Saturday, May 16, 2009

Speed-dating and the Quest for tha D.

Hey ya'll,
So, the end of the year has not allowed me to keep you up to date. We rocked our way through Greece and Rome, working on independent research projects about a god/goddess in the pantheon. Then, each student "became" their god/goddess and created a myspace profile, which highlighted the research they found and got them to make connections between the stories by thinking about which other gods/goddesses would be on their top 8. They also got to try and figure out a playlist for their god/goddess and focus on a theme/mood that fit their personality, it was an awesome project -- I'll post some student work when I get a moment.

Then, we speed-dated! Yup, that's right. Call me crazy (and lots of ppl did), but I was looking for a way for the kids to role play and really work on their memorization skills and also learn something about some of the other gods and goddesses, so I came up with a speed-dating lesson where they tried to find a match with another god, based on what they knew about their personalities from the myths. What they learned: greek gods/goddesses are all somehow related to one another, Zeus slept with everyone and had a hard time at speed-dating because the goddesses all knew his game, Aphrodite and Eros both got questioned about why they were speed-dating A TON (because shouldn't the GOD and GODDESS of LOVE have an easy time finding love?!? not so much, i said), and Artemis is a lesbian, or at least that's the inference that they made about her preference.

Now, as the year ends, I'm turning my attention to the D, and tryin to get my students there. We've been doing some grassroots fundraising -- bake sales, student-helpers in teachers' classrooms (the students get paid and donate their "salary" to the project), letter campaigns, but the reality is that we need lots of money in a short amount of time. Here comes the dilemma... even though I can't really afford it, should I cover the cost of the trip to ensure that it happens? My heart and soul is invested in this, but in my first year of teaching, I realize that I needed to start fundraising in September in order to fully do this right. Hindsight is 20/20, but this trip is still ahead of us...

I'm hosting a fundraiser on May 30th (NYC folks, get in touch!) and am hoping that one of the 4 grants I wrote this winter will come through to take care of a chunk of it. The kids have really gotten themselves motivated to take charge of a fundraising project (each student has a fundraising goal and had to design and implement a project on their own... though I assisted in trying to make those projects happen), and are beginning to put together the content of their "zine". We did a Garage Band workshop with Beat Mining Productions' CEO/Producer Roamy Fils-Aime, and are trying to work other media into our expressions as we speak.

I really hope this trip happens. My students are great. They keep telling me "Miss, we got this." It's amazing how sometimes a meeting with them when I'm stressed and exhausted will completely rejuvenate me.

Holla at me if you have fundraising ideas, or wanna learn more about the work we're doing.



ACHG said...

Lo, I can be feeling completely burnt out, and then I read your blog and voila! I realize I am NOT the only one trying to do wacky, innovative things with my students :) We've just finished writing essays a la NPR's "This I Believe" and will be trying to create podcasts as we read "Death of a Salesman" in the last 3 weeks of school. Hectic doesn't even begin to describe this first year, does it??? Much luck on the fundraising--I hope it all comes through!

Ms. History Teacher said...

Hey lady! Sounds like you've been having an exciting last few weeks :)

I was considering having my kids make MySpace/Facebook pages for their final research project of the year (they were trying to elect an ancient leader into the Hall of Great Leaders), but I wasn't sure how to go about doing that in terms of logistics. How did you do it? I ended up just having them make podcasts, and they turned out really good! But maybe I can try the FB thing next year!

Let me know if I can help you out with your fundraising endeavors...

casa da poesia said...

"Negema wangu binti"