Then I Defy You, Stars!
I know how tedious vocabulary can be–Iâ€™m an English teacher. I have a list of 60ish vocabulary words for the novel The Outsiders (Do it for Johnny!). In previous years I have handed out the list, sorted by chapter, and asked the students to define them. I would put a selection of words on the test to ensure the kids did the work, and hoped that the words would stick. Iâ€™ll be honest with you, we would be lucky if they remembered a third of those words. I wasnâ€™t happy about this. This year, I decided the vocabulary needed to have more value. I asked Tom to talk through it with me, and we came up with The Outsiders Vocabulary Blog. The students had access to create posts–as opposed to simply commenting on my posts. They drew one word out of a hat and completed a word study on it. The posts were sorted by chapter and part of speech. The result is a comprehensive vocabulary database for the students, and another vocabulary tool for teachers. Two classes worked together to create this glossary. They began to see the benefit of collaborating. By breaking the list down, they were able to get more out of the work. Along the way the students received mini lessons in citing sources, scanning a […]
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 […]
Origin Story Kathy asked me if I had any grade book plugins that they could use with a faculty development course. The goal was to show faculty where they were in the course. I knew I did not wish to use Learn Dash for any number of reasons– grade book module costs extra, grade book module is super awkward, learn dash requires a fresh multisite install etc. I also had WPLMS from a few years ago when I think Jon asked to try it out. This felt pretty bloated for what we wanted and it wasn’t entirely obvious if it had a grade book in any case. The WordPress plugin repository shows three plugins and the most up to date has not been updated in 3 years. Not a cheerful landscape. I wondered what it would take to build an ACF-based grade book relying mostly on the repeater field and simple shortcode for displaying the grades to the user. I wasn’t looking to do math or anything. I just wanted a pretty simple interface and a way for users to see their information while administrators could see all the content. That does require people to have accounts and be logged in. A bit of hassle but there is no free lunch.That’s actually how I measure how bad an experience will […]