20 Time Preparation for the Teacher

There are a few things you'll want to consider and let swirl around in your brain a bit before you integrate the project in your classroom.

  1. How long will your project last?  It is recommended to do a short project first, maybe a few months or a semester.  As you get more comfortable with it, you can determine a better length for you and your class.
  2. Will you let them work on ANYTHING?  Most teachers say yes, mostly.  If you don't like the topic your student chooses, use your powers of persuasion to guide him/her to something else.  Or just say no.  I had a vegan student who decided to train for a hot dog eating contest as his project.  I thought about it over the weekend and decided I was going to flat out tell him no.  Fortunately he started his project over the weekend and got food poisoning from, you guessed it, the hot dogs.  He changed the topic on his own.  What you want to consider for them is, "Will this topic sustain my student for the length of the project?" and "Will this project be detrimental to my student's well-being?"
  3. The community pitch will be in an MPR or somewhere outside the classroom.  Reserve a space in a good room for about 4 weeks after the project begins.
  4. What do you anticipate your students will be doing during the class time you give them?  As my students are older (seniors), most of them created and worked on projects outside of class.  This left them twiddling their thumbs during our 20 time in class.  You have two ways to combat this lack of  productiveness in class.  (1) Carefully check their implementation guides (explanation in Introducing 20 Time to Your Class) and make sure they have 54 minutes of solid work each 20 Time day. (2) Assign a blog for each student for them to work on and post their weekly reflections to each 20 Time day.  See the write-up for blogs in the Blogging section of the drop-down menu above.
  5. Will you allow your students to work in groups?  The project allows for ultimate personalization and it is strongly suggested that students do it individually.  However, there are those students that will do a great job as a group too.  If you do allow groups, will you set group perimeters?  A strong suggestion is to require the group makes a set of norms for working with each other.  To make it official, make a copy of the norms for each group member and yourself, this way you can be the bad guy about getting on an apathetic group member rather than a group member having to "rat out" his/her friend.