Work Place Study Blog

This Web Log will record my journaling through my workplace study.


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Tuesday, December 11, 2001
Where is does that road lead that is paved with good intentions? Well, this log was one of the paving stones. When I asked myself why I hadn't filled this out more often, several thoughts come to mind:

  1. Freud would have loved me since I tend to go overboard on some things. In this case, part of the reason was the reluctance to put anything down unless I felt I had something to put down. Well, time got away from me.

  2. I do a lot of thinking about what things mean and why but I never got into the habit of writing things down. However, when I have recorded my reflections I have found them very useful in the future. (The example of the OFA workshop comes to mind).

  3. I was busy! I took on too many commitments and some things I didn't let slide soon enough. One example is the middle school website. I maintain it because it is important to me

  4. I sometimes have difficulty prioritizing. For example, I'm working on this rather than completing my project for ED 664

Was doing the study worthwhile? Yes, in reading the paper I realized that I had picked up insights about how the students learned from each other, and that it hadn't matched my initial speculations. I also realized I was tuning into a community that I really had not realized existed, nor realized the extent of.

Tuesday, October 16, 2001
Interesting interactions. As I write this, my I&E students are trying to figure out how many sheets of tissue paper (507mm x 761mm) they need for each gore in a 10-gore hot air balloon if the gore is 106 inches long. Not only that, since I'm low on tissue paper, I can't afford to waste any so they also have to figure out the minimum amount required. This is difficult for them because of the shape of the gore. (Basically, it's a rectangle with a long, tapered triangle on each end.) The result is that students are working on the issue, but with varying results. The students are in groups of four.

The interactions among the students is interesting. I just had to talk to with one student about whether yelling at the others because they don't seem to understand his thinking is appropriate or not. However, the ones who are actively focused on the problem are going round and round about the numbers and drawing pictures on the board to try to convince the others that their vision is correct. Others who are trying to cut out their gore pattern are busy trying to figure out how to accurately measure it. One group just had to throw away their gore pattern because the measurements had the correct numbers, they were just on the wrong line! I have a suspicion that learning will be permanent.

Friday, October 12, 2001
Interesting day. With everything going on it's been a little hard to stay focused. I was frustrated with my Multimedia Class because they were basically playing around and I'm having trouble finding enough time to do adequate planning or conceptualization. This project with Amy has really thrown the class into a loop also so things are all out of order and I'm playing catch-as-catch-can. ARRGH! Well, I told them I was frustrated. One kid popped off so I asked him to leave the room. Boy, that really quieted the class so we could talk.

I started off with imaging and the need for them to understand imaging technology if they were going to do anything on the web or be able to use what they were doing later. They agreed they had all seen cruddy pictures on the web. So, I suggested that they build a website as a class that would explore the imaging technology. In the process they would also learn more about how to manage webs as well as learn more about collaborating on a project together. They seemed pretty amenable to that, so I set them too it. I told them they would have to figure out how to open the site in FrontPage and start. Well, that was an issue, but one kid recalled how to do it and he started a chain reaction with the other students. I'm really trying to remove myself as the focus of questions so I referred the kids to other students when they had questions. As expected, that worked quite well.

The kids seem to be getting into the project as they were able to take their information and put it in the website. I'm struggling with assessing the different capabilities of the 7th and 8th graders since the 7th graders struggle more. I will decide next week what they will do on Thursday when I am at KEEP.

I don't know which log this belongs in, but this sure seemed appropriate.

Sunday, October 07, 2001
For my work place study, I will actually be studying how my students learn the things we don't teach them. In other words, what sort of community we have. I have discussed the basics of what I will be doing and the issues of conducting interviews with the students with my principal so that he is aware of the plans.