So in the theme of restrictions creating creativity and my own desire to be doing things more directly related to the classroom- I have decided to start Zombie Vocabulary1. I’ll take a few words from Merriam-Webster’s word of the day and create a zombie2 themed use of the word that I’d use with my students (if I had them).
So to start things off here’s facetious– WOD from Oct. 14th.
Big version here Probably not much use to U.S.A. teachers but I was listening to a song by Dizzee Rascal (he’s big in the UK – I swear). The phrase “true to his grammar” was too good to resist and there were some great high resolution shots out there. So, once again you get a classroom related rap/English poster. Remember the whole point is to find interests you and your students share and then leverag them to the hilt. Despite growing up in Alabama, I like rap, always have. If you don’t like rap and you try to fake it things will go very, very badly. This is true of most things in life and in teaching. Faking = bad. (that’s the condensed wisdom of this comment thread) If rap, or strange UK rap, isn’t for you (or your students) find out what will work for them and you. Then come up with ways to use it. This comes from a guy who used to dress up like a ninja to discuss backing up computers. Strange things work but only if you’re really behind them. Take a risk but make it one you believe in. On another note- go vote dy/dat for best individual blog and best new blog. If you aren’t reading him, I suggest you start.
I know, late to the party, but I wanted to do a little more than say “Hey, wordle is pretty cool and stuff. You should use it.” So here’s how I’d use Wordle to attack poetry. Take a few poems from the poets you cover, mash a few of the poems together, and create a wordle for each poet. Then have the students match them to the author. The Stevens one is pretty obvious with blackbird standing out that way but the other two will require a little more attention. The key is to make them identifiable but difficult. Too easy and it’s useless. If you presented these as problems to be solved at the beginning of the unit then you’d be able to get some interesting conversation goingEspecially if you were say looking at poets from the same genre as opposed to my odd personal selections.. I’d post them on the wall as big posters and maybe let people put their votes as to the author under each. Then they move their vote each day as students find out more about the poet and their works. So for Wallace Stevens I picked the poems available in Wikipedia – “Anecdote of the Jar,” “The Emperor of Ice Cream,” “The Idea of Order at Key West,” “Sunday Morning,” and “Thirteen Ways […]
This presentation is essentially a pitch for the idea that we ought to be looking at the world with open eyes and paying attention to the content that is exciting to ourselves and others- the things we read/watch/listen to without being coerced. The introduction it is a rehash of the RSS aggregator pitch that I’ve given off and on since 2002. I know Twitter is much cooler and RSS is pronounced dead on a regular basis but Twitter fills a very different niche for me and I think the RSS aggregator still has a lot of value. I also stressed the idea that you have to aggregate feeds you actually want to read. That’s very different than feeds you feel you ought to want to read. Make this unpleasant for yourself and you will never, ever, read them. Build feeds that rejuvenate and interest you and then bring that into your instruction.I will note that if you aren’t interested in your subject or the world in general as it applies to your subject you might consider alternate employment. My goal was to point out the huge swathe of low hanging fruit waiting for the right teacher to look at it in the right way- essentially the antipode of most of the content we use in education. This is really more […]