George Washington on Steroids
Something simple and silly I did back in the day to emphasize the strength of the leadership of the Continental Army. Trying to make visual connections and keep people interested through humor.
I’m reminiscing some about my days teaching 6th grade and as I find things that I still like1 I plan to post them. Not that they’re particularly useful to others but it helps me keep track and who knows what it might inspire.
1 There’s not a whole lot I still like. I look at a lot of it with disgust and sorrow. I wish I could do it again knowing what I now know, you know- and that’s half the battle.
I did this a while back but don’t think I ever posted about it It’s possible I did and am bad at searching and worse at remembering. So vocabulary work often is one the most boring things an English teacher (or anyone else) ever does. The beauty of an English class is that you have a fair degree more flexibility when dealing with vocabulary than a lot of subjects. Here are two ways I wanted to attack words in a way that’d make them stick. the album Students pick a word/root/suffix/prefix and then build an album around it complete with cover art and song choices that reflect that theme. You see my Puffy Ego album above with songs like “Your You’reI’d thank the commenter for catching the typo if he/she hadn’t been such a jerk about it So Vain” and “I Love Me.” It’s simple and pretty engaging for students. The association with music (and likely with music they like) should really help internalize the information. the t-shirt Once again, a pretty simple idea. Students take a word/root/prefix/suffix and make a t-shirtHere’s a blank template for the t-shirt if you’re interested. with it. This could be fun and you could also make posters, hats etc and get the best ones made or maybe just put on cafepress The point is […]
These things are less techy and more inspired by pop culture once again but I thought they were worth remembering. Scion Crest Generator – While the choices aren’t unlimited, this nice flash interface will help you make a lot of different crests. The real power would be in requiring logic for the various choices and in that way the restrictions almost work for you- less time in building and more time spent on why your choices make sense. You could do this with just about any character or historical figure. The really nice thing is the image sizes are really good- up to 2048×1536 so you could print them out and do other things with them or just use them as a starting point in Photoshop or some other image editor. For instance, I made the crest above for this blog. The wrenches on the left to represent the DIY ethic of much of the stuff I like. The circuit board patter on the right to represent the technology. Then the broadcasting icon represented RSS to me and the fire is for igniting a passion for learning. The wolf is because I like to bite people. I just liked the wolf, a little gritty and banged up from the real world. Corny, I know, but you get the idea. It’d […]
As an English or foreign language teacher I’d be all over the “small people” quote by BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg. It’s not going to be useful much longer so act now. Questions: Should this comment make people mad? What did he mean? What should he have said? It’s a beautiful entry to arguing about word choice, synonyms and nuance. In this case, one word really mattered quite a bit. It might be fun things like have students reword famous quotes/sayings using synonyms to make them offensive or otherwise rob them of power. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.” becomes “A chopped up house, will fall down.” Minnesota’s “Land of 10,000 lakes” becomes “Our state has a lot of standing water” After you get them written, you could have them post them in some way and students could try to figure out what the original quote was. Another bonus was I found that I could search MSNBC video by certain keywords- in this case, small people. It highlights those words in a transcript and shows the points in the time line where the words occur with colored dots for the video. A really nice way to quickly get where you want.