Sunday, October 25, 2009

I have begun my tech project with my senior class. The librarian and I have worked up a lesson on using the database SIRS. It requires the students to go much beyond the basics. Exactly happened what I thought would. The students "listened" attentively to the tutorial. The students were shocked to learn that they were not going to be allowed to "do their own thing" and, instead, had to complete an exercise applying the information in the tutorial. Well, they really did not know what to do. They had not actually been paying attention. They thought they would just pretend to listen and then do their thing. This is exactly what I thought might happen because all of them have used SIRS before for a health education project.
As a result, the exercise took an entire other period. Also, some students had to start over because they did not read the directions carefully. They chose the wrong article on which to answer the questions because they did not use the entire title. Anyway, they are now done with that exercise, and we are returning to the computer lab on Monday to begin their own project. I have already given them a list of 30 topics from which to choose, and they have chosen their partner. Several students I had to pair up because they had no one in particular they wanted to work with. One student was openly annoyed with me because I would not let her work by herself. I told her working with people she doesn't know is something she will encounter in the work world. Of course, I also had to ask her to spit out her gum that she was chewing while complaining to me.
I think the students are going to be surprised by the rubric I present to them on the powerpoint presentation requirement. Some have done powerpoint presentations for history, and the teachers pretty much allow "whatever." The rubric I'm using I received from the librarian, who got it off the Internet. I have reworked it to my own liking, which was a tedious task.
I am looking forward to seeing what the students come up with; hopefully they will have fun and learn in the process. If all works out, I plan to keep this project in my curriculum.


  1. Sounds like a great activity for the students. That is very handy to have a librarian on site to help with the assingment. Good luck.

  2. You have been busy. I am sure that Patty is loving working with you on this assignment, as now the students will be trained on the correct way to research materials using SIRS. It doesn't surprise me that the students just thought they could breeze through with what they already know. They seem to think that they know everything about computers already.

  3. Wow! That sounds like a lot of work! I commend you for taking on such a challenging project. And to add it to all of your other curriculum that you need to teach as well! Amazing. I find that was my challenge as well. It was difficult to teach what I need to, along with adding my project into the mix.
    I do understand you wanting the student to work in pairs, (I make my students as well), but at the same time I feel bad for that student who does not want to have a partner. I know what a challenge it can be to work with a partner, especially in high school, when their self-esteem is low. Anyhow...just something to keep in mind!