Authentic Audience is Essential

There is something powerful about students create something for somebody other than their teacher.  I read this quote on Twitter the other day and was reminded of how important it is for students to be able to share their thinking and creativity with PEOPLE, not just their teachers.C_awGq_U0AA3yNv.jpg

Out of this idea, I worked with Mr. Osorio on a Narrative Essay Unit.  In past years, students in 8th grade at Currie have written 1-2 narrative essays following a very structured and purposeful layout.  This year we decided to try something different.

We began by anchoring our thoughts and discussions in standards, essential learnings, and what we want students to be able to know and do.  This is what we came up with:

After developing our unit, we decided to have our 8th graders create a picture book that they could share and present to 1st and 3rd grades using the skills taught throughout the unit!  It was wonderful!  Not every book was great but there were a few that were amazing.  Who knows…maybe it inspired someone to become an author in the future.

Voice Creations from Middle School to High School

I have facilitated quite a few projects lately where students have engaged in critical thinking and collaboration through creating voice overs.

The beauty of this lesson is that it is very versatile.  I implemented it in a middle school Spanish, drama, and ELD class and a High School Spanish class.  This lesson supports writing and speaking by allowing students the opportunity to creatively communicate their thinking independently and make connections to and around oral expression.

  • The lesson begins with teachers using this Google Doc to inform students of the project.
  • Students can write their script digitally or on paper.  Some teachers gave them a graphic organizer, but we found that they didn’t really use it.
  • Students choose from one of these videos to voice over.  Here are instructions for the teacher on how to get videos to the students if using iPads.
  • Using iMovie, students pull in the video and record their voice over the clip.
  • This lesson can be adapted to laptops by using Edpuzzle.  Here is a direction sheet and video to help students through the process.

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iMovie can be used on iPads and Macs

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EDPuzzle can be used on PCs

 

Here are a few student samples:

HyperDocs

Okay everyone!  I have stepped into the world of HyperDocs and begin to see the beauty and fun!  So here is my first ever created and implemented with students!

So there are a TON of different uses and layouts but I really like this template:

Although it did feel like a lot for me so I stuck to just a few of the steps:

Engage (short collaborative activity to get kids thinking)  Here are two examples of easy and effective ways to engage

 

Explore (students are given a variety of different resources with a wide range of types of media to explore and learn about the topic)

Explain (students engage in responding to the new knowledge)

  • Use of Essential Questions.
  • Provide sentence frames

Share (students collaboratively share their ideas with the class or an authentic audience)

Create (I added this…I want students to take what they have learned and build, model, form something original to really apply what they have learned)

If you would like to explore the world of HyperDocs, you should begin in these two places:

HyperDocs Website and this Padlet!

Made with Padlet

I LOVE Learning

Today was a great day back in TUSD.  I love learning from the greatness around me.  I was given the opportunity to present two different sessions today.  I felt great success in one session and not as much success in another, but that is okay.  I feel like I can reflect, grow and learn.  I love learning from my mistakes, I love analyzing what I could have done differently to better meet the needs of the teachers, I love figuring out better ways to share information…I LOVE LEARNING.

I also love technology.  One reason why I love technology is because of days like today.  While I was presenting, there were many other presentations going on and I was not able to attend, but with technology I can go back to Haiku (our learning management system) that has all of the presentations and I can learn independently.

I am not stuck living in the dark and missing out on what others have to share.  That today is why I love technology.  

I also enjoy having challenging conversations.  Understand I do NOT like to debate, to argue or to engage in conflict.

I LOVE

to talk about the impossible

to dream about what could be

to challenge the status quo

to think outside the box.  

Why not try something new?  Why not be courageous and try something that may fail, probably will fail?  Why not? What do I have to lose?  Oh…but what do I have to gain!!!!

So here are my ideas (I would say crazy but they aren’t really crazy, they are just different for ME):

  1. I really, really want to create a culture of blogging at my school.  I want to create a Staff Blog where each a week a different staff member will blog about ANYTHING!  I want students to have a blog where they can write freely (within limits of course) about their passions, about their learnings, about their failures.  In PE, I want them to create a blog about how to do a skill…  I want math students to take screen shots of a difficult problem they attempted and show it on their blog (with our without solving it).  I think this could create a culture of writers, a passion for writing, and a ton of mentor texts.  😉
  2. I walk through classrooms all of the time and see so many amazing practices.  I want to capture them and share them out with my staff.  When I observe something GREAT, I want to do a short screen cast or better yet have the teacher do a short screen cast and share it with the staff.  A JOT, if you will.  Just One Thing.  I want to capture this and send it out weekly, or heck why not put it on our STAFF BLOG!
  3. I want to create a really AMAZING task in math to launch a unit.  A task in which students have to think, problem solve, preserver, take a risk, do some math.  I want this task to be so well thought out that it can connect throughout the unit.  “Remember when we did….that is this math concept”.  I want it to be challenging, but not impossible.  I want it to be multiple layers, but not too time consuming.  I want it to be so AWESOME that our teachers feel like they should do that more often…monthly….weekly…daily.

I don’t know exactly what this year holds for me, but I want to fail.  I want to go big, try a lot, challenge the norm, encourage creativity and be bold in my learning.  Let’s go 2016/2017!!!