Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Reflection on Speed dating

Overall, I am loving all the helpful links. I'm going to have to look at them more in-depth later, because we only had time to look over them really quickly.  The "Online Resources" page seemed to have the most helpful things, as a lot of the other pages (especially the storytelling page) seemed to concentrate more on younger learners.  I thought that the Kathy Schrock page had a lot of especially helpful links, as did the Federal Resources for Educational Excellence--I'm always looking for new lesson plans and ways to teach things, and both of these sources are new to me and seem very full of stuff.  I'm not sure how I would use it, but I was intrigued by the "Instructables" website, as well.  I am interested in checking out "VoiceThread"---I tried to do a video project a couple years ago in the same style as Mystery Science Theatre 3000, but it didn't sound very good.  This might be a new cool way to do that.  Also, we do a lot of art and architecture reflection in class, and I would be interested in exploring this for that.  Someday, when we get lots of open, available computer labs in the school that aren't used every day for classes (HA!) I would like to use a LinoIt or survey type tool, and while it might be useful once in a while for students to use at home, I still have students who do not have access to a computer, so this isn't possible to make an assignment unless I give them time in class to do it.

I wasn't really a fan of the Poll Everywhere...I'm all about technology, but once I open the door and let students use their cell phones for something in class, I don't see a way to go back.  Plus, it didn't work with my phone.  :(

Thanks for the links and resources, Lisa!  Really cool stuff!!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Using something in a Creative Way

I'm not sure if this is the purpose for this blog entry, but I wanted to use a student project that was due today for my example of something used in a creative way.

In my 9th grade Language Arts class, we have been reading "The Adventures of Ulysses", which is a slightly easier-to-read version of "The Odyssey" (I have some somewhat struggling readers in my class).  We just finished it yesterday, which meant that their ongoing project for the book was due today (Friday).  Students were to, as a group of 2-4, design and invent a game that incorporated the novel somehow.  I kept it pretty open ended---the game did not have to be a traditional "board game", but any type of game that they chose.  Most students, of course, did some type of board game---different takes on "Chutes and Ladders", "get to the end with the most men" type of games, answering correct questions about the book, etc.  Today, they got to play another groups' game and asses the game based on design, ease of play, uniqueness, etc.  Overall, I was very pleased with the outcome---most students got very into creating their board game and making it attractive, though most games were very traditional in design.
Two games, however, come to mind when it comes to taking an assignment and doing something that wasn't necessarily the expected, or the norm.  One group found a "Pokemon" Card creator online, and created "Ulysses" cards with it instead.  They put pictures of the character from the novel on the card, assigned the character a point value (as far as how much "fight" they had in them), gave each character a weapon of choice and a power of some sort.  They printed the cards on photo paper and attached a backing on them to make them attractive.  The players then "battled" the cards in a similiar fashion to Pokemon. I thought it was a very creative twist on the assignment, but creative in design (photo paper, online design site, etc) as well.  The other game was called "Sink the Ships".  These students created a gigantic ocean out of cardboard and made little catapults out of rubber bands and cardboard.  Players race to answer a question about the book, and the first to give a correct answer got a change to put a little plastic piece in a catapult and fling it to knock over a ship (or a stand up piece that relates to the antagonists in the novel) that belongs to another player.  Three boys designed the game, and three kind of "prissy" type girls ended up playing it---and had a ball.  They probably had the most fun in the room for that period.
I'm not sure if those are weak examples or not, but I was really impressed with the creativity and ingenuity of both groups. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


Hi there---this is my first blog, and I am not really sure what a blog is exactly, but a colleague uses blogs for his daily classes, and I'm intrigued by the concept.


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