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Checking in on #20Time

A few years ago, I decided to bring in the 20Time project to my classroom.  Inspired by Kevin Brookhouser, I knew that it would be a project that would be beneficial for my students, and I also knew that they would appreciate the change in learning.

After leaving my teaching job last year, I was leaving the #20Time project in the hands of the teachers I taught it to.  I shared everything with the teacher who was taking my position, and I knew the project would continue.  At the start of the 2017-18 school year, I was fortunate enough to be asked to go into the school and work with a couple of classes to get them started on their project and teach them about what the project is, essentially.  After two classes with each group, I could see that there were some amazing ideas floating around and that we would see great things come from this group.

My participation in the year then became only through Flipgrid updates that I had them do for me.  They would create a short reflection Flipgrid video about where they were at with their project, and what they would be doing to progress further.  The videos were fun and informative and kept me in the loop.

Fast forward to May, and their teacher sent me an email with the date that had been set for their #20Time Fair.  I was excited to go and see their presentations and learn about their journey through the project, and what they had achieved.

One student took a trip through time with her cooking.  She taught herself how to cook, but wanted to focus on what cooking was like for women back in the fifties.  She was cute in her apron and told about learning how to make "meat and potato" style meals.  She even brought delicately decorated cupcakes for those in attendance.

Another student explored coding, and although he says he didn't see the greatest success, I was proud to see him reflect on his learning and the process.  Lessons learned along the way are just as valuable as the final product - this is what I tell students when I begin talking about the project in September.

Two boys learned a lot about engineering.  They decided to make an air hockey table.  Although it didn't work as they had planned, they still brought it in for their presentation and did a demo to show how it didn't work.  I liked that they talked about what they would do to improve it.  Iteration.  They are learning so much and they don't even know it! (maybe they do!)

The final presentation I saw was by two boys who spent their year exploring and attempting world records.  They submitted to Guinness to officially attempt to break records, and actually broke one, but hasn't heard back from them regarding approval yet.  Another, they did break, but it couldn't be counted as official.  On this day, when I was there, they were making an official attempt at setting up a chess board in record time.  They didn't get it, but it was fun to see them try. 

I am so proud of all the students this year who worked on the #20Time project.  I did see other presentations, and the one thing that stood out to me was that these kids were learning time management skills, organizational skills and all about how failure is okay.  Fail, iterate, try again.  Ultimately they are learning so many new skills, some that they don't even realize they are gaining, and then sometimes they can even help others while they are learning and creating...just like Izzy in the picture below!

Thank you to all students at Rundle College Junior High School in grade 8 for putting yourselves out there with this project to learn about what it takes and being okay with failure, persevering through iteration, and having the courage to try again.


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