Wednesday, June 5, 2019

On Task and on Topic


The girl was sort of watching a video. Her computer sat on a nearby desk. She leaned over, watched something, paused the video, and then sketched something on her paper.

Upon closer examination, I saw the video was instructions for how to draw a gun. And that's what she was drawing on her paper. I moved on.

The boy was watching an episode of Ellen. I caught a glimpse of the show topic. I moved on.

A second boy was watching a basketball game.

Me: "What should you be doing right now...?"

Seventh grade English. Their end of year projects were to create a slide presentation (as a group) and a "creative component" (as individuals) on a topic about protest and activism.

The first girl's topic was Black Lives Matter. The first boy was watching an interview with the Parkland survivors. Other topics included #MeToo, women's rights, the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and human trafficking.

Clearly the second boy had been goofing off.

Having computers in class for research is powerful. But it's so easy for them to get off task. I was rather impressed that these kiddos were for the most part actually working. And they were finding some interesting stuff to include in their presentations. (Their presentations in front of the class will be their final.)

I'm sure the fact that this was a co-taught class and the other teacher was there might have helped the situation.

21 comments:

  1. Interesting project they're working on. But kids will always find a way to goof off, won't they?

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  2. Based off their topics, sounds like they are very informed and interested in what's going on. That's good. :)

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    1. Their topics were assigned. Most had no idea what these things were before they started their projects.

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  3. Never had access to computers like kids today, you probably would have caught me watching movie trailers. :)

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    1. If not whole movies... (They watch a lot of TV and movies.)

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  4. Unless it was a baseball boycott, he was way off task.

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  5. Maybe he was protesting his inability to play basketball because he was in class?

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    Replies
    1. Don't give him any ideas. He would jump all over that excuse.

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  6. Computers in the class add so many dimensions to the teaching/learning experience. I see them as assets, but also as distractions. I don't envy the teacher's job today.

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  7. Two out of three on task/topic is not bad. I never had to deal with the Internet in my classroom because the school was located so far out in the wilderness. There were many days when it would have come in useless, however.

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  8. Ugh, presentations. I'd rather take an exam.

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  9. Goofing off? Oh, heaven forfend, say it isn't so!!

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  10. I wonder how I would have fared in today's school system. Computers and cell phones would have been such a distraction to me.

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  11. A basketball game? Who is playing now? It's summer.

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  12. I bet some of their presentations are going to be great with the topics some chose to do. It is hard not to stay off sites that I shouldn't be on when I'm working. The draw is hard for me as an adult, I can imagine its very hard for the young.

    betty

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  13. Gotta have a goofball in every group must be an unspoken universal law.

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  14. Did they pick their topic of research or is it given to them. Yep....computers can grab your attention in other ways then just research.

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    1. It sounded like their topics were assigned.

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  15. Ugh, computers are a mixed blessing when it comes to school work. Our house would be so peaceful if it wasn't for technology...

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