I loved watching the final project all at once! I think that each act and scene was so unique, and you could really see the students’ creative freedom in each one. While our group (Act III) was disappointed that we could not get images or audio from our students, it was awesome to see the project come together as a whole.

One thing that I especially loved was changing Claudio to Claudia in the adapted version, but keeping her love story with Hero intact. It was awesome to see the kids suggesting that and running with it, I think it made the story really engaging and interesting!

Overall, this project was not at all what I expected, but in the most refreshing way. I’m so glad we had the opportunity to do this (despite COVID and all the technical/communication issues). It was such a great experience!

This week was, for a lack of better words, complete chaos. On top of various technical issues, the kids were unmotivated, energetic and weren’t prepared to listen at all. The sub was unable to control them and spent more time trying (unsuccessfully) to quiet them down. They also could not hear us over the speaker, so we were trying to communicate with them via the chat. Overall, I have no idea if they are going to finish the scenes or not, which is really stressful to think about. I really appreciate that the teacher was trying to help, because if she wasn’t there we would have had no shot of getting through to the students. She helped assign scenes to three students, and said they would email us any questions, so hopefully they are able to get it done in some capacity. Fingers crossed at this point, what we have so far looks awesome but definitely excited to get the rest of the scenes done!!

This week was unfortunate because our students did not show up. We weren’t sure if there were connectivity issues or if there was a schedule mix-up, but it was sad that we couldn’t check in on their progress. We are still waiting on getting the drawings from the other scenes in our Act, so hopefully this week we will have a better idea of where we stand and how much we need to get accomplished before the deadline. Fingers crossed they were able to get some stuff done when we weren’t meeting!!

In terms of the project, we’ve decided that half of us will be responsible for getting the audio voiceovers done and the other half will work on making sure the drawings are done on time. I’m super excited to see how it turns out in the end!

This week was a definite improvement from the past few weeks. The kids were still very disinterested in drawing – the scenes from last week still weren’t finished and we were having a hard time getting them to focus. One really nice part of last week was that there was a new teacher supervising for that period, and she was so helpful facilitating the conversation and making sure the kids were somewhat engaged. She made sure to ask us what we were doing to make sure she understood what the students were supposed to be doing, and worked mainly with the two students who haven’t really contributed as much. It was so nice to have her there purely because I’ve mentioned in my posts over the past few weeks that the disconnect between working with the students in-person versus online makes it really difficult to be productive. By the end of the session, the students finished scene 2 and are working on scene 3. Having someone on their end actively helping us get stuff done was awesome, and made me much more optimistic about the final product!

This week was especially difficult because we had a very hard time getting the kids engaged. Especially over Zoom, it’s really hard to get them to do things they very clearly did not want to do. We tried to ask them what they did for Halloween, and tried to segue that into working, but they were not responding. It’s tough because we are on such a tight timeline (because we have 5 scenes total and only 5 sessions to work with them) our goal was to have one scene a week done.

I also think that it’s especially hard because two out of the three students there are not involved in the drawing process. One student is extremely talented and it’s awesome to see what he comes up with, but it’s hard to get the other two involved if they aren’t confident in their artistic abilities but also don’t feel comfortable recording the lines to put over the art. I think that if we were meeting in person, it would be easier to motivate them and help them contribute, but over Zoom it’s hard to really see what’s happening and come up with solutions online.

Hopefully this week they are a little more excited to work and we can try and get back on track (because their contributions so far have been amazing, it makes me hopeful for the next few weeks)!!

I thought that this week was much easier than last week. Our group was only two kids this week, but they seemed to be more focused and excited for our project. Because we realized that our kids are hesitant about reading the lines out loud, we decided to read the lines of scene 1 to them and then asked them if they understood the point of the scene. This seemed to be a lot more productive – I think that before, they were so worried about the words they were saying that they weren’t fully paying attention to the scene as a whole. I think that in the future, we should keep showing them the scene that way so they have a better idea of what’s happening. We also started drawing out scenes which was super exciting! I think that they are getting much more into it now that they feel like they have a say in what we do, and can physically contribute to the final product. I can’t wait to see how the next few weeks go and how this project turns out!!

Honestly, this week was a lot harder than last week. We only had three kids and struggled a lot to engage them. We also learned that 2/3 of our students are ESL, so they had a lot of trouble reading their lines (and when they tried, you could see their confidence began to falter which made some of them upset and storm off camera). We asked how they would want to represent our scenes, and we agreed on drawings. Instead of having them speak their lines and record them, I think we settled on having text bubbles where they could write in the lines. However, it was clear that the kids were not as engaged as they were the week before which was tough and a little frustrating for us.

Overall, I know that I mentioned feeling nervous because of the disconnect between people when you talk online, but I didn’t think about what would happen if the students weren’t listening. It’s really hard to get someone to take you seriously when you’re talking to them through a screen and don’t have the ability to stop what’s going on. I hope this week is a little easier to handle the students, and we can get somewhere productive with a little more structure in the time that we have with them. It was annoying at times, but reassuring to hear that we were doing a good job from our site director considering our circumstances. 🙂

Going into our first meeting with the kids, I was a little nervous. I knew it was going to be an adjustment doing the whole thing online, but feel like there’s a degree of separation online that makes it harder for you to connect with others. Despite my initial worry, I was pleasantly surprised by how the whole thing went – the kids were excited and engaged, and seeing them get excited about the play got me more excited to watch it come to life. Despite some small technical difficulties (and the fact that only 2/8 kids actually showed up), it was a good first day. Super excited to see how the rest of the semester plays out!