For our upcoming STN practice this Saturday, I'd like you to think about what you and your team would like to improve upon. What are your goals for this next round? Be specific in what you want to improve upon. Do you want to be clearer in your movie trailer? Do you want to speak more slowly in your voice overs or anchoring? Do you want to get your shots completed faster to have the full time to edit? Think specifically about what you want to improve upon. List three goals for our next practice and what you will do to achieve them.
For students not going on the trip, give me an update on where you are with your 2nd quarter project.
Last week Friday was a day of highs and lows. Let's start with the highs first. Our very own Taylor Nishimoto took 2nd place in the school's spelling bee which means she moves on to the district spelling be later in the year. Congratulations Taylor! We also learned the results on Friday of our STN Challenge competitions and found out that both teams placed! Our spot feature team took 3rd and our PSA team won 1st place! Whoo hoo! Hard work really does pay off! Those were the bright spots on Friday. We definitely have some talented students in our class and they all deserved the recognition they received.
Now for the lows. I have to be honest when I say that I was totally and completely disappointed in our 7th and 8th graders last week. The spelling bee needed to be filmed so that the whole school could watch it live from the comfort of their own classrooms. We're the advanced media class and we're the only group that can pull that off in the school. That's a live production which can be compared to the morning broadcasts. We do that every day and last Friday shouldn't have been difficult to do. In the past, I've always given first priority to my 8th graders because sometimes the spelling bee was held during non media classtime hours. Most students love to get out of class and so getting volunteers to sign up has never been a problem.....until this year. When I announced it to the class and my 8th graders that morning, there were some initial volunteers that did not hesitate. But when they learned that it was during our own classtime, they then changed their mind and decided not to help. They chose themselves over the class. They chose to work on their own projects over the class. Now we did have Brent, Kaycee, and Nicole who stepped up and helped us out. For those three, I thank you for not thinking of just yourself and your work. Yes, you did miss out on a period of our classtime which I know is valuable, but you also got a chance to work on a live production that goes beyond our morning announcements. That's something we don't get to do too often and I appreciate that. Carter also volunteered when I opened it up to the 7th graders, but he had radios to do so I told him that that should be the priority. Now I do realize that I assign a lot of work in this class. I get that and so I understand why our classtime is so important, especially as we come to the ending of the quarter. Your projects are due soon and I'm thrilled that classtime is valued as much as it appears to be. However when opportunities like this arise, we need to remember why we took this class to begin with. It's not about the trips, it's not about the cool gear, or the laptops you get to use. It's because you value the media related opportunities that are provided to you. It's because you enjoy doing media projects and have a desire to learn more to maybe even prepare you for a career in media down the road. It's to provide you with opportunities that you would never get in another class.
This isn't the first time that I've had to almost beg students to work on something like this. I should be turning away students instead of begging. This makes me wonder why I struggle with finding volunteers for these media projects. This is a media class and you all had to apply to get in. I didn't force you to take the class. You chose to go through that process to get in to a MEDIA class. If you don't like doing media related things, then this is probably not the class for you.
For this week's blog topic, I'd like you to tell me why you signed up for this class in the first place. Why did you apply for media? What did you hope to get out of it? Are those reasons still the same reasons you are here today? Is this class where you really want to be? Registration for next year is just around the corner and you're going to have to decide again on whether or not to return. In the past it was a rare occurrence to have students drop out of media after a year. In the past year we've had three decide to leave, we lost a new student after my parent meeting and another new student lasted just one week. It seems like no one wants to do the extra work anymore. If you're returning to CKMS next year, are you planning on coming back to media? If so, I hope that I won't have to beg you to work on an extra media project. Write about why you signed up for this class, providing me with three reasons why you chose to be here. Then write an extra paragraph on what your plans are for next year. Don't get the wrong idea now.....I would like you all to return but if I'm going to invest a lot of my time and effort into this program and you, I want to know that you're willing to do the same. I'm positive we can continue to do provide wonderful opportunities for you
For 8th graders that are not returning next year, you're going to write that extra paragraph on what your plans are for media in high school. Are you going to continue media in high school? Why or why not?
So last week most of us were able to make it to our first STN practice on the Veteran's Day holiday. It gave you a taste of what the shortened time limit will be and it provided you an opportunity to work for the first time with your new partners. In one instance, we even had to make some major changes to two teams to accommodate the requirements of the contests. For this week's blog post, I'd like you to reflect on how your first practice went. Was is successful? Were there any problems to work out? Write about three things that you learned about the contest, your team, or yourself from participating in the practice session.
If you did not make it to the practice, write about the last time you had to practice at something. What was it for? What did you learn from the experience? Remember that I'm looking for a 5 paragraph constructed response. Good luck!
Being in middle school, teasing is bound to happen sometime. Whether you tease someone or someone teases you, at some point in your middle school years, you're going to have to deal with it. For some students, teasing is part of their every day life. Some tease to bully or put down others because it makes them feel better about themselves maybe because they are jealous of the other person. Some tease to be the class clown or the funny guy or gal. Sometimes students tease because of peer pressure. Friends in their group may pick on someone else and they feel pressured into doing the same because they don't want to be the person teased. If you're the one being teased, to deflect that negative attention you may tease someone else just to try to get them off your back. Teasing can also start off playful and fun, especially if you're with friends. Playful teasing can be ok as long as no one crosses the line and offends someone else. It's easy to cross this line and it takes a mature person to realize when this happens. Most of the time, middle schoolers are not that mature and feelings get hurt. If you've ever been teased, you know that it sucks. For this week's blog post, I want you to think about this topic carefully. When was the last time that you teased another person? Was it a sibling? Someone on the bus? A friend? Think back and try to remember how it happened. How did it start? Did you start it? Did anyone's feelings get hurt? How would you know if they did?
Think back to a time in which you hurt someones's feelings by your teasing. How did it make that person feel? How did it make you feel to know you hurt someone else? Describe that time and can you use that example to learn something from it? See if you can come up with three things to tell me about it. It can be about what you learned from it or how you could do something different the next time a situation like that happens, or a combination of both.
My favorite vlogger, Casey Neistat, has a good video on haters but it has some swearing in it so I'm not going to post it. Teasing is definitely a form of hating on someone and he summed it up nicely when he stated, "Haters are losers."
Now that we've talked about our possible side trip to NYC after STN this year and we got everyone excited, it got me thinking....what's your favorite trip to somewhere and why? You don't have to have traveled very far for this to count....it could even be a trip to the beach that your family took. For this week's blog, what's your absolute favorite trip you've ever taken and what are three reasons why? I look forward to reading your responses!
I currently teach Advanced Media Production, Beginning Media Production, the Yearbook Class, two Intro to Computing - iPad Classes, and I am also the school's technology coordinator. You can say I wear many hats here at CKMS!