Saturday, August 14, 2010

An Artistic Collaboration: Using Digital Art to Spur Creative Writing

An Artistic Collaboration: Using Digital Art to Spur Creative Writing

Lesson Summary:

High school Language Arts students will collaborate with Art students to create blog entries that combine digital artwork and creative writing. The art students will create art pieces that the LA students will explore. The LA students will use the art and create creative writing pieces inspired by the art students' works. Together, students will then digitize the art work and combine it with the creative writing. The lesson will culminate with blog entries that showcase the artwork and the creative writing it inspired.

Fine Art Content Standards:

Describe the use of technology as a
visual art medium using computer generated

Describe various sources (e.g. personal
experience, imagination, interests,
everyday events and social issues)
visual artists use to generate ideas for

Language Arts Standards:

Prepare writing for
publication that follows an
appropriate format and uses
a variety of techniques to
enhance the final product.

Use a variety of strategies to
revise content, organization
and style, and to improve
word choice, sentence
variety, clarity and
consistency of writing.

Using A Blog For Book Review

Lesson Plan Idea for Blog

Book Club/Review - 8th -10th grade LA Class or a Computer Literacy Class.

After reading each chapter in a book students will post their answers to the blog. The teacher will write something for the blog after each chapter. This will give students a chance to "discuss" the book online. Students will have their peers read their review instead of just the teacher.
Standards: LA writing standards / technology standards

This can also be used as a book club for staff development with teachers. Teachers can be given professional development credit for participating in the online book club.

Monday, August 9, 2010

A 21st Century Classroom

This blog will actually be used to share my experience with my fourth grade team as we work to incorporate 21st Century Skills and Ideals into our classrooms this year. Included in this process will be the CAFE workshop model (Comprehension, Accuracy, Fluency, & Expanding Vocabulary) which we began last year and will work to fully integrate into a reading/writing daily workshop. We will update everyone on our Thematic Umbrella Questions and Big Ideas that we use with our students over the course of the entire year and how they use these questions to guide research projects. Our blog will include our thoughts, successes, frustrations, lessons/units, and student input on the activities, projects, and life in fourth grade.

We will be sharing this blog with as many people as possible, beginning with our district and moving outside our walls in order to get valuable feedback from others who have done this before us and in hopes of helping teachers who are beginning a similar journey.

Ohio Standards: We will be integrating technology into our classroom, using blogs for professional sharing and expanding our PLN (hopefully we will be able to make contacts and follow other teacher's blogs), and working towards a 21st Century model of an open classroom.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tool TIme

Professional Development

Since I am both the technology teacher and the technology coordinator I have a dual role of teaching our students as well as our staff in integrating technology tools into our classrooms. To make sure staff feel comfortable with the many new Web 2.0 tools I am planning on a series of instructional podcasts and a blog site for feedback and additional resources for all content areas. I have chosen this plan for I do not want to teach technology in isolation of it being applied in all content areas within our curriculum. That does not mean this plan ignores my students learning needs as they are included in this project as stated below.

The plan is to introduce tools such as podcasts, blogs, wikis. Twitter, Voicethread, Skype, Google tools, Teacher Tube and Internet safety issues throughout this school year. Not all teachers will take advantage of this resource but I will also be introducing our students to these tools so that even though a classroom teacher may not yet feel comfortable using the tools they will have students who could assist them with the technology integration portion of the classroom lessons.

I will not identify the technology standards here other than my plan to refer to the ISTE NETS for students, teachers and administrators in identifying the technology outcomes.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

BookTalks Through Blogging

Grade 9 - English

I have designed the literature portion my classes based on Nancy Atwell's Reading Workshop ideas from her book In the Middle. I read this amazing book as an undergraduate in the late 1980's, but started my teaching career using very traditional instructional practices. Then I took a young adult literature class and loved it. I reread In the Middle and still pondered how I could implement Atwell's ideas. I kept reading young adult literature and building my classroom library and finally established an elective course called "Reading Workshop". The reading success these students had was something I knew I had to share with more than just a handful of kids each semester. I wanted to use the reading workshop technique in all my classes.

So last year after twenty-one years of thinking about Nancy Atwell's work, I did it. I have created a pretty impressive classroom library, (Some people buy shoes or purses; I buy books!) and all 82 of my English 9 students are reading books they have selected. They have control of what they read and read they do! My students read an average of 29 novels each last year! Sure I have some kinks to work out and one I think can be worked out by using blogs.

If students are all reading a different book, it makes conversation a bit challenging. If they talk about the book aloud in class, they may give away the ending to someone who hasn't yet read it. And we all know if they just write to me about it, the whole teacher audience of one isn't the most exciting thing in the world. By blogging about the book they are reading, my hope is that they will be chatting with others who have read the book. I think connecting with other students will be exciting for them. I think it will be beneficial for them to see what other teens think about the characters and conflicts. It is my hope that blogging about books will lead to great conversations and reflection and way beyond "I liked the book. It was good."

The assignment would fit numerous of Ohio's Content Standards for Reading and Writing. These include: self-selecting reading material, identifying literary techniques, responding to literature through informal/journal writing.

incorporating blogs into the art classroom

  1. Descriptive title for idea/lesson - I would like to create a classroom blog which will feature ongoing participation through the year, dedicated to each topic of study. For this particular lesson I would like to dedicate it to the introduction of digital photography. Students will learn how to upload their photographs to the class blog, along with how to use the camera, how the camera became digital, and how it is viewed in society. They will then describe their experience using their digital camera, pros and cons along with a description of 2-3 selected photographs. Students will review other students artwork, giving feedback which will incorporate vocabulary and new concepts of digital photography.
  2. Summary of idea/lesson, including grade-level and content area: grades 9 and 10, art/photography
  3. Ohio Content Standard(s) targeted through the lesson/idea: Creative Expression and communication, analyzing and responding,

How Does an Airplane Fly?

How Does an Airplane Fly?

Subject Area: Science

Grade: 8

Summary: Students will conduct experimentation in which they manipulate the ailerons of a paper airplane to discover the effects that these changes have. They will collect data as a class and share that data via a Blog setup for students to collaborate. Students will mimic the engineering process by posting and critiquing data, and formulating ideas for further experimentation. All the discussion for the project will be conducted through the Blog.

Ohio Content Standards
Physical Sciences
Benchmarks (6 - 8)
B. In simple cases, describe the motion of objects and conceptually describe the effects of forces on an object.
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 8)
1. Describe how the change in the position (motion) of an object is always judged and described in comparison to a reference point.
3. Explain that an unbalanced force acting on an object changes that object's speed and/or direction.

B. Analyze and interpret data from scientific investigations using appropriate mathematical skills in order to draw valid conclusions.
Grade Level Indicators (Grade 8)
3. Read, construct and interpret data in various forms produced by self and others in both written and oral form (e.g., tables, charts, maps, graphs, diagrams, symbols).