Monday, November 29, 2010

News Beta: What Do You Think?

This is the beta of a new project some of my students are working on. They are creating a news show for the school and we made this one to practice. We would love some constructive feedback.

Coming Soon: Persuasive Writing

Our class has been asked to choose a movie based upon a poster and its summary. These stories are written with persuasive language. Which one do you think is most successful? Go to the link and answer the two questions below:

Which film would you want to watch and why? Which poster and blurb really grabbed your attention?

Fractured Fairy Tale: This Weeks Plan

Monday: Small group story sharing.
Tuesday: Rewrite the story and post on Kidblog
Wednesday: Rewrite is due. Create a storyboard of the story.
Thursday: Finish storyboards.
Friday: Storyboard is due: Small group sharing of the storyboard.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Media History Questions

Monday, November 15, 2010

Fractured Fairy Tale Movies

I am reincarnating an old lesson I used to do several years ago, but with a tech twist. We are going to be writing fractured fairy tales and then creating a movie using Xtranormal or GoAnimate.

First, I will read The True Story of The 3 Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka. Notice how the story has changed when the point of view is from a character in the story. You should notice things like A. Wolf did not know what was going on away from him and how his story was biased based on his thoughts and feelings.

Here is the lesson plan:

  1. Listen to the story and discuss point of view.
  2. Check out the site GoAnimate and Xtranormal You will choose one of these sites to create your video so make sure you understand what they can and can't do.
  3. Choose a fairy tale to rewrite from a specific character's point of view. Make sure you choose one that is well known. Here is a good place to get started: 43 Popular Fairy Tales
  4. Meet in a small group 3-4 to discuss the stories chosen and brainstorm which to use and which characters to have tell the story.
  5. Rewrite the fairy tale from a new point of view. Use your new blog from kidblogs. The link is on the left side of the blog.
  6. Storyboard the story using the template provided by Mr. C.
  7. Meet in a small group 3-4 to review your story. Students will critique the story and make suggestions.
  8. Make any necessary revisions to the story as a separate blog entry.
  9. Create your movie using GoAnimate or Xtranormal.
  10. Post your movie on your blog.
  11. Screen your movie for the rest of the class!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

My Edublog Award Nominees 2010

These are my nominations for the Edublog Awards.

Best individual tweeter:

@IntrepidTeacher: Jabiz Raisdana is honest, raw, and emotional. No one pushes my thinking more.

Best individual blog:

Farview Physical Education is an amazing blog written by Michael Beringer. Although this blog specifically deals with one part of education, it deserves recognition for being the best elementary physical education blog I have seen in four years. Michael has consistently found new and interesting ways to get his students motivated and moving.

Best class blog:

Okay so this is technically a school blog, not a class blog but there is no school blog category so I am putting it here. The Daraja Academy-Official Blog is my choice. While many great teachers have great class blogs that showcase learning, the Daraja Academy blog showcases how the school changes lives.

Best student blog:

Ian Coon's Live to Learn Ian uses his blog to reflect, share, and play. A great combination!

Most influential blog post:

An Easter Monday Proclamation of Liberation by Ira Socol on the SpEdChange blog. It is an amazing post that draws the line between politics and education. A must read in my opinion.

Most influential tweet / series of tweets / tweet based discussion:

#Edcamp What other tweets on education started a new vibrant and dynamic movement this year?

Best use of a PLN:

Edcamp again. These are conferences put on by PLN's for PLN's.

Click here to see the Edublogs Awards home page.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Comments4Kids: Quality Comments Please!

1) Choose  blogs from the list.
2) Leave a comment on posts.
3) Fill out the handout with the information it asks for. 

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Guns, Germs, and Steel

In the excellent book Guns, Germs, and Steel by Jared Diamond, the author lays out a very interesting theory about how the Americas were conquered. As we watch the National Geographic video of Guns, Germs, and Steel we will discuss these theories You may also want to look at the PBS website.

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Yellow Journalism

For this assignment you will be developing an online "textbook" dealing with Yellow Journalism. What is Yellow Journalism? That is for you to discover. What will you do after you find out? That is for us to decide :)

Actually, I would love for you to not only define the term, but also identify examples from throughout the history of the United States (and maybe even during the colonial period!) How can we find these examples? What resources will we use? Who can we get to help us? How will we split up the work? I guess we will have to figure all that out as we go.

We will be putting the information on a wiki. You may want to check it out and figure out how to use it.

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Interested in Natural Science? Check Out These Games

The first game is Blue Whale on the National Geographic website. The idea is to find and tag blue whales so that they can be studied by scientists. Warning, it is really hard to tag the whales!

The second game is Move which is also on the National Geographic website. Here you lead a migrating herd of animals and try to keep them alive. You have to contend with predators as well as lack of food. 

The third game is from the Discovery Channel, Thrill of the Catch. This is a fishing simulation that also allows you to create and name your own fish. As you  catch more fish, you are rewarded with better boats.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Web Sukoku-

Following this weeks theme of working with math. Today and tomorrow you will be doing online sudoku puzzles via See if you can get a puzzle done in under 50 minutes.

Create a Pen and Ink Masterpiece: Using Pen and Ink to Draw a Picture

Surrender of Cornwallis by George Trumbull
This picture is by George Trumbull, Surrender of Cornwallis. An interesting fact is that Cornwallis did not go to surrender himself. I guess he was too embarrassed to show his face.

It was not unusual for people to draw their own pictures (there were no cameras in the 1700's). Here is a picture of a map and letter about Williamsburg by Franz Michel. It was drawn in 1702.
Map and letter by Franz Michel
Your assignment will be to draw with pen and ink a picture of the British surrender at Yorktown. Since you were supposed to have actually witnessed the event, you will be expected to be more historically accurate than Mr. Trumbull. If you wish to color your picture, there are colored inks available as well. Can you come up with a good way to use them effectively?

Monday, November 01, 2010

Flat Stanley Visits Our Classroom

In the mail today I had a surprise, Flat Stanley! Jason Schmidt's class in Omaha, Nebraska sent him to us. Here is the letter I wrote with pictures. 

Thank you for letting Stanley visit my classroom today.  He arrived on Monday, November 1. I opened the letter you sent at the beginning of second period.  Here is a picture of Stanley and your letter:
In second period, Stanley helped Chance do some math logic problems on the website. Chance sure needed the help! Here is a picture of Chance with Stanely
My assistant principal came by for a visit. Here is Stanley visiting with Mrs. Buttram:
I went on Twitter and announced Stanley’s arrival. He quickly received a lot of “hello’s” from people. One teacher sent a link:  Here is a picture of my friends saying hello to Stanley:
In third period, media history, Stanley watched the last episode of the American Revolution documentary The RevolutionThe End Game. Stanley learned all about the battle of Yorktown!
In fourth period I taught 7th grade math. Stanley helped Kyla find the slope of a line. It was a good thing Stanley was there, I needed the help!
After math we had lunch. Here is Stanley getting a BBQ sandwich. I was surprised at how much he ate! How does he stay so thin and eat so much?
Fifth period we are back in the lab. We will be doing logic puzzles the rest of the day.100_0568.JPG