Category Archives: 3-12

The Power of Words

To conclude our week of video posts I’ve chosen a video that apparently everyone had seen but me a couple of weeks ago.  And, maybe your students have seen it too.  But have they discussed it?  Have they talked about apathy and homelessness as well as the impact of powerful language?  There are many lessons in this short story.

TED

If you have not visited www.ted.com, or downloaded the app, please do so as soon as you can.  The site is full of inspirational, though-provoking videos on a plethora of topics.  Of course, it is always advisable to preview a video before you make it available to your students, but TED also includes interactive transcripts that you can skim for any objectionable content.  Larry Ferlazzo had a great post recently on his blog that included various resources to accompany the TED talks, including a wiki in which teachers share their ideas for using it in the classroom.

Khan Academy

Khan Academy is a revolutionary approach to teaching which advocates “Flipping the Classroom”.  You can view the TED video below to learn about the humble beginnings of the Academy on YouTube, and the ambitious plans Mr. Khan now has for his free service.  Basically, the site has hundreds of video lessons indexed in which Mr. Khan explains a variety of topics – mostly math and science related.  If you have a G-mail or Facebook account, you can become a Coach.  Your students, who would also have to register with one of these e-mail addresses, can complete exercises on the site at their own pace.  As the Coach, you can monitor their progress using several different tools included in the registration portion of the site.  Even if you don’t want to register, this is a fabulous resource for allowing students to learn at their own pace, or even for reteaching and reviewing topics.

Vocab Ahead

Vocab Ahead would be an appropriate site for gifted students from 3rd grade and up.  English/Language Arts teachers of secondary students would also be interested in using this site.  It is designed to prepare students for the SAT and ACT tests.  However, anyone who is interested in advancing his or her vocabulary skills would enjoy the free features on this site.  After registering, a teacher can design individualized lists of words.  Students can view short videos using the words in context, practice learning them with flash cards, and take quizzes.  The customized lists can be embedded into a teacher’s website or blog.  In addition, students can create their own videos for words that can be uploaded to the site.  For this reason, I would advise the teacher to preview any of the videos he or she chooses to add to a list.