Innovation Hour gets a big boost from Educator Innovator

This blog represents a turning point for 20 Time in my classroom. The funding I was awarded, as well as the implementation of status reports changed the tides of student projects and progress in my class.

From December 2014:

I opened my email yesterday and there was a great surprise waiting for me. I was awarded an Educator Innovator Learning Challenge mini-grant. It is not the whole sum I applied for, but substantial enough to help my students realize some of their 20 Time dreams. The money will help us purchase website domains for some teams, pay book publishing fees for some teams, pay for some speakers to run some workshops on public speaking and purchase some video equipment to put together our 20 Time Showcase. It is an exciting time for my students!

In an effort to check in on team progress, I developed a status report for the teams to complete. This was partly inspired by a worry for some teams and their lack of movement and a desire to have a pulse on all the teams and the great work they are doing beyond the walls of my classroom. This turned out to be an important idea. Below is a link to the status report form.

20 Time Status Report

The status reports gave me a chance to open communication with groups adrift, as well as help other teams with the next steps in their visions. I helped one group complete their paperwork to enter the Verizon Challenge for new apps, I facilitated another student getting a complimentary table at a local Christmas Bazaar to help her fledgling business and pushed another student to finally dig into his idea for a school Frisbee Golf course. I am amazed and inspired by the great work they are doing! The status report also allowed me to help some students redirect their project focus. Any time you embrace group projects, there is always the chance you will have some students riding other student’s work. I gave students the option of completing the status reports together if everything was working out or individually if they were having issues. A couple of teams chose this option and I had to step in and mediate. One team broke into two smaller projects and another changed the final product they will work towards. It is not easy to have these discussions with students, especially the ones that are not participating, but they are necessary with projects like this.

Read the full blog post “Mentor Texts and 20 Time Update” at Strawbabies and Chocolate Beer

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