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Showing posts from February, 2015

Creating Tools for Specific Assignments

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Stem Cell Writing Assignment

I have been writing a lot here about the different types of collaboration that I have been doing in all subject areas. I want to share an instance where I created the tool for a science class, but I didn't really do any teaching for this assignment. The biology teacher, Mrs., Higgins, came to me recently about beefing up an assignment that she has done in the past. She had created a writing assignment on the stem cell controversy that she has used before. Students had to take a stance on whether they believed embryonic stem cells should be used for research, or if they thought the use of adult stem cells was sufficient. She was happy with the idea of the product where students wrote a letter or a speech defending their stance. It was the research part that she felt needed some help. She was pleased with the pathfinders that I have created for her lessons, and she thought it would work well in this situation, too., Together we came up with a set of ques…

Spreading the Word about infogr.am in the Classroom

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New tech tools are great, and when Infogr.am launched several years ago, several of the teachers in my building began to use it with their students. We had some success and failure with this tool used to create infographics, so I reached out to them through twitter. We have kept up a relationship ever since, and this past year I became an ambassador with Infogr.am. They asked if I would write a post for their blog on the use of their tool in  the classroom. Click here to read the post that I wrote for them

Students Create a Quiz with Flippity

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At the beginning of the semester, I read this post describing how to create a Jeopardy-like quiz game using a Google spreadsheet and Flippity. I thought this would work really well with a social studies class. I approached Mrs.Hampton, who is teaching 6th grade world history this semester, to see if she wanted to try using this tool with the students to make a quiz. We really wanted the kids themselves to create the questions, so we knew that we had to wait until she had taught them several units before they would have enough knowledge to create the questions for the quiz. We also decided to make the categories of art and architecture, family life, land forms and climate, religion, rulers, and science and medicine rather than the categories by country so that it would not matter how far into the textbook she taught before the planned activity. The students could ask questions about Mesopotamia, Egypt, or India. The logistics for this took some planning. At first we thought that the s…

Collaboration Takes Many Different Forms

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I have been talking lately about the different types of collaboration that I do with my teachers. This collaboration can be formal, informal, planned or done at the last minute. I like that each day is different for me and that I can be in a science class one day and a social studies class the next. Last week a science teacher visited me during her off period which was at the beginning of the day. She wanted her 8th grade Earth science students to depict geologic time periods in an infographic. Almost all the students would  be using Infogr.am, which I have talked about before here. They were working in groups of four and had to include about 12 pictures of fossils and were also asked to create some sort of timeline to illustrate the geologic eras. 
I promised the teacher that I would visit all of her classes and spend a portion of the period helping her students. This is the type of collaboration that I call the Second Person in the Room. I did not plan with her on the lesson nor di…