I am a K-4 teacher with the Vancouver School District (formerly teaching in Surrey Schools). With 30+ years of experience and a bunch of improvements along the way, I still have so much more to learn. This blog is a way to help me process and share all that I'm discovering on my quest to be the best educator I can be.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
The Dreaded Projection Device
Now please, don't get me wrong, I love their curiousity. I love how they want to try to put as much of themselves in front of the light to see what happens. I love that every single time the light is turned on they are filled with that same excitement. EVERY SINGLE TIME!
I think I've done all the right teaching things too. I gave them each a fair bit of 1:1 time with the light to discover the cool things they could do with it. In addition every time I turn on the light they are allowed a bit of play time to get the curiousity out so we can focus on the actual lesson.
I want to skype with my class, I want to google hang out with my class but I'm worried that this fascination with the light will go on all year long. We'll be too busy exploring the light that we won't see who we are skyping with or who has left us comments on our blog. Ahhhh! What am I going to do?
After what I would consider ample time to play and explore with the light I decided to implement some rules. From now on the first time the light goes on each day my students have a minute or so to be curious in the light. But once that light curiousity time is over they must refocus on the task at hand, the whole reason why the projector light is on. If their hand (or head or any other body part) appears as a mysterious shadow on the screen after said free exploration time they are removed from the light's ray and must learn with us from a slightly different angle.
Am I being too harsh? Does any one else experience anything like this? I'm curious to know what solutions you have for this problem. As you can see by my photos, it's a real problem.
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This is hilarious. I can so easily see it happening in a primary classroom.ReplyDelete
Last year my students discovered the fact that the Talking Tom app had farting noises. I REALLY wanted to be the patient teacher who gave them all the time they needed to explore it and get it out of their system, but after two and a half weeks I decided, like you, that enough was enough. We needed to get on with it.
I think you have hit a wonderful compromise.
Oh don't get me started on Talking Tom and the slap in the face feature. I think what makes me laugh (or makes me want to pull my hair out) is that this was never an issue last year. And yes, I know classes change from year to year. This year I think this blog may be filled with many wonderful little stories just like this one. Quite a unique bunch of wonderful children I'll be teaching this year. I am quite certain that there will never be a dull moment. :-)Delete
My 3,4 and 5 year olds are also fascinated by the shadows they can make with the LCD projector. My Early Childhood Educator suggested we make a light/shadow center so they can explore on their own time.ReplyDelete
It will get better, hang in.
Thanks Angie. As I mentioned to Kathy above I have quite a crew this year. I love them already but I am very certain they will give me many wonderful stories to share. Thanks for taking the time to leave me a comment. :-)Delete
We do have similar classes!! Although mine is not fascinated with the projection light, it's other similar things. :) You've given your class time to explore and you've talked about the expectations. I think that's VERY fair to your students. This is a tool you want to use throughout the year without the distraction of the light. For most (if not all) this is new and very exciting. Maybe let them do some sort of puppet shadow play with their hands later on in the year if they're able to ignore the distraction of the light?ReplyDelete
Continue to have fun with your class! I look forward to all the exciting things that are still to come in your class! :)
Thanks Jenni and like wise I am really looking forward to getting to know your class this year too and seeing our two classes work collaboratively together. So many exciting projects on the go with my class, and quite a unique class it is. As I keep saying it most certainly won't be a dull year. :-)Delete
I hate to say it but on day 1 I just said NO to the finger puppets and dancing hands! Then I said they could have the OHP (overhead projector) in the cloakroom and play dancing puppets on that. No-one was interested and it died a natural death. I just painted it as being our learning environment and the fact that hands, fingers, dancing etc. prevented others from learning and meant lost learning time for us all and the kids were absolutely awesome from then on. I just gave a lot of praise for how awesome their self control was and so on, then we never had a problem.ReplyDelete
Great advice Kimberly. Like with most groups of kids I need to be careful with what battles I choose to fight and what battles I choose to lose. At the moment they are winning this one but I have found a solution that I can live with and they are happy with too. It is allowing me to win the battles that are more important to me for these students. And I'm hoping the novelty will wear off eventually. Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. KarenDelete
I found this post hillarious! My kids used to do exactly the same thing. They still do, on occasion! I laughed, as this is the stuff that reminds us to keep it real. It gave me a real sense of camaraderie - knowing there are other teachers living my life on a day to day basis all over the world. They will settle down. Talking Tom drives me crazy, and I have threatened to delete it so many times! Makes me feel like such a grumpy old teacher! Toca Boca Hair Salon is my latest nemesis. I can't really see the educational value in this app for them at 6 & 7 years old, but they ADORE it.
Keep up the great work and the fantastic blogging.
Thanks for sharing your story with me. Thankfully my class is showing signs of settling down, and I am able to access my resources available to me this week. That should help a lot too.Delete
The reason why Talking Tom is on my iPad in the first place is that last year I had a selective mute who would not talk at school. My hope was, in a private space, that she would be able to talk to Talking Tom and have him repeat her words. I typically have a reason why before an app makes it onto my iPad.
Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.
Karen, this is so funny, because it is so true! I team teach so we have 42 little bodies making shadow puppets. It will get better! We let them explore, give them time to adjust and now we have very strict expectations. The projector is a tool for learning, we do not make shadow puppets or stand in front of the light. If my students do they know they will have to sit at a seat instead of the carpet for that particular learning time.ReplyDelete
My kidlets get it too now, and once they've had their free exploration time I mean business when I see one of their body parts on the screen. I'm hoping the novelty wears off. Kristen thanks for taking the time to stop by. It is funny what our young students do and I think this year I will have many stories to share. :-) KarenDelete
Thanks for keeping it real Karen! Yes I know they are loving the light! Mine is mounted and harder to reach but standing on the bench they still try. It is all a learning experience isn't it!ReplyDelete
Oh so lucky you have your mounted. Actually I *think* we are making progress. They are so curious to see who has left us comments on our blog. They love seeing the new blog posts too. So hopefully it will continue to improve.Delete