Wednesday, December 31, 2014

American History Review

While he breaks my ten minute rule for a video, Keith Hughes, does have a nice review for the American Revolution.  If your students prefer watching a video to reading, then this will be a help for you.  Alternatively, you could break it into parts as a way to start the unit and then do something more interactive in class.  

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Snag-It for Chrome & Google Drive

This is pretty cool.  I have used Snag-it at school for years, but it is almost a pain as I have to go find it most of the time on my tools and I much prefer to have apps added to Chrome.  Well now I am all set as Snag-it has a Chrome add on that adds each item into your Google Drive account.  It lets you take the entire screen, parts of it and even movies and then annotate them.  Above is a video explaining how to use it. To found about it from TechSmith on Twitter

Friday, December 26, 2014

More Ideas for Good Learning

This presentation adds to the posts I have done on the book, How We Learn.  It repeats the thought that we learn best when we have breaks.  Indeed the technique Barbara Oakley mentions is 25 minutes of focused attention (no texting, looking at unrelated Internet pages) and then taking a break of a few minutes.  This, she says will increase learning retention.  As for tests, she suggest studying many times with flash cards, multiple techniques, etc.  As she points out, would you sing a song once and think you learned it - of course not.  As for underlining parts of a book, she says the most innovative to learn from a book is to read, then look away and see what you can remember.  Also, assume just reading will help you learn.  Mastery comes from repetition and interacting with what ever you are learning. 

The Atlantic Slave Trade and Your Flipped Classroom

Here's an excellent TedEd talk on the slave trade and its impact on Africa. Thanks to F.C. Tymrak for tweeting the link.  This was posted on my World History Teachers' blog by George Coe.  If you are using it as part of a flipped class, I would suggest you ask some important questions as students watch such as: 1) where did the slaves in the Americas come from 2) what products did they grow in the Americas 3) how did slave trading change the culture of Western Africa.  In class you could have students draw the triangle of trade with the products and the areas of the world labeled on it.  You could also have the kids search for images of slaves on trade ships.  For a class/group discussion, you could ask the kids the short and long term effects of the slave trade on the US and the Caribbean.

By the way if you want to learn how to personalize your classroom for your students, of which flipping is an important component, you could join me for a two day in-service on the Mediterranean coast this July

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Learning Pod Needs Question Writers

Learning Pod has a tremendous number of resources including AP practice questions for your students.  But they are also a way for you to make extra money.  So if you go here you can apply to write questions for the AP content areas for social studies.  If you want to go to their site and see their resources, go here for Note Taking in a Flipped Classroom

Normally I ask my students to split their screen, but this relatively (it came out last April) new app called that does that for you, putting the video on the left and the notes on the right.  It is then synced with Google Drive so it automatically (if you approve it to do so) puts the notes in your Google  Drive folder.  You will also note that whenever you begin taking notes, it shows where you are in the video and if you click on that line of  the notes, it will take you back to the relevant place in the video.  

It is also available for Google Apps so your students can get it in the free or paid Google Drive.

Above is a video showing you how to use it.

Monday, December 15, 2014

WeVideo for Your Video Creations

My daughter is working with a friend of a class video for tomorrow. They took their video clips using my wife's smartphone and then uploaded them onto WeVideo and very easily combined their clips into one video. You can add music, words, images, fade in/out, cut items out, etc. It also is an app in Google Drive so you can then upload it straight into your account (to add it to Google Drive, go to "more" under docs, presentation, etc. and then it will always be on your drop down for programs with Google Drive.

Join Me in Spain for An In-Service

This July 12-13 I am teaching a two day institute on the Mediterranean Sea coat near Marbella in Spain (very near Gibraltar).  The course will be two full days in which where we will be designing lesson plans to personalize learning for your students.  This means we will learn how to create a flipped video and what to do in the classroom once that is done including giving immediate feedback as well as giving formative evaluations.  Finally we will expand your own school PLC to one online so that you can follow-up the session with more collaboration and ideas well after the institute is over.  If you are interested, please go here to sign up for the course.  There is a considerable discount if you sign up by the middle of February.  

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Education Week Post

Way back in August Larry Ferlazzo asked me to respond to one of his reader's queries which was posted today.  The post looks at "interactives"  which allow students to work in class on "problem sets" where the teacher can walk around the room and act as a facilitator rather than as a passive lecturer.   Interactives are which are explored in my upcoming book Deeper Learning Through Technology: Using the Cloud to Individualize Instruction.  The quote above is from the article but it really comes from a wonderful woman who taught my methods class back when I was learning to be a teacher.  While I have long since lost forgotten her name, the charge she gave us to keep up with student learning as it has evolved as not been forgotten by me in the twenty-five years since she said it to me.  

Mastery Learning Discussion & Examples

I believe watching my own children grow has helped to make me a better teacher.  For example my son is a very good gamer, but he is also very good at failing.  By that I mean he is willing to fail as many times as it takes to master a game which leads to his mastering the material and then moving on to another one.  It strikes me that I need to emulate my son's learning with all of my classes.  By that I mean I have mostly flipped my classes and so have much more time to move around the classroom helping my students.  While we are on a unit I also allow students to correct work again and again and consequently have no late grades and have mostly moved beyond a textbook in three of my four content classes and have set up an individualized learning model (see my book about this).  So it strikes me that I need to fully move to a standards based learning model as the last part of my educational evolution.  So in that move, you are going to see lots of videos and examples of mastery learning as I teach myself and fumble through this process.

So above my musings is a video overview of how mastery learning works in any classroom.  It is a great overview to explain the process and even does something no one has ever done for me which is to define mastery learning.  Below this writing is a video my fellow blogger, Frank Franz, made for his back to school flip parent video.  Watch it closely as it has not only an explanation of flipped learning (which really is the bedrock of mastery learning), but also how he carries out mastery learning, both in terms of objectives, daily learning, grading and, finally showing mastery.  The key, as I am learning, is that if the child is motivated, he/she can redo anything and potentially show better mastery.  But this means that the child might have additional (to the videos) learning and therefore need more motivation.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Brinkley Ancillaries

Thanks to Craig Perrier, who is our county social studies specialist, for this tip.  Here is a great site for those of you using Brinkley's US textbook.  It has multiple choice quizzes, essay questions, primary sources. interactive maps and curriculum guides.  

Monday, December 8, 2014

Reading Like a Historian

One of the resources that I use frequently in my classroom is the Stanford History Education Group's Reading Like a Historian. Not only does it offer engaging lesson plan ideas but also a wealth of primary sources for each lesson, all with the goal of developing historical inquiry skills.

This week I will be using the Homestead Strike lesson plans to contrast the views of the strike with documents by Henry Frick and also Emma Goldman, a political activist of the period. Students become engrossed in the roles that they are assigned which springboards into a larger lesson on the legacy of Andrew Carnegie.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Google Classroom

If you have your students work in Google Drive, a new way to do it is through Google Classroom.  It allows you to see who has turned in what and when.  You do have to have a Google Apps for Education account as do your students.  The key to the video above is that you can see both the teacher and the students accounts side by side above. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Zaption to Personalize Your Flipped Videos

Thanks to Scott Nichols for this tip.  Zaption allows you to take any YouTube or Vimeo video, edit them, add questions, text and images and then share it with your students using a url.  It is also free! Below is a video explaining how to do it. 

Amazing AP US History Teacher Website

Rebecca Richardson has created a tremendous website which she uses with her students.  It has readings, lectures, PowerPoints, word walls, chapter summaries, writing activities and strategies to deal with the new APUSH exam.