- The students really enjoyed being able to choose what they wanted to study. They all chose topics that meant a lot to them. This made the entire process more enjoyable. +
- Many students felt that they had all the time in the world and were caught doing other work more than once. δ
- Students chose whatever they wanted, but some failed to connect it to Latin. δ
- Some students took seemingly odd topics and managed to use Roman culture and myth to establish a connection. This was quite unexpected and interesting. +
- Students felt held back by previously expressed ideas (from years of schooling) and felt they HAD to do a presentation visual (PowerPoint; Prezi; etc.) δ
- Students turned in their correspondence with their CCs, but didn't use their CC for advice or peer editing. δ
- Students, again I suspect, from years of schooling fell into this "presentational" mode where they stood in front of the class and explained rather than discussed. δ
- It was easy to see who was comfortable with the free discussion. Students really worked to help each other during the final "presentation" asking clarifying questions. +
- I got a clear view of what interests students. These are things I can use next year for instruction. +
A few things are clear to me here. If (and I think I will) I do this activity again, I will keep as much freedom as possible. Students who are interested, as the latest FL research suggests, do good work. I would be hesitant to place restrictions on topics, although I feel some may be a good idea, just because the connections some of the kids made were so unexpected and good. I would hate to hinder that. I will be interested to see student responses.
I think I will want to do this earlier in the year. Some of the data I took in about who was comfortable discussing would be useful for further instruction. I also think it may be beneficial, if done earlier in the year, to tie an assessment to it (using student questions and feedback).
There are some things I'd definitely change. Most of these changes are based on the deltas I noticed. Once I get student surveys in, this list may be added to or change, but I definitely think I'll do these things next year.
- A set timeline with due dates for rough drafts and peer editing - I hope this would combat the feeling of having endless time and help students use each other as resources.
- Ban presentational programs - I am, honestly, so tired of PPT and prezi. Next year I think I will just require student to have a different visual.
- Require students to discuss Roman cultural perspectives, products, or practices. - I am on the fence with this one. Perhaps I would require this for younger groups. I want them to have freedom, but I want to make it useful to our class and avoid a "book report" on a topic.
- I would change the set up of the classroom for this - I would put the desks in a giant circle or perhaps in small groups while I floated between them. I would hope that this would encourage more discussion.
Student surveys are coming and will, more than likely, change some of my conclusions. I will update more once they come in.