Emotion for Engagement

So its the end of the year and keeping kids on task is tough. So I finish every last 3 weeks with projects. The student choose. Some are doing water quality, others are making VandeGraaff machines, some are creating a solar panel charger for Iphones using many calculators.

But these two sweetheart girls do not have an idea of what to do. Earlier I had presented the idea of putting an electric guitar together thinking that someone (I had a group of boys intersted in music in mind) would bite. No one did. So I resuggested that these two girls do it because one of them plays fiddle and it was atleast musical. They reluctantly agreed. Then the fun starts.

At 8 am on Monday, my son’s electric guitar worked perfectly, just slightly out of tune. By 8:30 am, it was in many minute pieces. My pair looked at it bewildered.

All of a sudden, the pair came in upset. They heard from random students who watched us disassemble the guitar, that it worked perfectly before hand. This added pressure the the pair. They were under the impression that we started with junk and if they were not successful, then it was still junk. But knowing that something was destroyed specifically for this purpose, but some pressure on. Then the fun really began…

I told them an almost true story. My twin boys have been preparing a duet (piano/guitar) of Bruno Mars “Just the way you are”, to play at the final middle school variety show to profess their “interest” in a couple fo girls. Then I told my physics girls that the guitar that they were working on was my son’s guitar. Then I played the song on repeat for the entire class to hear while they worked. 

I also told them that I was not particularly impressed with the choice of girls that my boys had chosen (untrue), and that I would not be upset if the guitar never got fixed. This really jumped the inspiration. It was now their mission to ensure that middle school puppy love flourishes.


Too Moodle or Not to Moodle

To Moodle or Not to Moodle.

It was a pleasure to meet Educators of Pharmacey Tech’s from all over Canada at Oulton’s Business College yesterday. We had a nice chat about Learning Management Systems (Moodle). It fit rather nicely because the speaker directly before me was talking about how they are going to run a national Bridging program (a way to upgrade experiences Pharmacy Techs to the current legislation). Much of it was online and most of the instructors are practitioners rather than educators. There are some important but subtle nuances. We talked a bunch about social contructivism , the need for students to talk, the need for skills and info to percolate. The content is more important in a college situation than perhaps a public school.

The inpromptu video testomonial from two of my students was the homerun. Thanks Girls.

I had some great chats at the meet and greet Re Smartboards in the classroom and eudcation in general.