I posted last school year, I am now four weeks into the Sci-Fi elective and am worried about the lack of structure I have in my class. I'm looking for ideas/activities to do with my students in class. More details below the fold.
Here is some background info on the class:
It is a .25 credit hour elective for American High Schoolers, my class is 20 students 10-12th grade. We meet twice a week, Mondays and Wednesdays for 50 minutes. We are reading one common novel a quarter, this quarter (focusing on Science fiction), that novel is "Amped" by Daniel H. Wilson, and the students are reading a choice novel in addition to Amped and posting about the choice novel on the class discussion board. Next quarter we are reading "Wizard of Earthsea" by Ursula LeGuin (Fantasy) and the students will be reading a Fantasy choice novel.
My problem is that I don't know what to do
with them on a day to day basis. So far, my class has consisted of watching a PBS Idea Channel video, talking about that for a few minutes, and then talking about Amped and other sci-fi/tech-related stuff for the rest of the bell. I am struggling with the balance between not assigning too much work (it's only .25 credits) and not doing ENOUGH. On Monday, I had the students start WRITING a Science Fiction story in partners, and they all agreed that it was pretty enjoyable, but not something they want to do every day. The class is pretty casual by nature, and I have since found out that all of my students are in there because they love reading and love science fiction and fantasy.
I was initially worried that I was asking them to read too much,
but I have since found out that almost all of them have already finished their choice novels (meant to be read through the entire quarter) and many are ahead on their reading for the class novel. I don't really want this class to be a burden on them or on me (this class doesn't have to adhere to Common Core standards and doesn't count for English credit), but I also don't want them to lose interest.
Any suggestions or advice on cool/fun/interesting/thought provoking things I can do with this group of intelligent, enthusiastic High Schoolers would be greatly appreciated.
Oh, and tomorrow, I think I'm going to have them do a kind of tech-blog webquest to find something technologically interesting to do some brief research on and present to the class. It's not great, but it's all I've got at this point!
Oh, and here is a link to the class website
(discussion board is private) If you have any ways to better utilize the class website, I'm all ears!