from school on the ski hill than I have in the classroom!

A couple weekends ago I spent a long time re-working an assignment for my grade 10 Canadian History course. I wanted to add a small multi-media component to this unit task as a bit of a run-through for the major assignment.

In partners, students are to research a World War Two battle and analyse it’s importance. They will present this to the class using PowerPoint or Prezi. I added a short video so the students would have some experience going into their major assignment. After a bit of quick research, I decided to have my students use Voicethread for this element of their task.

I was really surprised at how long it took me to revise the assignment, I originally thought I would just be adding the video component. But, the week before reviewing the assignment, our History department had been visited by Garfield Gini-Newman from the Critical Thinking Consortium, so that was also running through my mind as I reworked the assignment, and planned the next few classes for my students (knowing that I would be away for about half of them!). Because my students would be doing a lot of independent research over the next few weeks, I decided to spend some time teaching them how to critically evaluate websites. I included the critical assessment of websites a part of their unit task. (I collect these tomorrow, so we will see how this went.) The classes spent on assessing websites proved to be a much more valuable exercise for my students than I had expected.  It was interesting to compare websites that at first glance seem legitimate, but after further investigation, students realized the sites were not reliable. They were picking up details and elements that I wouldn’t have expected.

The most time consuming part, which I guess isn’t really a surprise, was re-working the rubric. It must have been a while since I built one from scratch – man does it take a while!

Tomorrow, I will get to see how the boys are doing on this assignment…it has been a struggle to move forward with this class, when I have been missing it so often. Now that ski season is over, I won’t be away as often, so I’m looking forward to seeing what they have produced!

(I hope this entry makes sense…on top of everything else, I’ve spent the weekend writing report cards!)