Today, I came out of my fog a little more. I spent the day teaching. I taught 2 8th grade classes as part of their visit to the Upper School. It was fun because I partnered with my Math colleagues. We both do an activity with polygons and it blends nicely together. So that was fun.
The best thing I did today, though, was teach my Web Design class. I won a BreakoutEDU kit from an EdCamp last spring. I had been planning to use it for a while, but hadn’t had time to set something up. Finally, yesterday, I took the time to put something together. It took me most of the day. If you don’t know what BreakoutEdu is, it’s basically like those break out of the room things, but breaking into a box instead. So there are lots of locks and you have to come up with clues that are the combinations to those locks.
The premise I used was that a bunch of squirrels wanted help with their web site. They’d gotten something started, but it didn’t really work well. So the class had to figure out how to fix what was wrong and/or answer some tough web design questions. I took a picture of the box and sent it to my students this morning:
By lunch, a few students were talking about it. One student said they thought I’d accidentally sent them an email intended for somebody else.
It was a tough challenge. I originally allotted half the class period, thinking I’d give them 15-20 more minutes if needed. They took the whole class period–and needed some hints. They all want to do it again. One student told me as I was leaving school that it was one of the best classes she’s ever had at school, and she’s a senior who I know has had some good classroom experiences. In the pictures below, you have to note how intense many of the students are. Everyone participated. Everyone was equally committed to figuring things out. It was very cool to watch.
So I left school feeling pretty darn good. What I do for a living really is important and meaningful.