Monday, August 30, 2010

Postcard Puzzles

I found this online from Edutopia. While not utilizing technology, this activity is another great way to get the students writing and teaching grammar (parts of speech/parts of a sentence):

Postcard Puzzles - Cut a bunch of postcards and give one piece to each student. They have to find the matching students, put the puzzle together and write questions about the postcard that apply to what I (the teacher) may have done over the summer. Then, share with the class.

You could also adapt it by making the postcards pictures of characters from a story. Then, the students have to answer some questions about that character (an idea to teach characterization).

New Spice | Study like a scholar, scholar

Grammar Practice

I get so many great ideas from Larry Ferlazzo. Here are three that can be geared for practicing grammar, specifically any part of speech or parts of a sentence:

1. Revised Image Go Round: This is a neat activity (sort of like the image go round I borrowed from Corrie at ESC12). Put 2-3 pictures at a group. Students look at the pictures, imagine what probably happened BEFORE the picture, and write sentences speculating about what might/could/may/must/can't/couldn't have happened to the people in the pics or suggest what they should/could have done to prevent their situations. Don't forget to number the sentences according to the numbers of the pictures. This could be used to practice any part of speech or part of a sentence….

2. Create a cube: This would be neat for your kids to create and share…it’s a cube all about them. They can pull in audio, video, pictures etc. This would be neat to use as a “get to know you”, intro to the personal narrative, or intro to researching biographies/people….

3. Create an Animoto over a "Dream Vacation": With this new unit about journey, here are some pictures of the place I would like to visit if money were no restriction. Can you guess what place that is? Write your guesses in the comment area, using the parts of speech we just learned.

4. Using Voicethread: I have seen many teachers using Voicethread. Have students type or read their sentences regarding your prompt. Emphasize use of the part of speech you covered in class that week. Then, play the voicethread back for the class, having them count the specific part of speech covered. The one with the closest answer wins....

Monday, August 16, 2010

Music Videos and Irony

I love Toby Keith and so many of his videos contain irony. I mentioned in a previous post his video "It's a Little Too Late" to teach the short story "The Cask of Amontillado"...well, you could also use that video to teach irony. You could also use "Who's your Daddy" as well..



You could also use "The Reason" by Hoobastank, especially for teaching a twist at the end of a story.



I have so many ideas and I am fortunate to share them with this blog. I just really miss the classroom. I hate not being able to use these great ideas. I wonder if I should return to the classroom or keep on in my role as a campus technologist...I know I am hormonal right now (being 7 weeks pregnant) but I just feel this tug in my heart that I cannot ignore.....

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Letter Writing

I used to teach 7th grade and was always looking for creative writing assignments. I used "Letters from a Nut" to teach letter writing. My favorite was the letter from a guy who left his sword in a hotel. Then, I would have the students write a letter about some fictional situation.

Again, I am still watching "CBS Sunday Morning" and came to the section about funny letters from camp. It is called "PS-I hate it here!" Again, what a neat way to teach letter writing. I think the kids would get a laugh out of these funny letters about camp.

The Hero Unit and Princess Bride

In many English courses, there is a unit about a hero. Whether it is King Arthur, Julius Caesar, etc there is a hero unit. In this unit, stereotypes are explored and discussed. In the past, I used a research project based all on heroes: a literary hero, a historical hero, and a pop culture hero. Students had to research one person from each category and then conclude by defending their argument that indeed that person (such as Eminem) is a hero and fits the category of a hero.

At my last school, we taught King Arthur as our hero unit. I just watched "CBS Sunday Morning" and they covered Rob Reiner, who directed "Princess Bride". Of course, my light bulb went off. It would be really neat to show clips from "Princess Bride" or the movie in its entirety and discuss the heroes, stereotypes etc.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Quick Post about Wolfram Alpha and Back to School Activity

I received this in my Diigo groups update and wanted to share a quick idea:

http://blog.wolframalpha.com/2010/08/05/10-fun-questions-kids-can-answer-with-wolframalpha/

Taking just a few of these questions, create a get to know you activity for the students. Use WolframAlpha to answer the following questions:

1. What are your two favorite colors? What color do you get when they are mixed? (use "mix red and blue" in Wolfram Alpha as your search)

2. Type in your birthday and research.

3. Type in your name and research.

4. Type in "growth chart, age and height" and see how tall you will be!

5. Type in "words that rhyme with...your name, your nickname, this class!

Friday, August 6, 2010