Learning From/With Others

Yesterday, the BTA3O class received three new Raspberry Pi computers and a few students eagerly unboxed the devices and proceeded to set them up on an old analog TV, (Raspberry Pi includes HDMI video and composite video. Since we didn’t have any HDMI devices or HDMI-to-DVI adapters we went with the old tech) and almost immediately we got an error message.

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The best part of the day was watching the students attempt to problem-solve together.  This included using Google, swapping cables, trying different components, and talking it out. Unfortunately, it appears that it’s our display, (we’ll need something newer to make things work), but the process was key and I appreciated it.

In ENG3U, students are writing essays. I’m impressed with the quality and content of some student’s rough copies and outlines. They are able to show connections with Frankenstein, an appreciation for the novel’s themes, characters, and plot, and an overall understanding of essay structure. However, there’s always room for improvement.

Today, I distributed copies of a former student’s essay, (with the name blanked out), complete with my comments and the mark, (a 91/100) to use as a model for students. With it, students can compare the structure of their arguments, the support in their paragraphs, and the organization of their ideas, in hopes of creating a more robust final product.

The final copy is due on Monday, (November 11) and the final step will involve students reading and commenting on their classmates’ work. Again, an opportunity to learn and share together – and then hopefully the next essay will be even better.

I’m pretty psyched that my students are (for the most part) engaged and interested in going beyond the curriculum. It makes this whole teaching thing continue  to be awesome on a daily basis.

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