"If you want to find your happy place, just go to the library." ~ Lizzie K. Foley, Author

Posts tagged ‘ideas’

Project-Based Writing

I was reading a newsletter I subscribe to today and came across a link to a blog post about using Project-Based writing with “tweens.”  This is the article:

http://tweenteacher.com/2011/09/06/the-power-of-teaching-something-you-know-nothing-about/

This is just the sort of thing that gets me excited!  When the kids are enthusiastic and excited about learning, it doesn’t seem like “work.”  The learning becomes authentic and meaningful.  As a result, the children learn better,  with greater depth, and are able to apply their skills.

Another “perk” of such assignments is the curriculum integration.  This teacher is working on a writing assignment.  But the subject isn’t writing, it’s science.  They could be incorporating math skills, as well, as they are researching and coming up with solutions to the question at hand.  They’re going to be integrating technology.  They’re working with others in cooperative groups.  They’re assigned roles and responsibilities.  These are students who are working as 21st Century learners.

Are the kids focused on their writing?  Yes.  But it’s elaborately disguised as an intriguing assignment with all kinds of exciting bells and whistles thrown in.   Are they learning to write effectively?  Yes.  And in such a way that they are more likely to be able to repeat, as opposed to being taught a set of skills in isolation and then having to learn how to apply them.

This is the kind of educational practice our students need, and deserve.

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Wordle

While looking online at the AASL (American Association of School Librarians) website today, I came across a link for a PPT presentation listing 52 ways to use Wordle in the classroom (and tips!).  This was fabulous!!!   It is shared with Creative Commons permission and can be viewed at the following link:

https://docs.google.com/a/wcps.org/present/view?id=dhn2vcv5_157dpbsg9c5&ncl=true

They’ve done a fabulous job coming up with fun and inventive ways to use this tool.  Kids love it, it’s so easy.  Just think…  Put a story, or the first page or two of the new novel you’re introducing, into Wordle and use that with your intro to draw them in and make them wonder…  Use it with their essays so they can see what their focus was on — were they all over the place or did they have just a few main ideas?  What were the key points in a presidential speech?  AMAZING ideas that span grade levels — there is something for everyone!