Tuesday, April 29, 2008

I hear voices

I am excited. I finally figured out how I could get the student's work and voice-overs onto the blog together. Apple Imovie, Itunes, and Keynote made it happen. Students were constrained to one minute audio clips and keynote slideshows. They all hit on the main ideas nicely.

Below is Colin R.'s work on the Persian Army.

And Kelan and Corey's work on the naval side of this battle.

Kyael's interesting look at the Ionian revolt, which started this whole affair. . .

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Club pitches in

My local gaming club came to my rescue, promising to paint a bunch of figures, all their help really changed this project from something too big to handle into a great experience. A simple "thank you" does not seem to be enough.

Without any further ado, Jack's Hoplites & Mark's Persian Archers

Let the games begin!

Pictures, voice overs, and the student's first foray into gaming. Good times! To think I was sweating all the work the kids had to do.

A special thanks to all the students who stuck with it. Even though they have to spend all day in school, they were still able to grind out an extra hour twice a week. Thanks to all of you!

First off the kids playing games. We started easy. No terrain, just the basics of movement, turn order, dice rolling etiquette ("no palming of dice please". "No that six on the floor does not count!"), and basic skirmish rules (using a Tactica Medieval rulebook donated generously by Ed Regendahl) with a few of my own modifications. The kids had fun, sweating the important roles, groaning and cheering with each twist of the fickle dice.
Below are pictures and the first one is Kelan, who served as photographer
Colin, Myles, Austin, & Kailee watch as Kyael makes his move. (above)
Corey and Kailee wait for Kyael, who is deep in tactical thought. (below)

Myles shows his stuff. King Leonidas is no match for this guy.

Joey and Myles watch the events unfold (above)
Codey is thinking about firing his arrows. (below)

More pictures to follow. The kids had fun, pizza and games. That's a good day of wargaming.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

(I can see) . . . the light at the end of the tunnel. . .

A day like this Monday was the reason I got into teaching. The students were finishing off their presentations and 30 second voice overs. They submitted their work via email and thumb drive and I have to say I was truly impressed. Students cut in musical themes, included dramatic voices, and just displayed a really good grasp of the material. It will be forthcoming when I can find some time.

I must apologize for the lack of images. I have Persians, Peltasts, and fourteen nicely painted Spartans. I will get them up ASAP.

A special thanks to Jack Gaudette who painted a unit of Spartans, Mark McLaughlin who painted a unit of Persian archers, and Jesse Polo-Neil who helped paint up the difficult and multi-colored Persian Immortals. These fine gentlemen took time out of their busy lives to help the students have nicely painted models to push around the table.

I also started making Mt. Kallidromos, out of rigid insulation board. So many projects.

Pictures to follow soon. I promise

Mr. Webster

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

The day draws closer

A couple more students are petering out but the ones that are sticking around are doing some great work. The students Keynote presentations are on target and cover the basic background needed to explain Thermopylae to the average seventh grader.

Some students are planning to do their voice-overs for the Imovie and are getting pretty excited and creative.

Last night Jesse and I play tested the skirmish rules for the fight over Leonidas' body. The first set of rules ended up being a quagmire with little movement. The reworked rules were a lot more fluid. Nothing thrilling for jaded gamers, but a quick and dirty scenario that will have the kids rolling dice and making decisions.

I am toying with the idea of having models be "knocked back/down" instead of killed.

Jesse helped paint 11 Immortals as well. What might have taken me a week of steady work was knocked out in an evening. Thanks for all the help.

Four Greek peltasts and 3 more hoplites on the table. Bits and pieces slowly being added to the whole.
Pictures to follow this evening.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Week two ends

And it ends with highs and lows. Each group has been tasked with researching a particular event or facet of the conflict and creating a keynote presentation (Apple's version of the power point)

Some students are really getting into the research and making creative, humorous, and detailed slideshows. That makes me happy.

A few kids are groaning and whining. That makes me mad. But it is to be expected.

I brought in some of the painted figures to give the kids a taste of the gaming to come. They had a lot of questions (most have no concept of how war gaming works and seem mystified by the idea of rules) and seemed eager to get playing. A few kids wanted to paint their own figures. It wasn't part of my original plan to have the students paint, but perhaps that would be fun too.

Anyhow. I've been painting and I must say I enjoy the painting the Persians more than I thought I would. I was all gung-ho for the hoplites but I think I've changed my mind.

I've also had my doubts about "dipping" the figures, but it still makes the process a lot quicker and time is ticking away. It doesn't look too bad on the Persians but on the Greeks' white linothorax it is not the best. Perhaps some other solution. I am also not the best with shield design. I like Little Big Men's decals but I don't have the cash for them. I should slow down and do a better job. . .

Anyway here are the latest additions to the armies. I hope to post some frames of the students' keynote presentations soon.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Students Assemble!

Thirteen rambunctious students signed up. Only eleven showed up for the first day (two absent from school). Students will research a topic and create an interesting presentation to be used for the 7th grade social studies curriculum. Students used first period to get rid of all past behavior issues and are now ready to work like diligent and interested students :)

Persian Empire
: Nick

Spartan Training: Kelly & Kailee

Hoplite Equipment: Codey & Kevin.

King Xerxes: Austin L.

Causes for Persian War: Kyael

Ancient Ships: Corey

Persian Troops: Austin M. & Collin