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Showing posts from February, 2015

Video Chats Break Down Classroom Walls

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One of my favorite ways to connect my students with the experts and resources outside of our school is the live video chat. Read my post with Beyond Pencils, the Smarter Schools Project blog, about Google Hangouts they've had with leaders in edtech, museum historians, and teachers and students from other schools.

Kids as Tour Guides: Integrating Student-Created Video into History Class

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I'm so proud of the hard work of my 9th grade 18th century history class on this most recent project.  EdSurge thought it was great too! Read about it and see some examples of student work by clicking the cover shot below.


Black History Month with Tech

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I was honored to work with two other great history teachers, Ken Halla and Kevin Zahner, from across the country to author this article on how we use technology in the classroom to intensify our students' learning experience.  We all work with the Smarter Schools Project and were published in an article from SmartBrief.  Click the screenshot below to check it out.


The 'Fifty States Project' Book Has Arrived

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Snowed in? Looking for some inspiration of the edtech variety?
Click this book cover to buy this awesome book!

EdSurge Associate Editor Mary Jo Madda has been leading an incredible project over the past year.  Her goal was to get educator contributors from all 50 states to write about their inspirational examples of tech integration in schools.  The result is this impressive guide on the EdSurge site.  The list of writers is impressive and includes people I admire quite a bit like Tom Murray and Pam Moran. I'm honored to be one of the faces in the flag and that my article about my students' infographic project last spring is a part of the guide.
If you sometimes like to read real tangible books, EdSurge has brought you one!  Get your copy of From School to Shining School: 52 Stories from Educators Across the U.S. in a full color paperback book.  I ordered mine today.

Give the Words a Face & the Face a Personality

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Crafting study of the American system of slavery for my 15 year old sophomores is always daunting.  Slavery is an affront to human dignity.  Teenagers feel little connection to this level of depravity.  I wanted them to experience an emotional reaction to the antebellum slavery debate, rather than to just learn about it as an obligatory part of their studies.

To that end, today we did a document study of three different primary source opinions on the morality of slavery thanks to excerpts compiled by The DBQ Project.

The Sources We looked at excerpts from:


Frederick Douglass's "The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro"George Fitzhugh's Cannibals All! or Slaves Without MastersReactions to John Brown, from The Americans by Gerald Danzer

The Task
I divided the class into small groups of 3-4 students and each group was assigned one of the 3 documents. But they were told they could not read the documents yet.  We have been working all year on analyzing sources using…

Guest Post: Inspired by the Favorite Poem Project

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By Kate Crosby

"Poetry connects us with our deep roots, ourevolution as an animal that created rhythmic language as a means of transmitting vital information across the generations. We need to communicate not only with our peers but our ancestors and descendants, and the arts of poetry, writing, print, and digital media serve that communication.”—Robert Pinsky
I first learned about The Favorite Poem Project (http://www.favoritepoem.org) at the 2013 NCTE Conference in Boston. Sitting in the back of a very crowded conference room, I listened to Robert Pinsky speak of poetry as a uniquely intimate art form. He emphasized the importance of participation. A poem does not live on the page. It lives in the body, through the voices that give it breath and sound. As his words reached across the wide space, insisting on engagement, I was reminded of Billy Collins’ “Introduction to Poetry.” In this poem, a speaker laments his students’ inclination to beat meaning from a poem, to …