Engage Me!

I stumbled across an insightful video titled “Engage Me!” that was put together by students at Robin Hood primary school in Burmingham, Alabama. Here are four quotations that stuck out to me as an educator.

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Texting to Google Voice

I’m a big fan of using Google Apps to enhance the classroom experience, and so are my students. By setting up a Google Voice account and sharing the provided phone number with my students, they can now text me brief questions, exit tickets, or schedule times to meet—all of which are forwarded to my inbox (not my personal phone).

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Using Film in The Classroom

The New York Times Learning Network is an invaluable resource to teachers. While its content is slim compared to similar sites, its quality is unmatched. I want to draw attention now to its Film in the Classroom page, which provides fully vetted lesson plans on using film in language arts. The page, linked here, shows how you can turn film viewing from a lazy Friday activity to an engaging learning opportunity. The lessons provided here are (1) highly engaging; (2) show only brief video clips; (3) include targeted; higher-level thinking questions; and (4) align to standards.

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Digital Writing Conference

I recently attended the Digital Writing Conference, held at Central Connecticut State University on October 25th. In 100 words, here is the most important aspect that I took away:

Consider working a multimedia essay into your unit. This project weaves together oral and written narrative, music, images and video into one cohesive presentation. It is recommended that students write a rough draft of their essay first, and then turn the final product into a multimedia piece via a platform such as Google Docs or Prezi. For example, students can write about their family or community (two topics that typically hook kids!) and can include embedded audio interviews, photos of people, places and events, and background music that signifies the discussed culture and might changes to fit the mood of the piece.

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