That was my unhealthy obsession last week, and my main project of the Veterans' Day weekend. I spent a total of about 15 hours setting things up, but I'm already feeling the benefits of that effort. Here's a basic rundown of my planning so far:
Tuesday Nov 7 - Thursday Nov 9:
- review previous years' assignments, videos, quizzes, etc. -- what worked? what didn't?
- sketch out the mini-objectives that lead to the primary objective (Analyze the structure and message of the Declaration of Independence) and secondary objective (Explain the contributions of Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, the Continental Congress, etc. in the development of the Declaration of Independence)
- revise the end-of-unit project to combine elements of past years' iterations with this year's project formatting/grading system
Friday (Veterans Day)
- figured out a way to use an old in-class activity as a video lesson
- sketched an outline of lessons, activities, assessment for several days of class time
- worried on-and-off for an hour about "what to do with students who zoom through the whole list in 2 days?!"
- got over it (mostly)
- produced the "Context and Story" video as a voiceover slideshow with Screencastify
- finished scripting a lesson about John Locke to replace an earlier video from 2015
- produced that "Big Ideas" video on my laptop with Office Mix
- built the sequence of assignments into a Schoology folder with 'student completion' to prevent students from doing tasks out of sequence
- wrote an email to special ed support staff about how this system will/should work
- while writing that, I realized that the order of lessons should be changed to diversify students' activity experiences
On Monday I wasn't quite ready to implement this new unit, so I used this class as a transition day: an overview discussion of the "Road to Revolution" unit we wrapped last week, recording responses to several pre-assessment questions about the Declaration of Independence, a little paperwork.
Yesterday I pulled the trigger at last. Students got copies of the Declaration and the end-of-unit project assignment: rewriting that document as a song, poem, or prose with the same structure and messages. I previewed their tasks of the next few days to "know what you need to know" for a successful project. Then they had about 15 minutes to open laptops and get started on the first task.
If my main computer were working properly, then I could scan and display examples of the assignment pages. Grrrrrrrrrr. Maybe later. It's been glitchy for about a week, so I'm using my school-assigned Macbook.