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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Learning terms, concepts, vocabulary can be FUN!

We all have run into a curriculum unit that was complicated or just not fun to teach. How about that kid who just won't do the research paper, brochure, or Power Pt that you assign. After all your giving them options on how to deliver it.... right? That's RTI or differentiated instruction.... right?

You want them to get up and present the material they learned (sometimes we pray that they learned) and find out the kid just will not get up in front of the class to speak. No matter who much he speaks in class, sometimes when you are speaking or when he should just be working.

Ok so what can you do to make it more interesting or FUN? Try using multimedia videos like GoAnimate, Animoto, Voiki, or document camera avatars. Here is how I used them to make Biotechnology more interesting and entertaining for them and me. Watching videos and discussing the grades earned according to the rubric I give. This is WAY more fun than me taking home reports, etc... to grade all on my own.

What do you need?

1-Well one a grading rubric for the students so that they know what you are expecting and what do they have to do to get the "A", "B", etc.... This takes away the whole guessing game and "why did you give me....." conversations. I show mine all at once and we grade them together based off of this rubric.

2-Computers with internet access and microphones. I use $7.00 dollar combo headphones a mics that I get from my ISD's warehouse. I've used dollar store ones before and they worked fine. One year I even bought 4 of the really nice $10.00 ones that they kids shared.

3-A working email that they remember and can access. I find using non district issued works best, because often our filter blocks even these sites. They need it for college and scholarship applications anyways. Just make sure they remember it or write it down for you, because someone always forgets. That's why I have the option of using my document camera, for those kids. I even allow them to use Photostory or Movie Maker if they prefer. I want them comfortable and producing, so the media doesn't matter, just the content.

4-GoAnimate = just set up your account and follow the online examples. Its truly a drag, drop, and type program.

5-Animoto = usually limits you to 30 seconds unless you setup a education account and get a code from them. Then make sure they use your code when they sign up. It needs images and music to create.

6-Voiki= just set up your account and follow the online examples. Its truly a drag, drop, and type OR speak using microphones program. If you use the type method, you can even use different languages!

7- Document Camera = I limit them to 20 mins use time with it. They have to tell me exactly what they plan on doing before they get to pick an avatar that comes with the software and film it.