Wednesday April 1 Assignment and Class Update

Day Three Assignment. ALL SUBJECTS. The video directions are embedded below the written directions.

For today’s assignment,, we are going to try and have a little fun.  We have a multi-part assignment:

First, how confident are you in moving forward with content in the course?   Give me a detailed answer and explain why you feel the way you do. Your answer should be several sentences to a paragraph in length.  By content we will move forward with readings.  I will give you reading guides along with Google Docs and the online text.  I can add video notes/short descriptions to explain topics to go along with the readings. 

Second, what has been your favorite (school appropriate) song over our most recent break?   Go to YouTube and grab the share link from your favorite song. Once again, please make sure it is school appropriate.  I want to create playlists from your submissions.

As with Day One please submit your reply to this assignment via email or in Edmodo by noon Friday.You may reply to this email, or send me a separate email, or respond in Edmodo.

Type:  DAY TWO ASSIGNMENT across the top of your email.

In the spirit of the assignment, Here is my favorite tune from break…https://youtu.be/HUobIqf3tdk

It is a throwback to the 1980s, but the overall playlist is from the 1980s through the mid 2000s.

I will share other links randomly with posts just to help break up the monotony of the stay at home order.

The Grand Experiment

So, during this quarantine I have been doing work for school, attending virtual staff meetings, working on family crafts, reading books, watching movies and shows on Netflix and Amazon Prime, and getting outside when the weather allows..  Today I came across an offer for THREE MONTHS OF FREE GUITAR LESSONS, I happened across this on Social Distortion’s Instagram page.  I will chronicle my travails here, please do not judge…I do not play well, but I play LOUD!  Self taught to play loud…now I will try to play well.  Stay tuned…we’ll see if I can even tune my guitar…

 

This post is currently under construction.

Wakelet Student Ambassador Create an Account

So…here is the first step to the Wakelet Student Ambassador Extra Credit Assignment.  Just create an account, I also encourage you play around on the site and see what you can do with Wakelet.  The detailed instructions are on the embedded video below.

For those of you who do not want to watch the video, here are the instructions:  Go to Wakelet.com and click on “Sign Up It’s Free” and create an account.  I suggest using your school Google Account to do this.  Once you have done this, email me with your username, so I can keep track who is who.  Lastly, play around on the site and see what it does, studies on learning indicate that people learn more by experimenting and looking around on their own before being handed a set of instructions.

PLEASE DO NOT WORRY, instructions on how to use Wakelet and a brief video tutorial will be sent out tomorrow, along with the assignment for the first badge.

In the mean time…take care.

Wakelet Student Ambassador Optional Extra Credit

Hello, this is an optional extra credit assignment for my students.  The video below gives them a general overview of the assignment.  I will give them specific details later on each task.  Those details will be posted here on my blog as we move forward.

 

Spontaneous Review

This post was originally written many moons ago, but somehow got stuck in the iPad and I never noticed it was not published.  Well, better late than never…

My Period Four US History and Government II students have a test on Friday, it is based upon their presentations to the class on the 1950’s and vocabulary from the Civil Rights Unit. Actually all four of my US II classes have a test on Friday.

We created a Padlet from questions the student generated based upon their presentations. Student projects were posted on the class wiki and all of this information was wrapped up nicely and neatly in Edmodo for student access. Students were encouraged to use class time to collaborate and see if they could use their notes to answer the review questions. I used this method to study in college, I dislike studying in isolation.

As students worked together, I floated about to see if there were any questions they were having trouble with and if they were staying on task. We had mixed results, most students were on task and few had questions they could not answer. There were some students who were off task, redirected when I came by, and then went off task once I left. That happens, I did the same at their age.

Today, a couple of students started playing Hangman on the Interactive WhiteBoard in the front of the room. A number of other students jumped in and seemed to be enjoying themselves. I made a suggestion, which seemed to catch them a bit off guard. I did not tell them to get away from the board and study, I suggested that instead of playing Hangman with random words, why don’t they use the information from the class and use the game as a review.

They seemed to enjoy the effort, the majority of the class worked together and played in a large group. They assisted each other with the terms being asked and what some words meant as they were guessed. I had a few students who are not as social in class continue to study on their own. Overall, it seemed like a productive class. Students worked on their reviews, seemed to enjoy themselves, and it broke up the monotony of conducting the usual reviews. Sometimes going off the beaten path can be a good thing.

PETE & C Reflection 2019

This year’s PETE & C was very rejuvenating and a great learning experience.  I picked up a solid mix of new tools and new pedagogy. Many of the tools I was exposed to I have heard of or seen before, but I picked up new ideas on their usefulness.  This is always enlightening, it also precludes the need to learn and/or pay for new tools and apps. I believe these experiences out and about, immersed in these conferences improves my overall concept of education.  

My previous thoughts on some “Old School” practices, such as handwriting, which I am biased against due to my messy handwriting, and a few other ideas were challenged.  I was forced to look at those notions and adjust accordingly. I see where some concepts, such as reading cursive is necessary for looking over primary documents and still a basic skill set that is necessary, albeit not often used.  

I continue to push for student creation of content and challenge the students to think outside of the box, but I need to break projects and lessons down into smaller, more manageable or basic parts.  This allows for students who may not be comfortable with these concepts to hopefully have a higher rate of success. (Author’s Note: since returning from the conference, I have experienced my theory in a real world learning situation.  That will be a separate blog post.)

I am very interested in Mindfulness and creating a more effective learning environment in my traditional classroom and online class setting.  The changes have been instituted on my part immediately, although in small pieces. I find that my students adapt better to incremental changes rather than one major paradigm shift.  This is especially true with my Honors US II class.

As stated earlier, I am working incorporating these strategies and tools into my classes by modelling tasks repeatedly, and creating more and more video tutorials.  My students have also stepped up and have been mentoring each other more, especially on the current project utilizing my class Padcaster.

As more specific ideas and tools are rolled out, I will add to the story at MrSal.edublogs org.

I am also breaking assignments into smaller assignments to try and monitor and reward students more often.  I will follow up on the results via my blog.

 

Spontaneous Review

My Period 4 US History and Government has a test on Friday, it is based upon their presentations to the class and vocabulary on Civil Rights. Actually all four of my US II classes have a test this Friday.

A couple of students were in front of my room when I came in from hall duty. They were attempting to write on the Interactive WhiteBoard, (IWB),but were having difficulty. Other students attempted to explain what to do, but there was still some difficulty and disbelief in what to do on the part of the students at the IWB. I confirmed and re-explained the student directions on how to write on the board.

I was curious as to their intent, it just happened to be a game of Hangman on the IWB.  They started off and I just watched as the students became excited to play the game.  I made one suggestion after the second game; why not incorporate words from the class review into the game.  They seemed a bit surprised that I did not shut their game down.

They converted the game of Hangman into an animated class review.  Students continued to collaborate during the games, assisting with guessing letters and explaining what some of the words were.  Students used presentation topics, important people and terms for the game.

A few students did not play, but reviewed on their own.   That was fine, they have that freedom of choice to work in the way they are most comfortable with.

Overall the period flew by, most students engaged on the task They needed to focus on.  It was nice to be reminded that we can go off the beaten path and still reach our goal.

Anchor Podcasting App

Anchor, Dundee WaterfrontCreative Commons License dun_deagh via Compfight

A new and FREE podcasting app came across one of my networks and caught my attention, Anchor.  This FREE podcasting app is available for both Apple and Android devices.  I downloaded it right away, but had not tested it out until yesterday, when my daughter and I relaxed at National Grind, a coffee shop in Ellwood City, PA after school.

I was grading student work, essay tests and projects, while she played Cool Math Games, Snail Bob was the specific game.  After awhile we both needed a break and decided to enjoy our beverages, I had a mocha latte, she had a Smore Hot Chocolate.  During our respite from work, she jumoed back into her Edublogs account; she is participating in the Edublogs Student Challenge again this year.  She updated her About Me page, and created an avatar to place on her blog.

I thought this would be the perfect time to try out Anchor, it took seconds to set up the account on my phone, link it to my Twitter account and start recording.  After a couple of miscues with releasing the record button, we recorded the following podcast.

You can even invite others to join your podcast from remote locations, we will try that soon.  I will follow up with another post once we officially try that out.  We ran a quick test later last evening, it is super simple to do.

Want to Podcast, give Anchor a try.  This is an unpaid discussion of the app and in no way endorses the product…all said for legal reasons…