Friday, February 15, 2008

[TIPS] Amazing kids at PETE&C

If you attended the PETE&C conference this week, and did NOT get a chance to visit the student showcase, you DID miss something special.  PLEASE don't let this go by next year without stopping in to talk to the kids. You will be impressed and maybe even moved by the things they are doing.
I saw some second graders who took turns reading their lines that explained their project to me. They were nervous, but they were SO excited to be telling their story. I knelt down (on a very sore knee) to hear their presentation and to be able to hear them talk. What a joy it was.
I also visited some 5th graders who had done a WONDERFUL research project in which they tested the water at various locations along the river that runs through their town and recorded their findings., They also entered their data into a spreadsheet and made a graph to show the results. But, what was fun was when I pointed to a couple spikes in the graphs and asked them why they thought those marks were so different. It seemed like they hadn't thought of that before. For example, one chart that measured Chlorine showed a spike at station 5. When I asked why they thought that might be happening, they didn't know, but one said something like, "That's the Stratford plant near the Stratford swimming pool. Maybe that has something to do with it." Maybe. Maybe not. But I liked the way they put that together. Then the other said something like, "Then station 6 (downstream a ways) should be higher, too." Indeed.
I saw some OUTSTANDING flash animations, full of great wit and even some excellent references to news items. Does the phrase, "Don't taze me, Bro'!" mean anything to you? I can't hyperlink in this version of my email (Don't get me started!) or I'd link it to the video. Wait.. here:  Anyway, one student had a scene in his flash animation in which his character was standing out in front of a house, when several giant lasers focused in on him. He cried, "Don't Laze me, bro!" He said I was the first to catch the reference. Whether I was or I wasn't is not important. But, he obviously saw the video on YouTube and it's now a part of him. Youtube is more than just entertainment, maybe, eh?
I also saw a project that some Senior girls had done. I wish I had my papers with me (I'm at the cabin) and I could tell you their website. They were also quite good.
But, when I first walked in the door, I recognized Kristen and Hanan (I think). These are two of the girls I had met last May at the PA Rotunda during the Student Showcase. Remember this post? I didn't get to talk to them this time - except to say hello and welcome them to the show and remind them that I had met them before. But, I was able to talk to their teacher. He told me how my words of praise and encouragement last May prompted him to enter his students in this conference and how it meant so much to think that someone thought their work was special. I told him that I had blogged about his students and that I'd send him that link if he reminded me. (I was pretty involved with the event this year and my mind was a bit frazzled.)  I did send him the link and he just wrote to tell me about how they had printed it out and had read it at their board meeting. The kids haven't seen the article, yet, but he's pretty sure that once they do they will talk of little else for some time. I can't BEGIN to tell you how WONDERFUL that is to know. To think that my (genuine) enthusiasm for their work has mean so much. They don't know me from Adam. They obviously don't read this blog. But, to be recognized for doing such good work meant quite a bit to them. I just hope that they had a crowd that stopped by to hear them talk. I know that when I got back to their table they had already packed up - MUCH to my dismay.
Listen closely. Next year, if it doesn't snow and chase 3/4 of the crowd away, MAKE SURE you go in to see the kids in the Student Showcase. Talk to them. Let them tell you what they're doing with technology in class. Listen to how easily and confidently they describe their work. Feel their excitement. Watch their eyes light up when you tell them what a great job they did. Can you imagine the THRILL it would be to show YOUR work at a STATE conference and have people tell YOU that your work was excellent? Wouldn't you LOVE to be able to know what impact it had on them throughout their lifetime?
Don't forget. This is a MUST DO next year.

1 comment:

.mrsdurff said...

I was really sorry I missed them!