Saturday, April 30, 2011

Have a second?

Tech Training for Teachers

I’m currently on a tech committee in my district looking to update our tech plan. One of the things I have been passionate about is the way training takes place. I firmly believe that if we want teachers to be comfortable using new forms of technology in their classes, we need full time technology integrationists. The powers that be like the idea, but want to know a little more.

I propose that 5.0 Technology Integrationists (TI) be added to the district. There would be 2.0 for the High Schools and 2.0 for K-8. The remaining 1.0 Technology Integrationis  would be in charge of coordinating the programs for the district and supporting the other 4.0 in the various buildings in the district.

I see this as a two-year plan to help support the teachers in the district. This is where I need your help. What ways have TIs been used in your district? What specific tools should our TIs focus on when working with staff? I would like to have certain areas to focus on during this two year commitment. What worked and what didn't work for your district. I really want this to be a great experience for the students and staff in the district. Any help you can provide would be awesome.  Please leave a comment below and pass this along to others who might have great ideas to share. Thanks for helping this nerdy teacher out.

- Nick

The Epic Romeo and Juliet Project Update 13

The Epic Romeo and Juliet Project Update 13

Subtitled: Fin~

Here is the link to the movie clips in case you missed it. Please tweet your thoughts using the #VMGPS tag so we can follow them. TIA!

I prefer to write about things when they are fresh in my mind. The movie and post movie discussion ended about 20 minutes ago and I just wanted to share my thoughts. 

This has been the best lesson I have ever been part of in my 10 years of teaching. Words will never be able to fully express how proud of my students and the students of Van Meter I truly am. 

The bumps in the road and the hiccups in filming were to be expected, but the kids pulled together and made a hell of a movie that I will hold dear until my retirement. To be honest, I might show that version to future classes as an example of a Romeo and Juliet production. 

I only had about a third of my students there because of a variety of sports and other programs, but the ones that showed up brought friends and family to enjoy the experience with them. We talked about what worked and what didn't. Kids shared some behind the scenes stories that were silly. I had 25 or so students engaged in Shakespeare on a Saturday! 

The only part that was disappointing was that I only had one other district person attend the movie. (Thanks Mr. Walsh!) I emailed all of my building admins, my entire department, staff members in the administration building (including superintendents) and the entire school board and only one showed. I knew some couldn't make it and they emailed me, but I wish they would have been there. Not for me, but to show the support for the students and the work they did. Maybe next time. 

I would like to end this series of posts on a positive note though. If there was one thing I would like other educators to learn after following this crazy adventure, it's that you should never give up on a dream lesson. There will be naysayers, obstacles and time constraints, but if you stay committed, amazing things can happen. Dream big, aim high and follow through and you can do anything you want. 

Now, what am I going to do next year...

- Nick

The Epic Romeo and Juliet Project: Update 12

The Epic Romeo and Juliet Project: Update 12

Subtitled: The Premiere

If you click the picture below, you will be taken to the site that is hosting our 5 Acts. A very special thanks to Steve Geresy for taking the time to upload those for us. We will all be watching the world premiere at the same time, so please feel free to drop a comment in this comment box or send us a tweet using the #VMGPS hashtag. We would love to show the kids your thoughts and support.

Thanks to everyone for making this possible.


Friday, April 29, 2011

The Epic Romeo and Juliet Proejct Update 11

The Epic Romeo and Juliet Project Update 11

Subtitled: The Long And Winding Road

It is the day before the premiere of the Epic Romeo and Juliet Project Movie. This project started out in my brain driving home almost a year ago. Tomorrow, I see my crazy plan come true with the help of the great students of Grosse Pointe South, the wonderful students and staff (Shannon and Shawn) of Vane Meter High School and the tremendous support of my PLN. 

I had some major technical problems today as I tried to set up and test the auditorium for Skype. My school laptop crashed and my school profile needed to be reset. I spend both of my free periods and my lunch trying to solve the problems and I still needed to stay after school for an hour or so and make sure everything worked )Thanks Shannon and Steve for the Skype help). 

I'm not sure how to feel about everything. I know that I'm beyond tired and I owe @JenniferPro some type of amazing gift for putting up with my stress while I put together this project and edcampDetroit (Next Saturday May 7). I want to say I am proud of my kids, but I feel like that word does not even begin to do justice to how I feel. I've seen something take place over the past 3 months I have never seen in my teaching career. It is something that is not possible to quantify on any state exam or bubble test. 

Saturday, at 1:30 pm EST, the premiere will take place in Grosse Pointe and Van Meter. I would like to invite you to watch the movie with us and let us know how you feel. When I receive the embedding codes for the 5 acts of the play, I will put them in a post and have it go live at the same time we start watching. Feel free to leave comments and tweet us your thoughts. Please use the #VMGPS hash tag so we can see what everyone thinks. (If someone knows how to archive a hash tag, I would appreciate any help you could give me.)

Thanks again to all of you for your support and I can't wait to show off what these amazing kids accomplished. 

- @TheNerdyTeacher

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Everything I learned about education, I learned from Goonies

It has been too long since I have written a movie post. I’ve been tossing the idea around for a little while and Goonies has always been a favorite of mine. I plan to tackle “Can’t Hardly Wait” shortly afterward, but wanted to get my thoughts on Goonies down first. I will also be doing a Zombie post as well, but I’m not sure if I can wait until October.

This Goonies post was the brain child of a couple of nerds who wanted to write about an awesome movie. Josh Stumpenhorst and I loved the movie and wanted to share our thoughts with all of you. Please check out his Goonies post on his blog, Stump The Teacher.

Let's get going!

Rosalita: [in Spanish; subtitled] My God, I'm in a crazy house!

Rosalita was such a funny minor character in the movie. She is taken on the tour of the house my Mrs. Walsh and Mouth was used as a translator. I could easily talk about the importance of a solid Spanish program at Astoria High, but Mouth shows that he has a great handle of the Spanish language and chooses to use it in more mischievous ways.

I think the important part of this scene is why Rosalitia is even there. Mrs. Walsh wants the house clean from top to bottom before they clean it up. It begs the question from the audience, “What’s the point?” The house is going to be torn down, so why bother? I feel that many people view education the same way.

Many people have the attitude that the system is fine the way it is. If it’s broken, it’s too broken to fix. If it’s fine, leave it alone. Mrs. Walsh was not satisfied with “just leaving it alone.” It was her house and she wanted it to look its best even as the wrecking balls approached.

As educators, school is “our house” and we should strive to make it the best it has ever been at all times. Even when things seem like a mess, that is when we need to dig down deep and make it the best place for students to be until the very end. Although Mrs. Walsh might have seemed silly to care so much about a house about to be torn down, educators could learn a valuable lesson about dedication to a job well done.

Andy: Watch this.

[Data's father takes a camera out of his jacket and proceeds to take a picture but the film falls out. Andy starts laughing]

Andy: He's just like his father.

Data: [in Chinese] That's okay daddy. You can't hug a photograph.

Mr. Wang: [in Chinese] You are my greatest invention.

Data was the man. The actor, Jonathan Ke Quan, also played Short Round in The Temple of Doom, was two awesome movies in the 80’s. Data was the tech geek of the group. He was always thinking up crazy inventions. His Slick Shoes and Pinchers of Peril saved the Goonies when they needed it most. Now, he had trouble telling the difference between a candlestick and a stick of dynamite, but that has happened to all of us.

When Data is hanging just above some pointy spikes, thanks to the Pinchers of Power, he comments that everyone has always made fun of his inventions. I think this is the most relevant to education today. I work with teachers that have snickered and giggled at my various uses of technology. They have done so for years. When people where still using overheads, I was asking for projectors. I took the giggles in stride knowing that these tools were going to come in handy one day.

Data never gave up his passion for innovation. His loving Dad fostered data’s love for innovation. Administrators need to foster this same type of innovation in the teachers in their building. With a strong support system, anybody can do anything. If you are a teacher in a building without the support, keep pushing. You never know when your “Pinchers of Peril” will save the day.

Francis Fratelli: Tell us everything! Everything!

Chunk: Everything. OK! I'll talk! In third grade, I cheated on my history exam. In fourth grade, I stole my uncle Max's toupee and I glued it on my face when I was Moses in my Hebrew School play. In fifth grade, I knocked my sister Edie down the stairs and I blamed it on the dog... When my mom sent me to the summer camp for fat kids and then they served lunch I got nuts and I pigged out and they kicked me out... But the worst thing I ever done - I mixed a pot of fake puke at home and then I went to this movie theater, hid the puke in my jacket, climbed up to the balcony and then, t-t-then, I made a noise like this: hua-hua-hua-huaaaaaaa - and then I dumped it over the side, all over the people in the audience. And then, this was horrible, all the people started getting sick and throwing up all over each other. I never felt so bad in my entire life.
This is one of my favorite scenes in the movie. Chunk is at his finest when telling this story. Whenever I think about this movie, I think of this scene. Comedy gold!

What does it have to do with education? Everything! If you eliminate the crazy circumstances, we have a kid that just wants to be listened to. He is known in the group for telling outrages lies. Whether it was Michael Jackson coming over to his house, or eating is weight in Godfather’s pizza or telling the police that little green men where terrorizing Astoria during Christmas, Chunk always had a story to tell. Why does he lie?

Kids often lie for two reasons. They lie to avoid trouble and they lie to get attention. Chunk needed some attention and his lies where ways to connect to people. This scene reminds me of, from an education standpoint, is that educators need to spend more time listening to kids instead of talking at them. I know I’m guilty of this from time to time. When I see this scene, I remember that I need to just listen sometimes and I will really hear what they want to say.

Sloth: Hey you guys!

Communication folks! When was the last time you shared something with another teacher you thought was awesome? Any of us do awesome things and we are afraid to share them with each other or others in our own building. We should not be afraid to openly communicate the things we are doing with other teachers.

It is also ok to come swinging in and save the day like Sloth did on the Pirate Ship. Sometimes it is ok to be “that” teacher. I have had to learn to become comfortable being the “go-to” guy for tech stuff in my building and district. It has lead to many great opportunities for myself and other teachers. The next time you want to share something with others, just title your email, “Hey you guys!”

Andy: I can't tell... if it's an "A sharp" or if it's a "B flat"!

Mikey: Heh, if you hit the wrong note, we'll all "B flat!"

Andy: I hit the wrong note. I'm not Liberace you know!

I think that too many of us get down on ourselves for not being perfect. I tend to stress out over things that did not go perfect. It’s ok to aspire to having the perfect lesson plan, but it is not ok to freak out when it doesn’t go exactly as planned. Andy was trying to play the right notes and everyone’s life was at stake, but with the support of her friends, she came through in the end.

Educators need to look to their peers more often for support when things do not go as planned. Find out what went wrong and fix it for next time. The perfect lesson plan does not exist. Everything needs to be tweaked from year to year because the kids change from year to year.

We tell kids to learn from their mistakes and try harder next time. Educators need to take that same advice when working on class materials. As long as we are dedicated to improving every time we try something, everything will work out in the long run. I will never claim to be the Liberace of education. Those who do, are the voices that should be taken with a grain of salt. 

Mikey: See! That's what I said! You always contradict me... I know what I was saying. It was on the history of Astoria and these are the rejects!

Chunk: Kinda like us... Mikey. The Goonies.

Being a teacher these past few months has really made me feel like a Goonie. Outside my friends and family, there seems like little support for teachers. The Goonies should be a source of inspiration though.

Educators could easily give in to the pressure of big business and let them take everything educators have worked hard for, but, like the Goonies, we can fight back. Teachers are getting up every day and fighting the good fight for the kids. If the history of this nation has taught us anything, it’s that the “rejects” always have their day. The Goonies, mostly through back-story, were not treated with much respect and had to work hard for everything they needed. As educators, we need to keep fighting for what is best for the students and us. At the end of the day, we might just find that bag of jewels to save the day.

Mikey: Don't you realize? The next time you see sky, it'll be over another town. The next time you take a test, it'll be in some other school. Our parents, they want the best of stuff for us. But right now, they got to do what's right for them. Because it's their time. Their time! Up there! Down here, it's our time. It's our time down here. That's all over the second we ride up Troy's bucket.

Mikey: Goonies never say die!

The Goonie spirit is something that every person, educator, student, everyone, should cherish. The never say die attitude is something that I live by in my professional life. I get frustrated and want to quit, but gut it out. I expect my students to work through problems and I need to as well.

The Goonie spirit is something that all people should have in them. Times are tough around the country and world right now. Many schools could give up and let charters take over. Many teachers could give up and find jobs where they will not be criticized. However, I see the Goonie spirit in these educators because they will never give up. As a teacher, I know that I will never say die.

Thanks to for providing the exact quotes I needed.

Check out Stump the Teacher for his thoughts on The Goonies in our classroom.

Monday, April 18, 2011

It's an Easy Choice! My Review of EasyBib

Full Disclosure: EasyBib gave me a full edition of their product for the purpose of reviewing their new Notebook feature.

I have been an English teacher for many years. Part of the curriculum of my school district is the Freshmen English Research paper. The kids would spend a few weeks putting together their paper using note cards that were filled with the information they found in books and websites.

Each student needed at least 50 note cards that address the pros and cons of their chosen topic. My teacher made me do the same thing 15 years earlier in my English class. When I talk to veteran teachers, they say that is the way they did research papers 30 years ago. Not much has changed when it comes to research paper organization, until now.

I have used for years and have directed my students to use it as well. Even though I was forced to memorize every period and quote mark for citation, EasyBib is a much easier way for students to cite their work for papers. Since MLA seems to constantly change the rules, it is nice that EasyBib takes care of those changes for the user. Knowing how many students use their product for research, EasyBib has designed a system that should help make research a little easier for students and teachers.

Once students have their accounts (This will be discussed later), they can create a new project. Actually, they can create multiple projects. This is great for students who are taking multiple English classes like I did in college. For practice, I created a Freshmen English Research Paper Project. 

From here, a student can go Bibliography page to enter in their research materials. I have entered in some random websites to show what the Bibliography page can look like.

This has been the same excellent tool I have been using for years. I have used it as recently as a month ago for an essay for my grad classes. I just plug in the website and it will give me the correct citation. Recently, EasyBib has added a cool new feature that will help students in their research.

EasyBib has added a Website Evaluation Tool to its site to help users understand which sites are reliable to use for research. The have evaluated the top 50% of sources cited on EasyBib to determine their credibility. If students need to drill down to understand where the data is found to analyze credibility, they provide a document with visual examples of 9 websites (3 that are credible, 3 that are in the middle, and 3 that are not credible), to show students the differences between such sites. Here is their video that explains the process of the Website Evaluation Tool.

I decided to have some fun and place some random websites in the cite box and see what would turn up. is a credible site to use according to EasyBib. This is good to know for my students who might want to research steroid use in baseball. may be credible. The Learn More button explains that some of the information may be biased. This is a good bit of information to consider when evaluating sources. Some kids assume that information on a website must be true because people wouldn’t lie on the Internet. This would be a good teachable moment for students who have websites turn up as a maybe. It forces them to dig a bit deeper to see if the parts they want to use from the website are biased or not. EasyBib does help users ask the right questions if a site users cites has not be evaluated.

I plugged in and was saddened to see EasyBib had not evaluated it. ;-) There is an Evaluate tab that can be clicked to help the user evaluate the site.

The guidelines cover Author, Publisher, Bias, Citations, Accuracy, Design, Reproduced, Credible, Alternatives and a Notes section. Over the years, I have taught students to look out for these very things when looking at a source. Now, EasyBib has put together a series of questions for each category for users to ask themselves if they come across a site that has not been evaluated yet. If users still have questions on what to look for, EasyBib provides an example using

When in doubt, model it for the students and that is exactly what EasyBib does for the user.

Source evaluation is truly one of the hardest parts of the research paper process. I spend countless hours going over the ins and outs of source evaluations with the students and will still get “Jim Bob’s Opinion on Everything” as a credible source on Global Warming. I think it is important to note that this tool should be used to support a strong class lesson on website evaluation. On its own, the tool might not be helpful to younger students who do not have any background on website evaluation. EasyBib’s website evaluation tool will help provide support to what is covered in the classroom.

EasyBib’s site breaks down citations for websites, books, newspapers, journals, databases and 53 other options. EasyBib can cite information using MLA 6 and 7 formats as well as APA and Chicago/Turabian styles. Each citation also will show the user what it would look like in a parenthetical citation as well. Chicago style allows for footnotes as well. This is just another handy addition to EasyBib's tool chest. That is great for essays that require in-text citation of sources.

Once the information has been entered, created bibliographies can be emailed, shared on Twitter or other places with a provided hyperlink. Bibliographies can also be saved as Word Docs and Google Docs! In a world where collaboration is becoming the norm, it is great to see that EasyBib makes it easy to share information from one person to another.

Now that the students have all of the important and credible sources for their research paper, it’s now time to organize it all.

I love what EasyBib has done with their Beta Notebook tool. There are many different aspects to it, so I’m going to break it down one element at a time.

On the far right is the Outline tool. It is a very standard tool for research organization. A user can create the different main parts of the their paper and fill in the details as they need them. I started with an Intro, Con Paragraph and my First Pro Paragraph.  From there I added sub points to each main piece as I found more information. The part I love about the Outline tool is the fact that I can drag my notecards over to the outline and place them where I need them.

Simply put, I love them. I decided I was going to move away from the paper cards at the start of this year, but I wasn’t sure what I was going to do to replace them. EasyBib’s Notebook program helps tremendously.

By doubling clicking anywhere on the Notecard portion of the page, a new Notecard will appear. A user can also just click the New Note button at the top left of the page.

The New Note box will appear and a user can enter in all of the important information that is needed. For my students, I tell them they need to focus on quoting their sources to provide support for their argument. The can write a quote in the quote box and place any comments in the comment box. The Notes allow for hyperlinks as well. I love this because sometimes a student might need to jump to the site for some more information and they can do it directly from the notes. If they are using information from a site they used EasyBib to cite, they can connect it by using the Source pull down. Users can also add it to a defined group or add a tag to the note. Once all of the information is added, just save the note and it will be added to the Notebook page.

Once multiple notes have been added, a user can organize them on the desktop. A student can decide to color coordinate the notes. I chose to coordinate mine by choosing a color for my Pro notes and my Con notes. Also, by dragging the note cards onto one another, groups can be created. I love this because it is exactly like I would do with real note cards at home. On the right side of the Notebook page, notes can be viewed by Groups, Tags, Sources or by Date created. If a user has tons of notes they need for their paper, this feature is very helpful because the notes could get very cluttered for large papers.

I mentioned it earlier, but wanted to write about it in more detail here because it is a very helpful part of Notebook. Once the Notes are organized, they can be dragged and dropped into the outline. In the past, I would see students try and organize their essays and they would tape note cards to the desk and match them to the outline they have created in their binder. With the drag and drop approach with Notebook, students can save time and energy organizing their essay. It seems like a simple addition, but it will really help students see the relationship between their facts and where they belong in an essay.

Below are the pricing plans and the benefits of having a paid subscription versus the free service. If I were a full time college student, I would not hesitate to spend $19.99 a year on this service. As an English student, I would be writing multiple papers at any given time and EasyBib’s tools would have helped me organize some of the thoughts and all of my notes in one space. I would no longer need packages of notecards to keep all of my ideas for different essays. I feel the year-long subscription is a steal at $19.99. If you write plenty of essays, this is a must for you.

Here are a couple of shots of the pricing system for entire schools. You can find more information on the site.

Here is the smallest package for the school edition. I would like to see a smaller package of 1-100 students. I teach around 90 Freshmen and I would not need that many extra accounts. There are some other teachers who might try it out, but only after seeing it used successfully for a year. Pricing wise, I think $165/year is a great deal. All of the benefits are there for students to dive into research and organization. At $0.66 per student, you cannot beat this price.

My high school has around 1600 students, so I was curious at that price. For less than $500 a year, my entire school could have access to all of these tools. That is $0.22 a student! It is a fabulous deal.

I envision implementing this in my school one Freshmen Class at a time. Over the course of 4 years, we could add another 400 accounts and teach the Freshmen how to use them. This would be much easier than trying to teach 1,600 students all at once. It would take some coordination, but it would be possible to have an entire school using EasyBib proficiently in a few years.


After playing around with EasyBib for a few weeks, I have some suggestions for making a great service even better.

-       Mobile Apps are needed. I tried to use Notebook on my iPad and I could review the notes I had, but I had difficulty creating and saving notes. I could not drag them around on the screen either. An App would be a great compliment to the system. Mobile technology is where education is going and an EasyBib app would be perfect for the on-the-go student. I’m sure there are plenty of logistics that would need to be worked out, but an App would be a step in the right direction. (Editor’s Note: After talking with the fine folks at EasyBib, they told me that there is an App coming in the near future. Also, they said that iPad compatibility will be coming in the summer. Stay tuned for that review when I get my hands on it.)

-       Online Bookmarking Integration would be huge. I’m a big Diigo user. I bookmark like a madman and share with my students. With so much online research taking place, it would be fabulous if those bookmarks could be easily moved over to the Notebook tool. Right now, I have to have an extra tab open and cut and paste info from there to the Notecard. It’s not a crazy inconvenience, but connecting the two programs would create faster use of the program.


I think what EasyBib has created is amazing. It has most of the pieces I envisioned when I decided to move away from the standard note card research paper. I love the way the citations seamlessly flow into the note cards and how the note cards slide right into the outlines.

EasyBib has created a very nice online space for users to organize their thoughts for their work. As students become more and more connected, it is important to have a space to store your thought digitally and EasyBib created such a place.

I think EasyBib would be wise to enter the mobile app field sooner than later though. We are moving around and see things from our phones and tables often. Being able to cite this information is vital and mobile apps can help here.

The pricing is amazing. I was truly expecting to see crazy price ranges for these services, but they are modestly priced. The pricing should be a huge draw to all potential users.

Overall, I would recommend that individual students sign up for EasyBib. I encourage all teachers to look into bringing EasyBib into your school in some way. It might be wise to start out small and get small groups of students familiar with the product before a full roll-out. I believe that this system will help students organize their thoughts and papers for the better. I’m excited to see what EasyBib plans to put out next because Notebook is awesome. I can easily and happily give EasyBib a Nerdy Recommendation.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Epic Rome and Juliet Project: Update 10

The Epic Romeo and Juliet Project: Update 10

Subtitled: A Bad Break

We filmed for about 4.5 hours today and it was not without drama. (Pun very much intended)

We were filming the end of the play where (SPOILER ALERT!) Romeo kills Paris, kills himself and Juliet kills herself. It's a very serious scene that needs most of the characters to be present. 

We were supposed to start filming at 1, but didn't get going to almost 1:45 because we were missing a camera, cameraman and a few actors. The cameraman never showed and the camera was dropped off by a dad of a sick student. We had students show up to help and they were drafted into acting roles. 

We were still missing the Friar. We need him for the entire third scene. The Friar, who happens to be a third cousin on mine, had not arrived and that was not like him. Then I received this text with a picture. 

"Eric's Broken Arm"

You have to be kidding me! The third most important character in the third scene was out with a broken arm. The directors and I had to sit down and re-write the script. The friar was removed from the entire scene and the lines of other actors needed to be changed so they would not address the friar. We cut about 3-4 pages from the script. The kids rolled with the changes as best as they could. 

We were able to use the school's auditorium for the end scene and the death scenes turned out pretty well. The kids were a bit rambunctious at times, but we got some great shots. The directors and the cameraman did an amazing job. I'm very proud of my Romeo and Juliet. They did an amazing job playing dead. The rest of the cast and crew came together and did an awesome job.

We need to re-shoot Act 3 Scene 1 on Monday after school and a small portion of Act 3 Scene 2 on Wednesday in class. 

We are almost there and I can't wait to see what Van Meter has to share. 

The next update will hopefully be the last about filming and I can start to focus on the editing and the music. 

Take it easy!

- Nick

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Holding Hands

Holding Hands

I'm not sure if you heard, but I've been working on a project in my English class. It's not a big deal. We've been working for about a month and are still 2 week until we are finished. The kids are motivated, but are starting to get a little restless. I think the happy friendship of work and fun is starting to get strained. 

I think of a project as a couple holding hands while walking down the street. One of them is named Work and other is named Fun. The best projects walk down the street and get to where they are going together. If work tries to get there on its own, it will get there, but miss all the wonderful things along the way. If Fun tries to go it alone, it will be too distracted by the attractions along the way and will never get there. Together, they reach their destination and everyone is happy. However, the longer the walk, the more obstacles they face.

Have you ever held hands and walked down the street? After a while, you have to break the hold because people will not go around you are you both need to avoid an object. The longer you walk, the better the chance you will need to separate. Projects are the same way. If the project is too long, Fun gets distracted and leaves while Work carries on to the destination. The project arrives, but it's not the same.

I'm starting to see Fun and Work lose their grip and it's my job to keep them focused until the trip is over. Positive feedback on blogs and in class are good ways to keep the team together. Emails and notes can help move things forward as well as some overall goofiness in class. Keep the mood light but focused and the project should get to the destination. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Epic Romeo and Juliet Project: Update 9

Subtitled: Teamwork anyone?

Just a small update this week. We had our first bump in the road. The kids had a huge scheduling conflict where the Nurse had a re-scheduled lacrosse game against our rival and could not make it to filming! With some quick work, the kids were able to change the filming times and accommodate everyone and their schedules.

It might not seem like that huge of deal, but to the kids, it was crazy. Kids offered up missing baseball practice to make it easy to change the filming to another date. I was really proud of the way the kids pulled together to make sure that the scenes could be filmed. It is just another instance where the kids show how dedicated they are to the project.

Here are a couple of things to I want to share with you as a bit of a teaser.

The kids are going to be done filming Acts 1,3 and 5 on Saturday. The kids are pumped and I can't wait to see the final production.

- Nick

Friday, April 1, 2011

Epic Romeo and Juliet Project: Update 8

Subtitled: No Joke Here

I read this on one of my student's blogs.

"The overall expirience I've had has been amazing. I never knew that I could be an actor, let alone I had never had tried to be one. Acting in the play has also been a great way for me to become more comfortable in public speaking. Public speaking is something that I will have to do my entire life, acting in Romeo and Juliet has made me actually like being the center of attention."

Makes the project worth it for me.