Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Filming 8B and others

I have just spent the last couple of periods finding and downloading movie files that my student Emily took of her classmates in Literature Circles last week. There are still a few more she needs to film and tomorrow she will begin to edit it, something I did on my own last year. I will help, of course. All she needs to do for the single period we have together tomorrow is view them.

It wasn't as easy as last year. There were some good discussions going, but there were problems with students who couldn't be bothered doing anything but socialise, students who were too shy to speak up, students who didn't finish their books despite being allowed to take them home, students sick for several weeks, students who had to leave class for music or SRC, and in one case, a student who left the school unexpectedly, and he was the one leading any discussions they had, and there were only two students left in his group, one of whom was up to Page 62 on the last day of Lit Circles!

Next year I may do some short stories for the first couple of weeks as practice (I did one this year) and hope that there will be something better than this year.

And still, from what I have seen on playback (and I did help Emily with a couple of groups that needed encouraging) I think we may have some good stuff there. Where we just couldn't get a discussion going I asked the students to talk about the book - why they had chosen it and how they felt about it at the end (in one case it was "I thought it would be a romance and it wasn't!")

Another thing I found on the card I took from the camera was a stack of Harmony Day files, with students and some staff talking about their cultural heritage (nobody asked me, which is one of the disadvantages of being in the library where no one thinks to go for these things! I did offer... Oh, well...). One of those talking was Vincent, the lovely boy who went off to a boys' school, leaving his teachers and classmates devastated. I took that to add to the Literature Circles movie, even though it has no connection with the topic, because his classmates will like to have it there, and so will I.

Thing is, I don't think anyone did anything with those Harmony Day files and I'd really like to see it on DVD, edited for next year and as a record of what we do at this school. Not long ago, a former student from one of our other campuses went on national TV to perform and told the whole country that she had been threatened at school by bullies wielding knives! This was to gain audience sympathy and votes, must have been, because she was a popular girl at school, we were all proud of her and nobody wields knives here; for YEARS the school was talking about one incident where someone came from outside with a samurai sword to attack a student. And that happened well before my arrival and I have been there since the late 1990s.

So having some film with kids talking about their backgrounds with a definite sense of IDIC (check out your Star Trek references) should tell you more about this school than some girl spouting nonsense on TV and to the newspapers.

Time to go home and prepare tomorrow's classes.

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