Tag Archives: Education

Free Tech for Teachers: Read Write Think Timelines


timeline

From the website:

  • Looking to build skills or create new habits? Help children or teens make and manage a focused schedule of activities for a week.
  • After reading a book or story, review the events by helping children put them in order. Encourage them to record their reactions to enhance the review.
  • Before a big event such as a family gathering or vacation, help children or teens plan what steps need to be taken to get ready. Ask them to keep track of the steps as they are accomplished.

 

I’m sending this link to teachers who are participating in the RJHS “Year of the Top 30” project. Depending on the essential question they choose, teachers could use the timeline tool to present the top 10 works of American literature, the top 10 scientific theories that every American should know, the top 10 World History events that everyone needs to know, etc. This is an easy tool to create a visual representation of the class list.

RJHS “Year of the Top 30” Project


This is a school-wide, interdisciplinary program to unite the community in answering these questions: “What does it mean to be American? What does every American need to know? What is the common knowledge of this country?”  I will be supporting teachers as a co-teacher and with research materials as they find the best way to integrate the project into their curricula.  Background reading and inspiration: E.D. Hirsch’s Cultural Literacy: What Every American Should Know.

 

Project outline:

How to Be American: RJHS “Year of the Top 30”

 

Situation: Who is “us”?  Common knowledge and common references are what unite us as a people.  E.D. Hirsch began the first list in 1987 with his book Cultural Literacy: What Every American Should Know.  Hirsch’s book of 5,000 items of common knowledge caused much controversy over the American identity and where multiculturalism fits into our nation’s history.

 

Task: In order to achieve cultural literacy, what does every American need to know?  As a class, choose an essential question and compile a list of 10 things every American should know about that subject.  Student majority votes will condense the lists into the Top 30 for each subject in the spring semester.

Ideas for essential questions:

  • What are the top 10 most important events in the history of America?
  • What are the most influential works of American literature?
  • What are the 10 most essential Mathematical concepts that every American should know?
  • What should every American know about French culture?
  • What are the top 10 scientific theories that every American should know?
  • 10 Things Every Catholic Should Know

 

Once the class has chosen an essential question, begin researching the knowledge, images, symbols, stories, and references that hold our nation together and compile a class list of the Top 10 and why each item is essential common knowledge for an American citizen.  As a class, create an authentic document / diorama / timeline / poster / media presentation / slideshow that showcases your Top 10.

Be prepared to defend your list at a lunchtime debate series in March and early April.  Your goal is to convince the student panel to add one or more of your items to the Top 30 list for your subject area!

 

*All projects and Top 30 lists will be on display at the Poetry Slam (April 13th) and all lists will be assembled into the 2015 RJHS Dictionary of Cultural Literacy.

 

 

The goals of the project are:

◦To define and recognize common knowledge for all Americans.

◦Use creativity to present the class (or individual) “Top 10” list (consider technology tools!)

◦Connect the dots for your students.  Why do we have to learn…?

◦Promote higher level thinking skills!

 

Suggested strategies to integrate”Year of the Top 30″ into the curriculum:

◦Have individual assignments (short or long) in which students defend their answer to the essential question.

◦Answer the essential question for each unit or as part of the review at the end of the semester or year.

◦Identify the knowledge, images, symbols, stories & other references that are “essential.”

◦Students create an independent freewrite list with the essential question as a prompt near the end of the course (March / April) with a follow-up discussion, whittling these into a class top 10 list.

◦A teacher-assigned (or student-generated) essential question to guide student research.

◦Student groups are asked to research and decide on 2-3 most important things to know about a topic or the essential question before compiling a class list.

◦Have students decide what the most important topic was from each class unit to make a top 10 list for that subject.

 

By end of year:

The library will collect the “Top 10” lists from your classes and the projects that represent that knowledge.

A panel of students will decide which items will make it into a top 30 list for each subject area.

The libraries will display the top 30 lists and projects in the spring at the Poetry SLAM!

Digital Tools for Learning Across the Curriculum


web2

 

 

 

 

Here are two links to livebinders that present a variety of Web 2.0 tools for digital instruction and information literacy.

The first is a presentation I gave to Fordham Preparatory School in Bronx, NY this afternoon.  If you’re new to incorporating instructional technology into the classroom, this is the one to start with.  I’ve included a few assignments from my class to illustrate how easy it is to plug in a variety of content.

http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=792925

This second livebinder is a well-curated compilation by an educator in North Carolina.

http://www.livebinders.com/play/play?id=607824

 

 

 

Ninth Grade Scoop.it Career Exploration Projects


Scoop.it

It’s been awhile, but the freshmen and I have been very busy here! Below is a link to January’s library newsletter. Highlighted are freshmen projects using Scoop.it, a digital magazine generator that students used to explore a career. Have a look!

January 2013 Newsletter

Scoop.it project highlights:

The Engineer

Biotechnology

Journalism

The Medical Field

Event Planning