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April 19, 2015

Wake up, Sanjeev...

Towards the end of the year I was invited by the English teacher at Udavi to do a session for closing the year with the 8th graders with making their stories in scratch.I had worked extensively with technology with the 7th graders for Math and this reflected in their abilities to program and create their stories in English, but a similar project with the 8th graders had not felt complete. She offered 4 classes (of 1 hr 20 min each) to get something whole done. The schedule was very tight and we went over what were our priorities they were to support children in their organization, concentration, determination to get their work done and teamwork. The theme of their work was 'if I had wings' and we wanted them to be able to dream and see it materialize.

The days flowed beautifully and we needed one extra day for 5/8 groups to complete and we working with the 3 group of students who completed to look at what it would take to merge the projects into one class project. The children started to look at reviewing the code to merge the projects.

The next class we looked at the combined project of all the children. It was a 4-1/2 minute animation that had no sound. We started watching the animation. About a minute into the animation I had a Wake up, Sanjeev moment. These are moments that you have when as a teacher something tells you to sit up and take notice about something happening in your class. I realized something magical was happening. The children were concentrating and looking at their work and the work of all their classmates as one drama. Children from the generation that have seen television at it loudest, flashiest and who are often seen as having too much noise were in full concentration in complete silence. Luckly, my wake up call came early enough for me to take a few photographs and then go ahead a record 40 seconds of the magic.

Here is the video of the children watching their work...

and here is their work:

Here is a note on the process we followed in the five days and how it was one of the times when things just flowed and fell in place.

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