After Idaho’s snowiest winter in more than 100 years (yeah, that happened), spring has finally sprung and my passion project is done. This week, I’ll present my 20Time results to students as I model their end-of-project speech assignment, but I thought a few blog friends might also be curious about how things turned out. Here’s a rehearsal of my upcoming speech:
(Sorry, the video’s a bit long. I got carried away…as usual.)

For me, 20Time continues to be an incredibly powerful tool, both professionally and personally. Interested in bringing 20Time to your classroom? Click here for a free packet of print-and-use materials that’ll help clear your path.

Teach on, everyone!

 

Join the conversation! 29 Comments

  1. Fantastic! I think I felt a tear duct leap with delight! I want to try your 20Time so badly!

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  2. Do it, do it, do it, Dana! This is DEFINITELY one of the best things I’ve ever brought to my classroom. I say, go for it! 🙂

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  3. Whoohooo…such an inspiration! But then, again, you always are! Your energy is so palpable. Makes me want to do a pull up!

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  4. Congrats, Laura! Truly inspiring.

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  5. Thanks, Crystal and Angela, for reading and commenting. It means a lot to me! 🙂

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  6. Love it! Congratulations. Great example for your kids of a final presentation. My class has 3 weeks to go. I’ll be showing them your video before then in addition to my final presentation on the “English Teacher Learns to Code.”

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  7. Oh my gosh, Kelly, now that’s embarrassing! I’m sure your kids will be like, “Who’s this weird old lady?” 🙂

    How did your coding project turn out? Anything to share with us? Links? Would love to you see your work!

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  8. I am super impressed! Yes- that you did it for sure but also your presentation leading up to it. You are super wonderful in every way! 👍🏻👏🏼💪🏻❤

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  9. Thanks for being inspiring! I am one of those people who has never been able to do a pull up either! I would like to try this project next year…just a little hesitant. Do you think this is something that could work for a nine weeks, or do you really recommend the full 12 weeks to get the best results?

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  10. Good morning! Congrats on another successful 20Time endeavor! Your ideas continue to inspire us! Thanks for sharing!

    Valerie.

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  11. Thanks, Jan! I’m definitely more comfortable with the tech than with the barbells. 🙂

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  12. Hey Megan,
    You absolutely could run this successfully on a nine-week cycle with your classes. Last year, due to a tight calendar, I had to slim it down to 10 work sessions and the project was still valid for my kids. Nine weeks is plenty of time to make something happen. Hope you give it a go! 🙂

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  13. Ah, Valerie, thanks for your note. I’m so glad you’re here with me on the blog! 🙂

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  14. WAY.TO.GO.LAURA!!!!!!! Soooo proud of you!!! YOU DID IT!!!!! I KNEW you could!!

    Your presentation? Sublime! Perfect!

    Question now is: are you going to continue your fitness program? Waking up at 5 am sounds like torture to me!

    Keep up the great work! Always an inspiration for all of us!

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  15. Thanks, Carolyn! Knowing that I would have to report results on the blog definitely helped with my motivation. I made the video about a week ago and I am still following the routine, so I’m thinking I might have developed a true fitness habit. Also, I tossed out those old pants, so there’s no going back. 🙂

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  16. Congratulations, Laura! You truly are an inspiration. How do you manage to put so much energy into everything you do? 🙂

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  17. Thanks, Michelle! I think I have one of those hamster wheels forever spinning in my brain. Just. Can’t. Stop. (Seriously, it’s pretty annoying. Just ask my family.)

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  18. Hey, Laura!

    So I really want to add 20Time to my curriculum next year, but I feel like I won’t have time! I am required to teach Lord of the Flies, Macbeth, the Hero’s Journey, and Fahrenheit 451 (if we have time) all in the second semester. All the English 10 teachers in my school have to teach the same novels/books.

    Should I try to have students work on the assessments (worksheets, projects, all that jazz) as homework? Should I just give my students less assessments, which may not make their understanding of the books very deep? What should I do?

    Thank you! 🙂

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  19. Oh, that is one crowded semester, Eng10Santos! Something will have to give. You could shorten 20Time to, say, an 8-week experience and, perhaps, alter the lit units a bit to create some room in your calendar. With my freshmen, I ended up teaching only half of the books of The Odyssey instead of the full version and my juniors never read A Streetcar Named Desire. At the time, those cuts felt painful, but the growth my students showed in their 20Time work was all the proof my admin. and I needed to agree that we made the right decision. Real-world, relevant language arts experience is rare and incredibly valuable. I still teach a ton of literature in my classes, but 20Time lets my kids use their reading/writing/speaking/thinking skills in an important way. I hope you’re able to nip and tuck the regular curriculum to bring 20Time to your students. It’s worth it! 🙂

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  20. Thanks for your suggestions, Laura!

    The problem, though, is that I have to give my students the same summative assessments (that are not tests, such as speeches and essays) that the other English 10 teachers are doing.

    Should I go rogue and just get rid of one of the units we’re doing? Do you think the other teachers will be fine with that? Should I just show the students the movie version of one of the books?

    Thanks, so much again! I really appreciate your help, Laura! ☺️

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  21. Definitely don’t go rogue, Eng10Santos. You’ll want to have your admin. and dept. chair on board with your 20Time plan, and I’m thinking your dept. chair will be especially wise in helping you find the space to make everything fit. If the rest of your grade level requires a final project or speech as the end-of-unit summative assessment, I’m thinking your 20Time can be modified to fit that. In my district, there’s a 3-to-5 minute “speech proficiency” assignment that’s a graduation requirement. I tailored my students’ 20Time speech to hit those district requirements and it counted for that assignment. I was the only teacher in my department doing this, but I had the approval of my principal and dept. leader so all was well. In fact, the pass rates on those speeches were much higher because students were talking about their 20Time projects, a topic of genuine interest, as compared to previous year’s speeches on a potpourri of random topics that didn’t necessarily resonate with the kids.

    Will other teachers be fine with what you’re doing? Maybe, but probably not. Innovation can be threatening, but just know that you’re doing right by your students. I wouldn’t push 20Time on anyone, but expect a lot of questions and raised eyebrows. Keep parents informed. And, again, have your principal behind you before you launch.

    Should you show a movie to replace a dropped book? Nah. It’d be better to dig more deeply into a work of lit. that you keep than to just gloss over an extra work. Do fewer works, but go deeper with them. That’s my vote, regardless of whether you use 20Time or not. 🙂

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  22. Thank you! One last question, how do you grade the 20Time exit tickets and checkpoint meetings, if you do grade them? Also, do you have your students memorize their speeches, read them, or let them have notes?

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  23. Nope, I don’t grade those exit tickets or our checkpoint meetings, Eng10Santos. Those are tools to help me keep tabs on everyone and know when to swoop in to help the strugglers. Really, the only graded items are the Guppy Tank mini-speeches when kids propose their project ideas to the class and the end-of-project “What I Did/What I Learned” speeches, but feel free to change that if you need more accountability tools. For the end speech, I allow no more than 50 words to be typed on their visual aid (Google Slides, Powerpoint, or Prezi) but no notecards since there isn’t any data they’d need to research or memorize. They’re really just talking about their journey and the prompts/bullet points on the slides should be enough text reminders to keep them on track.

    I’m really excited that you’re digging into this process. Your first time through will be scary because it feels risky to give so much control over to our students. It’s worth it, though, and gets easier every year after the first – I promise!

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  24. Hi! So, how does the whole 20Time voting thing work? Do their votes alone determine Green, Yellow or Red? Are their voting choices Green, Yellow, and Red? And alos how do you get it to work with ZipGrade? Thanks 🙂

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  25. Hi Robert,
    The class decides through secret ballot voting which projects get approved. This creates a whole lot more buy-in instead of just having me be the sole judge. For the Guppy Tank scoring, I have the students in the audience bubble in “A” for Approve or “B” for Deny. Then, I run the score sheets through the ZipGrade app. Any presenter who scores 67% or higher approval is given a green light, 50% to 66% is given a yellow light meaning the project pitch was pretty good but needs a little guidance from me before the student will be allowed to move forward with his/her plans, and 49% or less approval means a red light and a meeting with me to radically revise the project idea or choose something different altogether.

    For the most part, my students green-light their peers’ project pitches, though 10-20 percent of each class usually are yellow or red-lighted. I’ll have quick conferences with those kids during an SSR Friday session to help them refine their project ideas into something more workable.

    Finally, you can learn more about the ZipGrade app here: https://laurarandazzo.com/2015/04/02/feelin-zippy/

    Have a great night!

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  26. Alright, so, do you give the students a new ballot sheet per presentation day? Or do they have to keep their ballots until the last day? Is there a feature on ZipGrade to include the names of the presenters? Or do you just use the numbers (like for the first presenter, bubble in the A or B in #1 on the answer sheet)? Thank you so much! I hope you have a good night too! 🙂

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  27. Yeah, Robert, I just use the numbers to line up with the speaker order. “Okay everyone, next up is John, he’ll be #5 on your ZipGrade sheet.” That sort of thing. I also scan the stack of ballots/ZipGrade score sheets at the end of each day and have the results stored in my phone, so it doesn’t matter which ballot sheet the kids get the next day. You could print fresh ones, but why bother? Simple is good. 🙂

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  28. Thank you so much! Won’t the results mix in a confusing way, though? Also, how many students would usually fit in 1 ~50-55 minute period of 60-Second Pitches?

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  29. Happy to help! No problem at all with resulting mixing. When we start the next day, I hand back the ZipGrade bubbledot sheets in a random order and just say, “Okay, guys, today we’re starting with #9. Just ignore the first eight from yesterday; they’ve already been recorded.” Then, when I scan at the end of the day, I only take note of the scoring results for #9 through #17, or whatever number we got through that day. I’m usually able to squeeze in eight or nine Guppy Tank presentations in 50 minutes or so, but that’s because I allow the question round to go on for a bit sometimes. You could tighten it up, limit questions to one or two, and then be able to get through more of them.

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20Time, fun stuff, high school English, middle school, Uncategorized

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