Monday, February 28, 2011

Art at the HeART of Social Studies Wiki

Dr. Baggett and I love researching the integration of art and social studies. We have done several workshops and presentations on this topic and are currently working on some journal articles. So we wouldn't have to try to bring handouts to the presentations, we created a wiki for the powerpoints and resources--Art at the HeART of Social Studies: At this site, you'll find resources for integrating art and social studies, music and social studies, resources for differentiating instruction, and finally just some plain, old social studies resources that I share with my methods' students. These would be great for upper elementary, middle or high school teachers. To access these resources, go to Social Studies Web Resources on the left hand side. Please feel free to send me any social studies resources that you like and have used and I'll add them! Dr. Baggett and I would also LOVE to hear about any art integration that you're doing in any content area!

One of my newer, favorite links is a template for a Facebook Page that students could use for a historical character. This can be adapted for lots of things. I was hoping someone would create something like this and someone did! Check it out!

Even better than Wordle!

I love the Wordle site, but a 340 student (Thanks, Westley) shared the following site today which is even more useful and fun-- I can think of all kinds of applications for this-having students use country outlines and filling in with descriptors of the geography, culture, etc. or using heads of historical characters and again, using descriptors for those characters. When I was teaching in the pre-computer days, when the earth was cooling, I had historical head outlines that students would fill with images and phrases that described that person and this site reminded me of that!

I will say that I love typing in poems, historical documents, etc. to Wordle, then having students decide which poem or document the Wordle contains. It's a fun assessment to make sure they are familiar with specific vocabulary in those poems or documents.

Great Blog for Educators

I LOVE the Blog, Free Technology for Teachers Each time I go there, I find many, many great things. One item that will benefit teachers (and teachers to be) at all grade and content levels is VuSafe which provides a way to organize videos that you download from sites such as YouTube so that you can access them in your classroom. You can also search videos that others have downloaded. My student teachers and methods students are often frustrated at not being able to access YouTube and similar sites in their classrooms, and this site takes care of that. Best of all--it's FREE!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Technology In the Hallways

Kim Holland is blazing the trail for a revolution in Mobile, Co. She just finished her book trailer for a bulletin board at St. Elmo Elementary. A movie for a bulletin board? You read it right. This month, Dina Tillman and I were assigned to a 10 foot bulletin board with one requirement and one restriction-- we were asked to focus on Black History Month figures, but without using celebrities or athletes. So we elected to plaster our board with black, children's book authors and their corresponding book covers.

Okay, so the movie/ bulletin board connection is still not clear? Well, we decided to attach a folder with links to book trailers that are being created by EDM 310 students, and Kim has submitted her exemplary trailer of More Than Anything Else first.

This is just the start. These movies will be shown in the library, and looped on the welcome television in the lobby. St Elmo Principal Fletcher caught wind of our plans and has decided to upload them to the school's closed network, and likely even add one of them to the end of her School Board Presentation as an example of how St. Elmo is pushing the against the borders in regards to technology. What a wonderful place to be a student teacher! Thank you EDM310 for supporting our quest to integrate new learning and producing opportunities via technology in the Mobile County Public School System.

See Kim's thoughts about her book trailer making process below!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Special Recognition

This semester, I have decided to highlight a new EDM310 student blog each week. I believe it is time to really start encouraging y'all to make this learning experience YOURS by personalizing your journey and contributing to all of ours in the same stroke.

This week, I want to give a special thank you to Brandon M. Caten for his investment into his blog. I have learned so much about a wide variety of things. Not only has he shared meaningful responses to the required posts, but he has also exposed his online audience to themes of equality, political engagement, and student life involvement around campus.

It's only week three of school, and Brandon bravely posted a video testimony of a high school student's powerful coming out experience to his blog for all of us to witness the power of one young person's voice. It has inspired me because I too just recently came out online in conjunction with the "It Get's Better" movement for struggling gay teens. This young lady displayed a courage unmatched by most. Please take the time to view and share her pivotal moment of empowerment by clicking here.

Brandon's contribution to the EDM310 experience didn't stop there. He has also posted a call to action in support of the National Endowment of the Arts legislation that is currently running its course through congress. As future educators should recognize the power of the arts in their ability to help us appreciate talent, unite communities, and promote individual expression. We should also realize that testing has all but completely pushed aside arts in the school systems. In Mobile County, students get to participate in art class 5 times a year, and music only five times as well. That is roughly once a month for half a year each. How is this enough to teach our kids the significance of art in our lives as adults? What kind of framework are we building if students think that cramming for tests 90 percent of the time is more important than self discovery and expression through the arts? If we can't enjoy arts in the schools, take up Brandon's call to action and spend 3 minutes filling out this electronic form to let your voice be heard by our legislators. For the survival of creativity, click here to participate.

Just when you thought this future music teacher and life-changer, Brandon, couldn't possibly have time to add one more thing to our learning experience in a week, HE DID! Brandon found a way for you to enjoy yourself locally and simultaneously support our Jaguar Talents by attending the show choir performance (which Brandon is responsible for founding and directing) on Monday, February 7 at 7:00 pm. See his page for me details by clicking here.

Once again, thank you Brandon for all the time that you have invested into your own, and our educational experience. I look forward to seeing more great work from you.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Book Assignments Completed

Thanks for your support. We now have assigned all books. BUT @mrcapps, @dlt0141 (Dina Tillman) and I will dream up another project for the rest of you who volunteered. We will be in touch soon.

Assignments were made strictly by the time your request was received. All slots were filled by 8:00 pm. I gave the last two people who requested a book at 8:00 a book they had not chosen. If they do not want to do it, then the next person in line will be notified.

Book Assignments:

Jerry Pinkney Back Home Brittany Hamilton
Jerry Pinkney The Nightingale Alexa Howie
Donald Crews Big Mama's Trey Mohler
Christopher Paul Curtis Bud, Not Buddy Bailey Abston
Willie Perdomo Visiting Langston Jessica Brown
Marie Bradby More Than Anything Else Kimberly Holland
Patricia McKissack Porch Lies Whitney Greer
Faith Ringgold Tar Beach Megan Simmons
Mildred D. Taylor Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry Hillary Rolin
Toni Morrison Who's Got Game: The Ant or the Grasshopper? Kelly Evans