TAKS is over and we're on the down hill stretch. The pressure is off and teachers can introduce their kids to research and corresponding final products. The kids are relieved (other than the 5th graders who are wild) and teachers much more relaxed.
As a result the library is SRO and the wireless laptops are getting a workout. Education is addicted to acronym's so they are called COWS - computers on wheels. Except by me, who can't say that with a straight face. No matter what we call them, the kids love them.
Third graders are using the online databases to find simple facts about a planet and creating a PowerPoint. Simple thing, just 6 or 8 slides but they are having a ball. I taught a couple the "right click on the word" to get it spelled correctly trick and you'd of thought they won the lottery. At their age, the pysical mechanics of writing are often a struggle and the computer gives them wings. They do their text and then it's on to the fun stuff - the color, the transistions, the pictures and custom animation. Their teacher is learning right along with them, she's engaged, the kids are engaged and we're all having a great time.
They end up spending the entire day with me, it's raining, there is no recess and they don't care.
"Boy" says one of them with a happy sigh, "I sure had fun today, can we come back tomorrow".
It cancels out a comment made by another teacher I'm also working with: "Tomorrow is the last day to do research. If you haven't finished you'll get a 0 because you need to start on your PowerPoints."
My retort "If they haven't done any research they won't have any text to put into a PowerPoint. It's the text that is important, not the bells and whistles. "
"Oh", says the teacher with a befuddled look.
Guess I'm batting 500.