Sunday, October 15, 2006

Kick Off Fireside Chat with Preconference Keynote

K-12 Online Conference 2006   Please make plans to attend the K12 Online 2006 Unleashing the Potential Kick Off Fireside chat with Preconference Keynoter David Warlick on October 16, 2006 at 6pm EDT. This informal virtual chat will take place online using Elluminate Live software.

Here is the link for gaining access to the room:

See you there!

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Claymation Project - Week 4 - Update

This week's Friday Learning Institute here at North Whiteville Academy we continued working on claymation projects.  Students in half the groups actually captured most of their images.  One group will begin editing their presentation this coming Friday.  During next week, students will be able to take their images of their clay figures.

Student seen in this image is hard at work molding the stalk of his sunflower plant. 

This is an example of how one of our teams utilized the storyboard to check to make sure his seed clay model is the correct size.  This project requires a tremendous amount of problem solving skills.  Decissions about scale, color, sequencing, timelines.  Students that have problems following directions seem to be having the most difficulty with this project.  Basically, it requires students to focus and pay attention to lots of details.  Those students in the class that lack self-discipline, or are authoritatize defiant, make you not want to do any thing with them but worksheets...but that would like "giving up" on them.

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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Morning Coffee- More Sugar Please!

Sitting here looking at my half full coffee cup, makes me think about my students. We feed them "breakfast" each morning. The milk is either sour or they do not like the cereal. It is always something. They complain about it being to cold in the rooms if the AC is on or the teacher next door is too hot. Somedays, I wish it would stop, but -- I owe, I owe, it off to work I go...(hummed to the tune of a famous family classic).

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Motivating Middle School Students with Technology

I noticed at drop in the folks reading my blog that occured after I included a YouTube video clip. I am not sure if reader dropped my blog from the their reading list because I had included a video clip, or because I have not been finding the time to write. Seems the only time I deleted the YouTube clip, but hope to include student claymation project we are working on in class on my Junk EduBlog. I have to write is on Sunday morning. This morning, my mind really sparked fire when I ran across this product from the creative thinkers at Griffin Technology.

While reading an article found in iLounge The iPod Book 2.2, I followed a link to Griffin Technology's upcoming gadget for iPods: iKaraoke. I was almost read to turn the page before I remembered a resent presentation conducted by Larry Bell, national presenter, educational
consultant and author,
and how he used tunes of Calendar Girl, My Girl, The Lion Sleeps Tonight, Accentuate the Positive, Oscar Mayer Weiner, The Adams Family, and Are You Sleeping to help students learn twelve words. These twelve words are critical links to students scoring better on standardized testing. They include analyze, infer, evaluate, formulate, describe, support, explain, compare, contrast, summarize and predict. I can just see a classroom full of elementary or middle school kids being throughly entertained with a teacher using their iPod and iKaraoke. Man, would that be fun. I know, you do not have to go out and buy any of this to accomplish this instructional strategy. Heck, a hair brush and anyone that can carry a tune can lead students in a chorus of The Adams Family-- if the kids know the song. But, most of our students do not know that tune. My middle school kids do not know any of the tunes Bell mentioned. In the Flat World, the author lists adaptivity as a skill that successful folks must possess in a this day and time. Well, using this iKaraoke to teach kids to know 12 words to help them score better on standardized tests has to be adaptive thinking. Maybe I am just crazy as heck. Hey, we have to use whatever it takes to motivate and engage learners.

Griffin Technology: iKaraoke - Karaoke for your iPod

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