Thursday, December 31, 2015

mELTing Teacher -Best of 2015

Technically in 2015 I've taught four different classes. So here's my collection of one awesome lesson I'll be using again the next time I teach the course.

Academic and Technological Literacy

A quick sample I made
This is my first year teaching ATL, partially because it is the first year the school has offered it! It is designed to be a course that helps students with their literacy not just with traditional reading and writing, but also navigating online. We've gone 1:1 with each student getting their own laptop, and many students are still unsure how to best use them.

For this lesson, I wanted students to learn what types of websites they should join and what types of websites they should be suspicious of. This may seem simple, but it really is something a lot of them are lost on. So as a class we put together a list. What makes a website good? What makes a website sketchy? We talked about advertisements, domain names, fact checking, finding authors, skimming the terms of use and privacy policies etc. As a final product, students make a flowchart / choose your own adventure story using Inkle Studios.

It was great to see what students focused on. Later in the semester I found students were actually skimming terms of use before agreeing to join a site. That's more than most of my friends and family members do!

Speed dating is by far the biggest win I had with my speech students. I needed to give students the chance to practice their speeches in front of an audience, but I just didn't have the time to give them several classes dedicated to "practicing." The solution? Speed dates!

Students came in and seats were rearranged in pairs. I discussed the activity in more detail here, but it is a HUGE winner for me. Students peer review one another, they get tons of practice in, and I can monitor the class and make notes of who needs help individually or what class wide mistakes are being made. 

World Literature

A screenshot from a student's video
When we studied epic heroes this year I had students create a video proving that the hero they selected followed the hero's journey. I had videos showing that everyone from Thor to Katnis was an epic hero.

We didn't do anything fancy (just Windows Movie Maker and screengrabs), but students really enjoyed making a video instead of writing. And the pop culture references made it stick more for them (plus we watched some of the best videos in class reinforcing these ideas). 

American Literature to some unfortunate scheduling, my students were on their own for most of Civil Disobedience. I had the chance to read the text with them and annotate, and then I had a series of professional development events to attend. I needed something I could give to them with a sub.

I wanted it to be more than just basic comprehension, so I created a menu like assignment. The assignment covered activities regarding the author, the content, and an extension. Students did a GREAT job with very little guidance from me (I was available via e-mail). The end products were creative, and I am happy to say this is one of the transcendental texts they seemed to understand the most (based on tests). The full assignment is $1 (what a deal!) and includes options like making a comic strip or resume.

So there we go! The four lessons of 2015 that I will definitely keep. Check out the linky here for what other high school and middle teachers think they rocked in 2015 and see you next year!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...