I just taught my last class for the foreseeable future and what a sweet handful of minutes it was. I decided to revisit the Photopeach final this year, after having not done it for 2 years because of babies arriving at the end of the school year.
I’ve blogged about Photopeach and this particular project twice before, once when the idea was first suggested to me and again to screencast the basics of how to use it. Basically, Photopeach is an online tool to create slideshows. You upload photos from your computer, or you can pull them in from Facebook or Picasa. Add captions, add music, set the speed, and you’re off – you’ve got a slideshow.
For this particular project in AP Spanish, the project replacing a final exam, I was inspired to do the Photopeach “## things about me” for several reasons. First, the last thing I wanted them to do was to sit and take a long final exam involving multiple choice, translation, conjugation, and other tasks that don’t tell me a lot about how they can communicate and frankly, don’t motivate them to want to communicate. Also, I want them to think about things that impacted their lives and where they’re going from here. I am literally on the cusp of losing them forever. I have no (or almost no) influence over them for the rest of their lives. The motivation to continue in Spanish is all in their own hearts now – and really, it always was. So I ask them to reflect. I ask them to show digital citizenship. I ask them to tell me about their passions. And yes, I ask them to do it showing they can narrate in multiple time frames and use idiomatic expressions. I love the project because it keeps them using Spanish in ways that push proficiency but it does it in a way that inspires them, inspires me, and tells me more about them. I can’t fully express how precious some of these projects have been without showing you the dreams and tragedies students have bared to me through them, like Karson’s strength through her parents’ divorce and her mother’s cancer. Just today, after spending two years with these students, I learned that one has a sister she didn’t know about until she was 12, and another’s biggest fear is never making it out of Kentucky when she so badly wants to see the world.
If you’d like to use a similar project to get your students reflecting, dreaming, and telling you more about their world, here’s the rubric I use for the project. What memories will you and your students create together?
Here’s an example from Rachel (whose last name involves the word cow, just so you can see how that figures in).
20 cosas sobre mi on PhotoPeach
And another example from Casey:
20 Cosas Sobre Mi on PhotoPeach