Saturday, November 20, 2010

5th Hour Freshman English Special Project and Tech Tuesday

My 5th Hour Freshmen English students wanted to create a special project for the students of Van Meter High School. My other classes were working on various projects to introduce the students of Van Meter to Michigan, Detroit and our city of Grosse Pointe. They thought it would be cool if they gave a tour of the school but did it with a Lip Dub. I supported the kids in their project, but told them this project would be on them to organize and execute. For two weeks, the kids broke into groups and worked on various parts of the project. Some students were in charge of props and others were in charge of getting permission from the administration to film at school in the morning. A couple of students had their math class figure out the distance that could be covered during the length of the songs that were chosen! It was so exciting to see the students work on something they were passionate about. My only rules were that everyone participate and that they write a short reflective piece (That can be found here). Please feel free to comment on the Kidblog; the kids would love to receive feedback from other people. The kids worked hard and what you are going to see is the completed video. The students are still editing to come up with a directors cut with bloopers, credits, etc. More than anything, this truly shows what students can accomplish when they are give the chance to be creative. I hope you enjoy the video.

The songs in this video are Happy Together by The Turtles (Covered by Simple Plan), Our Time Now by the Plain White Tees and Here It Goes Again by OK GO.

A final thanks goes to Mr. Geresy for putting the video together and hosting on the new video site. If you have not checked out the site, make some time to do so. It is very cool. 

Animated Gettysburg Address by Adam Gault

My friend Kelly shared this on her blog the other day and I thought I would pass it on to everyone. I thought this woudl just be good for Social Studies teachers to use, but I really think it could be used in English classes as well. Teachers could have students create similar project for other famous speeches or poems studied in class. By concentrating on literary terms like tone, students could create visual representations of the speeches or poems. It would be a great way to allow student to dive into a piece of writing instead of just letting them read it or hear it in class. Let your mind run wild with the different possibilities.

Skype Education
As some of you may know, the teachers in our district can now use Skype in the classroom. There have been resources shared about connecting with teachers on this site, but now Skype has joined the conversation. Starting in December, Skype is going to launch their Beta Skype Education system. Teachers can sign up, for free, and list their information for teachers all over the world to see. This will allow teachers to connect with other classes from around the world. I’m very excited to see Skype enter the educational field and create a space for educators. Take a look at the site and sign up when you get a chance. Opening up your classroom to the world is one of the best things you can do for your students.

Lastly, here is a quote I read on my Google Reader I would like to share.

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

I hope everyone has a great day and a wonderful break. All of us have earned it. Happy Thanksgiving.

- Give it a try!

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