200 Ways to Show What You Know, brought to you by John Davitt from www.davittlearning.net, is a simple tool for generating ideas for products. In other words, it gives suggestions for different ways to “show what you know.” This allows the student to see that there are other options for projects besides Powerpoint presentations and papers. If you, as the teacher, don’t feel comfortable in giving your students quite that much freedom (particularly since they may not be familiar with or at the maturity level to complete some of them), you could use the generator yourself, and narrow their choices down to a few that appeal to you for assessment possibilities. Then, it might be easier for you to create accompanying rubrics with your expectations.
My colleague, P.E. coach Sean Stepan, brought this to my attention the other day. Coincidentally, this has been on my mind lately – particularly as I am currently in the middle of testing very squirmy Kindergarten students for Gifted and Talented. I had been talking to several people lately about the need to rethink the design of the classroom, and this ABC News report fits in nicely with that idea.
If the embedded video does not work, here is the YouTube link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kFmq8pNXx9s&feature=mfu_in_order&list=UL
The Drawing Drawer is an idea that will be appealing to teachers of all levels who are familiar with the classic, “What are we supposed to do when we’re done?” Marty Reid has provided a list of fun ideas for kids who finish their work early. They include suggestions like: “Draw a picture of something you’d like to become better at doing,” or “Draw your greatest fear.” The trick, of course, is balancing the motivational value of this concept with the expectation of quality from the main assignment. However, with a little practice and clear expectations, this could be a great way to add some creativity to the daily routine. While you are visiting Marty’s page, you might also want to check out some of the other great ideas at www.incredibleart.org!
Respondo is a new tool brought to you by the creator of The Differentiator, Ian at www.byrdseed.com. As Ian describes on the Respondo page, he is still working on this tool, and welcomes any suggestions. However, from what I can see, it is a great way to incorporate creative thinking into responses to literature. It is based on the S.C.A.M.P.E.R. technique I posted about a few weeks ago, and which Ian describes in his post called “Do More with Story Structure.” Give Respondo a try the next time you want to “jazz up” your literature discussions!
In the United States, many of us will be celebrating the life of Martin Luther King Jr. next Monday. Here are a few resources that can help our students to understand the impact this great man has had on our nation:
MLK Animated Video Below (can also be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=k6Au81aHuSg#!) Choose full screen, so comments are not viewable by students.Vodpod videos no longer available.
The Orange County Register Interactive (one of the many links from Larry Ferlazzo’s Best Websites for Learning about Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Read Write Think – Lesson resources for MLK Day (scroll to the bottom to find more resources for various grade levels)
My last post was about the concept of applying Google’s 20% Policy to the classroom. 100 Minutes of Genius is a similar idea. Tia Henriksen got the idea of calling it “Genius Hour” from another educator, Mrs. Krebs, who is referenced on this blog post. Also, there are links to how Mrs. Krebs introduced the idea to her students and a report of their progress that includes a Rubric of Creativity. This appears to be an idea that is spreading like wildfire, and I think that it can be adapted to many different types of learning situations. Giving students more choices that allow for creativity could be a way to reignite the passion for learning in our country.
Last year, a friend of mine told me about Google’s 20% Policy, and I immediately thought of its applications for the classroom. It was among many of my ideas that I had for the new school year that just didn’t come to fruition. And now, I find that a teacher named AJ Juliani had the same inspiration – but is actually following through with it. You can read all about Google’s Policy, and how Mr. Juliani is applying it with his students here on the “Education is My Life” blog. Be sure to read the comments that follow, as well. It makes for an interesting discussion!