- CNN's Website
Click the image above to be taken to CNN Student News
"CNN Student News is a daily commercial-free, ten-minute broadcast of the day's news geared for middle- and high-school students. On CNNStudentNews.com, you can access the show and free related curriculum materials, including Learning Activities, Discussion Questions, News quizzes and One-Sheets."
- CNN's Website
Click the image above to be taken to CNN Student News
Have you ever thought that it would be a really neat experience for your students to talk directly with the author of the novel they are reading? Would you like to have a debate with another school? With funding for field trips cut to next to nothing, Skype will allow you to do those things without ever leaving your school. All that is required for this to become a reality for you and your students is a webcam. Webcams can be purchased for $19.99+. You are now able to give your students the experience of a lifetime. They can engage with students across the state, country, and world. What makes this tool even better is that it is FREE to join Skype. To create a free account, just go to www.skype.com. I would like to create a Skypebook that contains the names and skype names of individuals who would like to participate in this type of educational program. Let me know if you are interested.
You know how when you find something that is actually legitimate and beneficial, you actual become a walking commercial for the people. Well that is how I feel about Teachers Pay Teachers. I have posted 31 of my original lessons and have sold those 31 items a total of 148 times. I have earned just over $187.80 over the course of a year. If you are interested in signing up for a free account, please use the link I have put into this article. You can choose to sign up for a years membership for $60.00 (it will get you a higher return on your sales), but I haven't gone that far. If you sign up using the link I have enclosed, I will earn a 5% commission. Since most things that you create are digital anyways, it is simple to up load your stuff to the site. The site is extremely easy to use, and you could earn a few bucks along the way. Here is the link to use: http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Signup?ref=Ideasforteachers
Thanks so much for your support! Oh, I did want to mention that Teacherspayteachers.com has a ton of free stuff on it. So after you sign up, browse through their stuff to see what lessons or add-ons you can get for free. Also the first item that you list has to be a Free item. The site also has a Facebook page so you can check them out there as well.
Book reports do not have to be a boring experience for you to grade. Let your students show their understanding of the novel through a video book report. The students can convey their understanding of the mood and tone of a story by including music to the video. My students have been creating this type of book report for a couple of years now, and I must say, they LOVE it. It is no longer a chore for the students to write a book report. By allowing the students to create video book reports, I am able to address and assess more state standards. For that very reason, I give the students more time to work on the book reports. Instead of having students write about what happened in the story in a single class period, I can give them a week or more to look for pictures that they feel represent scenes or characters. The students can also can also show metaphors or similes through the pictures that they choose. Not only are these types of book reports more interesting for the students to create, they are by far more interesting to grade. If you are wondering how to do this, check out the videos I have in the student project section of this site. You will see what students are capable of. Each video is student created, and each video shows how even a book report can be differentiated. Students will all of a sudden become proud to show off their book report.
Because so many colleges are moving to blog responses for classes, why not start one for your class? What should you include in your blog; include everything that you would normally include in any book study that you do. You can use www.blogger.com to create your blog. It is free and easy to use. I have started a blog for m 8th grade students to be able to respond to the novel, The Year of the Hangman by Gary Blackwood.The students are constantly looking to see if the blog has been updated. They also enjoy seeing how their classmates respond to activities and discussion questions. The blog is easy to create, and it is easy to moderate. Blogger has made it so that blogging can also be a safe experience for your students. You can make it so the blog is non-search-able. The students have to know the website address to be able to find it. Let me know if you have created a blog for your class and/or your thoughts on whether blogs are appropriate for teachers to use with their students.
When someone thinks about education, one of the first things that comes to mind is the textbook. Teachers have used text books since the one room school house. What about now? The classrooms of the 21st century are beginning to look less and less like that of the "typical" classroom. We no longer see students sitting in nice even rows with a text book out while taking notes from the pages. Any more we see stations set up with the classroom. One group of students are reading out loud from historical documents, another group is on desktops researching the validity of historical accounts, while another group is recording video journals as though they are historical figures. In order to create a differentiated classroom, do we need to get rid of text books? Text books are a great source of information, but they can not be the only source of information that we present to our students. If we want to create a sense of investigation into the truth, then we need to present more than the text book allows for. Many text books give a small snapshot of ideas, events, or concepts. Book after book has been written on the topics in the text book, and we need to allow our students the opportunity to investigate other theories or accounts of the information. It is hard to get a full understanding of who George Washington or John Adams were in the two paragraphs that the text book devotes to them.
How has technology changed the way you teach? I have changed standard written book reports into video book reports. The students use movie maker or powerpoint to create what is like a movie trailer for the book that they just read. By including music in their report, I can assess mood or tone of a story. I have even changed the way students give presentations. By using a flip camera ($150.00) or a green screen from Yoostar ($100.00), my students are able to not only record their presentation over and over (the more times they do the presentation, the more concrete the information becomes) until they feel they have one that is good, they can also go on location to the Great Wall of China or the Great Pyramid to give their presentation. By incorporating technology, I have found that I can actually assess more standards in a shorter period of time.