One Summer Thing

There have been a number of discussions and ideas generated lately about how to get to know your students in September.  That’s always a challenge when you have a new group of students or a new mix of students or a new school or…

As I thought about the concept, it reminded me of a post that @mrspal had made a while back about "One Thing".  I can’t think of a thing more revealing about a person than what they keep, either physically or in your stack of memories.  My immediate thought would be around a show and tell of one thing that the students "kept" as a result of their summer activities.

But, then I thought a little deeper about this and thought that perhaps this could be extended digitally.  What if the students had to share one digital photo of something that they would keep.  Not only would that reveal something about them, but it would be a chance to do a little pretest of their computer skills to determine what they can do, what they forgot over the summer, or even better, what new skills they have learned over the summer!  You might be pleasantly surprised.

But, the discussion always turns to one of equity.  "What do you do with the student who doesn’t have a digital camera?"  It’s a good question and one that does need consideration.  Of course, they might also have a camera in their cell phone….

But, this was Megan Palevich, after all.  She had really run with the concept of "My Childhood Community" and "A Multimedia Childhood Tour".  As I think about this, it isn’t too big a leap to to think of the concept of "Our Class’ Summer Highlights".  All that’s needed is access to Google Maps Streetview and a fond memory of some place that was significant from the summer.  It could be something as simple a putting together a movie using Animoto for the younger students to an introductory activity to your class wiki where the image is put on a page and the students write to explain what’s in the picture.  If you’re going to be blogging as a writing activity, wouldn’t this make an inspiring and engaging first post?

Right now, the outstanding memory for me was visiting and presenting at the Google facility for the CSTA Symposium and I did already blog about it!

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2 thoughts on “One Summer Thing

  1. Hey Doug!
    I have to tell you that I got a little teary when I read this! You are so kind and so thoughtful! I love how you took the one thing project and applied it to summer…brilliant! This gives students an opportunity to share something about themselves from the summer that they are comfortable with…they own that memory or “thing”. I think I’ll have my 8th graders use this as their first blog post, and then it will really make a connection with them when we do the One Thing photo essay at the end of the year. Now I just have to think about what my one thing is…..
    Have a wonderful rest of the summer! ….and thank you for being such a great thinker and connector! I love having you in my PLN!
    :o) Megan


  2. Now I would have thought that YOUR “one thing” would have been driving around with your son in your fast, dream cars. However, that’s just the thing about selecting “one thing”, isn’t it–each person’s choice is unique, unpredictable, and telling.

    Thanks for taking us through your thinking process. Must agree with Megan–you’re a great person to have in a PLN (getting a PLN is probably my one thing this summer).



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