Showing posts from November, 2015

Two Completed iMovie Trailers

Student trailers have been completed and the results are impressive. 
I've realized I really like trailers because they are an excellent vehicle to challenge students to pull out essential facts and details in subject matter. Students really had to stay focused on the rubric and had to be concise, yet persuasive. (Trailers are kind of like Tweets--you have strict guidelines to stay within.)
I was also proud to see the grit and determination in my students when they became frustrated by the limits the iMovie trailer put on them. Student teams found ways to add information into pictures or slides, for example. Overcoming obstacles is an essential life skill that needs to be practiced!
Here are two examples of student work. Enjoy!

Coming Attractions: Student iMovie Trailers!

Student Historians began a project-based assessment today--an iMovie trailer supporting ratification of the Constitution. Groups are to take on the perspective of the Federalists in 1787 and create a persuasive video supporting our Constitution. (I decided to have all students focus on the Federalists because their arguments would have detailed explanations of the Constitution--they will refute the Anti-Federalist arguments against ratification, as well.)
The groups are excited and so am I--I've never used iMovie in class before. The project is in a Schoology folder and is primarily paperless (I do have a paper rough draft storyboard for each group, though). 
I can't wait to see how my students interact with this app. I'm sure their final projects would make our Founding Fathers proud!

Veterans Day Activities

We have spent a few days this week focusing on modern history and the sacrifices our men and women in uniform have made for all of us.
I found a story this summer about a military tradition I'd never heard of and wanted to share it with my class: 
America's White Table, by Margot Theis-Raven, is a story of the Fallen Comrade Table. The tradition was started to honor all Missing In Action and Prisoners of War during the Vietnam War. An empty table is set for those who will never return and the items on the table symbolize the sacrifice of those who are missing.
The Social Studies teachers at Boulan and I decided it would be powerful to replicate this table during the week surrounding Veterans Day and it was met with great reverence and respect by the students. Some classes read the book at the table and others completed a See-Think-Wonder Visible Thinking routine at the table. All students were moved by the display and felt gratitude for these soldiers.
Eighth Grade students al…

Student Tech Leaders and Taking Risks

Having a 1:1 iPad classroom has been really exciting this year. I look forward to every opportunity to use technology in the classroom and have been trying to utilize it on a daily basis (in a way that makes sense and honors our curriculum). 
It's a real risk to use technology in the classroom because of the many issues that invariably pop up. One example is that the app or site might not work well and patience is definitely called for. I've noticed another issue that's come up several times a week, though--the fact that I'm not well-versed in some of the technology we use. (One Note in particular is really keeping me humble!!) This is where Student Tech Leaders (a term I've coined for them) are a necessity.
I am truly grateful to these knowledgeable students and eagerly give them the opportunity to shine and show us all how something is done. It gives these leaders the chance to practice speaking in front of an audience on the fly and to be viewed as a technology…