Observation 10/12/2015 World War I Blogging from the Battlefield

Today in Mrs. Wilson’s American History II class an interesting thing occurred. For the bell ringer assignment almost none of the students could answer the questions.

The reason for this was later discovered when Mrs. Wilson said she was out the previous day (Friday). This demonstrated either

1) how little students learn from a substitute or

2) that the substitute was not very good.

A couple of students were asleep (who can blame them, waking up at 5:30 or earlier and in class at 7:15) and I was able to wake up a student for the first time.
After some initial technology issues (the videos would not load) the lights were dimmed and students began watching a short documentary on World War I.
As soon as the lights dimmed more heads were on the desk and a lot of students did not pay attention.

The video was good, informing the class about the new technology used in WWI such as: chemical weapons, airplanes, and tanks. I actually answered some questions for the class such as what mustard gas was and what it did to soldiers (my great great grandpa was gassed in WWI and lived with lung impairment for the rest of his life).

The actual assignment for the class was pretty cool: create a blog post from the perspective of a World War I soldier.
Mrs. Wilson assigned each student as being either a German, English, or American soldier and expected the students to write like they were stuck in the trenches.

The laptop cart was in use today with over 30 windows laptops inside it it had more than enough for the class of 23.

Some time was wasted in students actually signing out and getting their laptop, booting it up and logging in, but I am not sure how it could have been better handled.

At least 6 laptops out of 30 did not work and those students lost more time on working on the assignment.

Once everyone was settled and actually working the room was deathly quiet and very strange. Usually there is a lot of horsing around and talk among friends but today almost everyone was working diligently.

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