Over the next few weeks, I get the chance to spend a lot of time having conversations with teachers about integrating literacy into the social studies. Reading, writing, and communicating. ELA literacy standards. My C4 Framework. The NCSS Inquiry Arc.
I love these kinds of discussions. Teachers brainstorming and sharing ideas. Thinking and talking about effective strategies. Good times. So part of what I’ve been doing the last few days is exploring different tools that support literacy in the classroom. And today, one of my finds.
An online tool that encourages the creation of visual stories in seconds. It’s a simple idea that has attracted more than 5 million stories – making Storybird one of the world’s largest storytelling communities. Read more
Hi. My name is Glenn and I’m an Apple nerd.
I haven’t yet crossed the line to join the semi-crazed, standing in line for days to get the latest Apple shiny tool, Cupertino logo t-shirt wearing, sweat-stained towel thrown to the audience during Apple WWDC by the late Steve Jobs owning, theme song singing Apple cult.
I’m not saying it won’t happen. But so far . . . I haven’t jumped on the loony Apple fan train.
But I really do love my iPad / iPhone / Macbook combo and how they all work together. The ease of use, the simple flow of information, the look and feel. It’s all pretty sweet.
And no. I have not played much with the Surface or other tablet options. Or spent a ton of time with Chromebooks. But I am open to the idea that other options and choices are available. And next week, I’ll share some device agnostic tools that work across platforms. But today . . . it’s all Apple. Because I’m convinced that I’ve found the perfect trifecta of iOS creation tools.
So if you’re not an iPad user or thinking about using iPads, feel free to move along. Nothing to see here.
If you’re an Apple nerd and still hanging around, you know that the perfect trifecta should include creation tools that focus on visual, textual, and auditory elements. And yes. All three of the trifecta are able to combine video, text, and audio into a final product. But each of the following tools focus on a particular element – providing you and students to select just the right tool for the required task.
So here ya go . . . Read more
You gotta love the Twitter. Seriously. Even you choose to not use it at a personal level, there’s just too much stuff you and students can do with it.
Historical re-creations. Tweets as historical characters. Exit card activities. Assign homework. Virtual study rooms. Question and answer sessions with students. Connect with parents. With other teachers. With other classrooms. Provide study tips. Ask questions. Share ideas. Real time chats. Follow breaking news and current events.
History as haiku. Read more
Okay. I know that movies about teachers rarely tell the whole story. You know the ones I’m talking about – movies like:
- Stand and Deliver
- Freedom Writers
- Dangerous Minds
- Mr. Holland’s Opus
- Lean On Me
They rarely show the hours of grading, the phone calls from parents, IEP meetings, kids throwing up on your shoes, music program practice, endless committees, extra duties, coaching – though there does always seem to be some sort of happy ending.
But ya know . . . I still enjoy ‘em. My favorite? Dead Poets Society. Maybe because the ending is not quite as sugar-coated as the others. But what really sells it is Robin Williams’ poetry speech. You remember. Apple recently came out with a sweet commercial that uses the speech to see iPads.
I’ve been pushing the use of poetry as a high-quality instructional tool for a while now. Poetry incorporates much of what we know encourages high levels of learning – emotion, stories, word pictures, connection to content. And it hits tons of the Common Core literacy standards for History/Government. So Williams’ Dead Poets speech resonates.
One idea that I’ve been sharing with teachers but never really written about before is the concept of Blackout Poetry. But a recent post by Larry Ferlazzo describing The New York Times new online version of the strategy was a sign.
So. Here we are. Read more