It’s April. Time to update last year’s Igniting National Poetry Month post with some wonderful new resources:
Update #1 -A year ago the New York Times Learning Network titled its poetry page as 11 Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month. They too have done some updating! This year you’ll find double the number of activities listed on their Ways to Celebrate National Poetry Month with the NY Times.
Be sure to checkout the Learning Network’s Second Annual Found Poem Challenge. What a great activity for kick-starting the week! The challenge includes links to samples and tools for scaffolding students through the process of building powerful “found poems,” such as NCTE’s Found and Headlines Poems article.
Update# 2 - Poets. org – Last year I linked only to Poets.org’s home page and the Poem in Your Pocket link. This year, I’d like to direct readers to a few more great pages on this site, such as the Teaching Poetry Curriculum and Lesson Plans and the Tips for Teachers (on making poetry a more important part of the school day).
Update #3 – National Writing Project – If you’re looking for links sure to inspire, encourage, and support you in your efforts to nurture a love for poetry in your students, the NWP’s National Poetry page will not disappoint you. Their continually expanding resources include categories that range from Spotlight Poetry Programs for Teachers to Teachers as Poets, Poets as Teacher. It’s the voices of teachers sharing their challenges, successes, and strategies for bringing poetry into their students’ lives that makes this site so unique, so valuable. It’s the depth and breadth of articles from Writing Project teachers like Lesley Roessing, for example, sharing what she has learned about Creating Empathetic Connections to Literature that makes visible the power of “teachers teaching teachers.”
Addition #1 – Poetry Foundation – Their growing bank of resources includes a poetry tool, learning lab, glossary, audio and podcasts, children’s poetry, along with Poetry Outloud. Plus, you can download a free app with hundreds of poems.
Addition #2 - PBS NewsHour Extra: Poetry includes lesson plans, links, rules and tools, teacher favorites, student poems, poetry submission and more. Links to Minstrel Man and and I’m Nobody provide windows into the power of poetry to impact our students’ lives.
Addition #3 – Interested in poetry as a tool for teaching for social justice? Check out the Voices from the Fields website. I bought a copy of the book, which pairs poetry with personal narratives/oral histories, about 9 years ago, before there was an accompanying website. If you are looking for additional first-hand accounts of the migrant farm worker experience, here’s a link to a project I did eight years ago to connect elementary students with college students who spent their childhoods working the fields of California.
Addition #4 – And just for fun, how about the exuberance and humor of poet Carlos Andres Gomez, whose style might serve as a call to high students who thought they were not into poetry:
Rushton Hurley – such a fun, outstanding presenter – one of California’s best – is starting Matching Teachers and Technology: Good Ideas, Common Mistakes by sharing Shorewood High School’s Lip Dub reverse order video. How cool is that to involve a whole school in project?! (And here’s a link to show how they put the project together.)
Rushton is opening the session’ with a hilarious, topic-related multiple-choice quiz. An now into the session topic, starting with some do’s and don’ts.
Part 1: Training:
Don’t let teachers require themselves to be technology experts! Do remind teachers of their expertise. Example: If kid is turning in paper report or multimedia, you understand the content. Remind students that they have a multimedia option (but students are responsible to check equipment prior to due date) or they can do a poster. “Cool” matters. What about kids who don’t have computers at home? Let them work with others. In digital video projects, kids celebrate each others’ work.
Don’t schedule everyone at your site for a computer lab training! It’s not about something you’re being required to do; it’s about learning on a personal level. Do allow regular (and short) sharing time – like 2 minutes worth of sharing. Find out what others are doing. Good chance other teachers will have a similar idea/issue they’d love some help rolling into a video clip.
Don’t start with standards. Standards are important, but not as a starting point. Do show something fun. The professionalism of teaching comes down to understanding what it takes to get someone to care about learning something. IDEA: Use a tool/site such as flickr.com + Cool Iris to create sample of words that illustrate college majors. Why cool? Because concepts and words then become visually interesting. Hey, being able to capture a kid’s interest is so key!
Part 2: Using Funds
Don’t limit technology to labs. Do show what’s possible with one or two computers in the classroom.
Don’t buy expensive software a teacher hasn’t used. Do learn what’s freely available. How to ask for money: Explain to administrators, “This is what I’m already doing; and this is how I could expand it if I had…” IDEA: Wow them with Google SketchUp sample - so hands-on creative! If you want kids to think about astronomical issues, for instance, turn ‘um loose on SketchUp.
Don’t blanket the campus with expensive hardware. Do use targeted spending to focus purchases. Spend it on the teachers who will use the technology. You’ll anger a few on campus – but if you give something to everyone, you anger the teachers who are using the equipment. With grants, spend the taxpayers money well; send the equipment on to those who are using it.
Bottom line: Technology matters – If we never give students the to opportunity to explore, how will we know what they’re capable of. Technology connects us with kids in new ways.
Just checked my Twitter stream… it appears a ton of others sitting in this room share my opinion that Rushton’s session rocked!
One of my all-time favorite conference speakers is Alan November, so I’m sitting in a huge ballroom right now, with hundreds of other educators, waiting to learn from his Empathy: The 21st Century Skill spotlight session.
Need more convincing on the need to teach students to manage global relationships? Check out some of the podcasts on the November Learning website. You might start with An Interview with Rahaf Harfoush, a member of Barack Obama’s Social Media Team. Her viewpoint: If you want to become President, you have to build and manage relationships.
Much inspired- as always – by Alan November, I’m heading to ISTE Central to purchase a copy of Global Education: Using Technology to Bring the World to Your Students and then into the vendor’s area to find Rita Oates and continue a conversation about promoting global communities through the wonderful – and free – ePals program.
I arrived at the Denver Convention Center too late for the Monday morning ISTE NECC 2010 sessions, due to a delayed flight out of NYC. But the afternoon sessions made up for missing Will Richardson’s and David Warlick’s morning sessions.
BYOL Session: Free and Easy Bibliography: Scaffolding Student Research with Zotero – Having heard NWP colleague Troy Hicks refer to Zotero as a favorite Web 2.0 tool, I was excited to join Trevor Owns’ workshop. His program description sums up this free, open source tool: “See it, save it, search it, and cite it with Zotero.” I loved Trevor’s presentation and also the fact that his workshop description will make it easy to replicate the scope and sequence of the session.
And if teachers or students need any help on downloading the program, saving links, annotating them, or being able to easily insert citations into a Word document in MLA, APA, etc., the tutorials and documentation on the site are excellent.
I’m looking forward to sharing Zotero with my colleagues. There’s definitely a wow factor built into this tool!
Looking forward to – and will blog – Tuesday sessions!
I should have known that Kathleen Yancey would pack ‘um in at NECC – and I should have been there early. Try as I did, I could not persuade the ISTE door person to let me in. But I lucked out….Sandy Hayes taped (with permission) “The Yancey’s” whole session. And Carla Beard blogged the session.
What can I add about a session I did not attend, besides the above snippet?…How about posting NCTE’s 10 Belief’s About the Teaching of Writing (another gem shared by Sandy Hayes)?!
It’s pretty much a no-brainer that students, not their teachers, should own the learning that’s happening in classrooms. But how do we make that shift? Alan November has a list of “jobs” that will help transfer contol to the learners:
An essential piece in shifting to student ownership is promoting the life-long learning piece…
What a great final session to NECC 2009! Time to head to the airport.
Alan opened the session with a look at where technology is going in the future, via a TED session – Oh my, in mass production of “wearable tech” won’t cost more than a cell phone.
Ideas for designing rigorous and globally connected assignments:
Suggestion 1 – Teach students ethics of content development – have students create code of ethics. Critical piece – teaching kids how to behave when they’re not in school.
Suggestion 2 – Think about and question what skills can we teach today that will outlast any technology? The real revolution is not technology, it’s information and global communication Implication: what’s flowing through wires is more important than the wires. But teachers need to ask what information do we need and what relationships.
Suggestion 3 – Globalize the curriculum. Question: Are there any points in the curriculum for students to think globally? (ie, Teaching American Revolution – only from American point of view? or ask students to find sources in England that deal with the American Revolution. But teach them how to find pieces written from a British perspective. Tech Tip: Try Google trick: site:ac.uk “General Gage” “American Revolution”. Coming up with some “404 Not Found”s? No problem. Head to the wayback machine to get archived articles. Alan used the Wayback Machine to bring up article on General Gage written in 2006 by Thomas Ash. When you show students a different point of view they are more engaged. Nothing like a little dissonance to enliven the research process!
Suggestion 4 – Design assignments where you cannot plagiarize – No more “go to the Internet and get a source”; instead “find 5 different university viewpoints that differ from textbook.” Pedagogy trumps technology. Assignment design should be built into staff development.
Suggestion 5 – Every department should find assignments that require a global view. For example, what if assignments were so compelling that students would even work on them beyond the school day? Student News/Action Network – started by group of kids at Washington International School. We need to give kids environments that are so globally connected that they will want to keep going back – even after the school year.
Session Gem: Ownership of learning needs to shift to students. How about starting the school year by identifying 10 most difficult concepts to teach in your subject area. Ask students to come up with the solutions. Oh, wow, so simple, so powerful – and would work across the curriculum!!
I’m joining Jamie McKenzie‘s last session of the day: teaching media literacy. We’re looking at the of wikilobbying (coined by Stephen Colbert - whose video we’re watching, which has unfortunately been removed from YouTube). So the question is “how do we alert our students to how Wikipedia works?
Phtoshopping Reality – Activity: Show Evolution video from Dove. What question of import would we ask students when sharing this video? Well then, checkout the slob evolution version. How about comparing these two versions to the Green Peace version Dove Onslaught(er).
“Media literacy deserves a prominent placement in district curriculum documents, especially in English/language arts classes” – http://questioning.org/june09/video.html. Jamie is following up this statement with Dove Onslaught video with discussion on deconstructing video and ads. Question: how does “crescendo” (which is a film technique) play a part in this video? Music gets louder, pictures get increasingly horrifying.
More Media Literacy Resources:
It’s been a long time since I’ve looked at Jamie McKenzie’s work. Even at a glance, I can see that the websites he has shared are rich with content and thought-provoking ideas.
Mitch Resnick, from MIT, is leading the Scratch session. Scratch is all about creating, building, and inventing – to be makers of things. You can’t be fluent in digital media just by interacting; you need to also be able to create.
Scratch initiative – allows you to create interactive media – and share – via YouTube type website. Everyday an average of one new project a minute is posted (12 -13 year olds the highest users, but extends from age 7-50.) Program allows you to download existing projects and adapt to make personal. Remixing has become a cornerstone. Lots of shared expertise.
My Red Neptune -This young Scratch developer is thinking creatively, reasoning systematically, working collaboratively. Probably 3 most important skills for succeeding in 21st century.
Scratch kids are becoming computational thinkers.The Scratch team wants to promote possibilities for everyone to think computationally. To be a computational thinker, you need to be a computational creator. Sample: Rapa Nui – science fair project measuring response times. Tons of cross-curricular ways. Checkout Expo Elementary gallery!
Scratch broadens the range of participatory storytelling. Oh, wow, so many possibilities for engaging and stretching learners…and Scratch is free! So how do we get the word out to more educators? Join the Scratch community of educators at http://scratched.media.mit.edu.
Arnie Abrams is opening the session by stating that digital storytelling should be more about the writing – and the writing process – than about the technology.
Benefits of digital storytelling:
We can now do digital storytelling 2.0 – interactive (VoiceThread – my idea, not his;-)
Ten step development process:
Meg Ormiston quote “Without a structure students will focus on adding images, music, and other elements instead of focusing on the content and organization”
Storyboarding – recommends using index cards so kids can move slides around.
Ways to build a digital story:
Tip for copyright issues: Include a disclaimer on your site with offer to remove images, etc., by request. Here’s a sample one from Arnie:
“Many of the digital stories on our site include images and audio found on the Internet using commonly available search engines. The stories have been created for non-profit, educational use by students and teachers and we hope are within the fair use protection of existing copyright laws. If any copyright owner objects to the use of any work appearing on this site, please contact us and we will remove the work and review the propriety of including it.”