Google Earth File on the Colonies

I am still feeling my way around using Google Earth in the classroom. I want to make it more than a 3d worksheet. I think the key is making the students responsible for creating the files but I think in order to do that they need examples and exposure the program and how to use it on a more basic level. That is what this file is supposed to provide. This KMZ file covers SOLs USI 5 (for you non-Virginians that’s the early colonies in North America and some of their climate/economy/settlement rationales/religion). Download the file here. In the end I’d like to see students using it as an interactive hyper-linked notebook. If the teacher gave them a KMZ file at the start of the year and it was divided into folders based on SOLs then that’d get the organization started and the students could be responsible for adding the place marks, additional information and links out to relevant websites. I would like an internal search feature that scanned the info window text (which should be easy for Google) and I think it’d be a complete package for certain content.

Behavior Modificaton Plan (with style!)

Looking for a way to refocus your students without having to stop class to speak to them? Want to maintain your street cred as a hip “techno teacher”? Well, check out the Warning Label Generator. You choose the label style, icon, and message, and the generator spits out a jpg. Save it, copy it, laminate it, drop it like it’s hot on the desk of that student who doesn’t seem to get the concept of an internal monologue.

“Hop the Pond” for a great illustration

I happened upon this BBC site while tutoring a student last year, and I used it this year in my classes with great success. It’s an interactive activity that shows the student how adjectives and adverbs beef up a simple sentence and change the image the sentence places in our heads. My students loved it, and they really started to understand how descriptive details are often well placed adjectives and adverbs.

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Community Script-Writing

The Jet Set Show recently posted a project entitled “Brandon’s Pitch”. Brandon has developed a basic set of characters and some conflicts between them, and he would like the general public to suggest possible story lines. He will take the suggestions into consideration when writing the script. This might be interesting to follow as well as a possible model for collaboration in a number of your classes. Link to Wiki

The Planets get Pages!

So far two science classes have now used iWeb to create social software pages for the planets. It went very well. The kids did a great job and really showed both creativity and a good grasp of the subject. There are some great quotes in there. One of my favorites was “I guess my life started out after that huge bang . . .” I also liked that Saturn’s secret shame was jewelry. I’d recommend checking them out- Jupiter Mars Venus Earth Mercury Uranus Pluto Neptune Saturn

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Assembly Line Education

Six and a half hours a day. Nine months a year. Thirteen years. March, children, march. Take your diploma and drive thru. This is, as Jim Grant puts it, the American Lock-Step, Time-Bound, Grade School Structure. Do you have any idea where this model for education comes from in our history? The Kingdom of Prussia in the 18th Century. The king was having trouble with Lutheran aristocrats and decided to implement a compulsory education system that would indoctrinate his people to ensure the king’s place in Prussia. Horace Mann, Massachusetts representative and education reformer, was looking for a common system of schooling and turned his eye to Prussia. This lock-step method of educating was revolutionary at the time. It followed the mighty and holy Henry Ford in its assembly-line structure. The still very present agrarian society was respected within the structure. The majority of schools in America were still private institutions and unorganized before Mann put the lock-step system into place in the 1840s. Mann also organized teacher conferences and delivered lectures and addresses advocating reformation of the education system. Horace Mann was an educational revolutionary and should be respected for his attempt to provide consistent education to all learners in his state. We no longer live in an agrarian or industrial society. Our commodity is information these days. We […]