I have been pondering how to incorporate more of your questions into #sstlap chats. I really enjoy being able to create questions for others to think about and engage in especially because the questions are areas of teaching or education that I am looking for insights. However, I always want to make sure that you are getting to delve into conversations that are interesting for you.
So I had a thought to run a chat where each person was able to come in with a question of their own, and after you answered someone's question, you could post your own. This would create a complex web of question and answers that could make for an amazing conversation. In thinking about it though, the logistics of keeping the flow and having people not miss amazing questions would be difficult. I don't think I am ready to navigate into that yet. I do think that there could be some application in a classroom where we have students engage with each other using a Socrative method where they utilize questions to reach their learning targets than they do now. We tend to always seek an answer, and want it immediately. What if we taught students to be questioners? To seek out depth of information by asking the how's and why's instead of will this be on the test, or do I have to know this? Think about children who never seem to stop asking why- even at the point where their parents are ready to pull their hair out because they have run out of answers or patience. Why does this stop? Why don't students in upper elementary, middle and high school seek out answers? Why has teaching turned into purveyors of information instead of facilitators or learning who assist students in finding answers to their own questions without being the Google resource in the room.
I seem to be able to making up for lost time with all of the questions I have for you each week. I didn't ask questions much during school, and regret not asking teachers why are we learning this? Why is this important? How does this relate to my life? Yes those are questions we don't always like to hear, however if we can't find an acceptable response to this, then why are we teaching those ideas?
Thanks for indulging me in my stream of consciousness about questions. My thought for this week's #sstlap is let you create questions. Now that may mean we have more than 8 questions that we usually use for our chats. If that happens, we could add them to the document, OR OR OR... do a slow chat where I would post a couple of the questions the days following the chat and help the conversation continue beyond our hour on Thursday nights.
What you can do to make this happen!
What I need from you- questions that can be used for our conversation.
What I WANT from you are video questions that not only share your question with the group, but also help us connect as people to see each other beyond those little icon pictures. I am hoping that you will not only consider creating questions, but also creating videos and sharing the link with me to use for the chat this week.
Now to help you focus your questions, I will narrow it down for you so we could have a common them. I know everyone has their own wants and needs for conversation. This week's topic is...
Teaching social studies in the 21st century using #tlap!
Create questions focused on teaching students in our modern area about topics that date back thousands and make them interesting.
This could include questions looking for:
I don't want to put forth too many ideas because you are amazing educators who are all able to create your own questions and guide a dynamic discussion.
I am hoping you will dive in and help me make another memorable #sstlap chat.
If you create questions please send them in a tweet, DM or email- email@example.com
I will add them here as I receive them. If you do videos and I hope you will consider doing a short video introducing yourself to the rest of us and asking your question, I will post the question and the link here so others can access as well.
If you have any suggestions, or ideas about making this more manageable or doable, please let me know as well. I think students have access to video cameras anywhere anytime. As educators we need to start expanding our own knowledge and use of videos for our own purposes.
Thanks in advance
Questions from my PLN
Q1 From Joe Schmidt
Q2 From Justin Birckbichler - How can you use technology to bring history/geography alive and engaging to the Ss? #sstlap
Q3 From Nic Hahn - Do you think that an Artwork can be the assessment in your classroom? Not the writing about the artwork... the artwork itself? http://minimatisse.blogspot.com/2015/07/can-art-be-assessment-for-other-subjects.html
Q4 From Andrew Rowe - How do you check to make sure Ss getting big picture along the way? What are our favorite formative assessments?
Q5 From Nic Hahn- Video Question https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UejehoFZ4ro&feature=youtu.be
Q6 From Chris Hitchcock
Q7 How do you balance #tlap ideas and the expectations of testing/assessment? #sstlap From Kara Wilkins https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tlPT_jlZYfE&feature=youtu.be #sstlap
Q8 Ben- Using Video in the classroom-
As I am watching Harry Potter with my kids and find my wife actually sitting through it, I had a couple of thoughts. One I don't know why everyone spends so much time reading the books when you could just watch the movies. I immediately stopped in my tracks and realized how stupid I sounded. I thought about books I had read that were made into movies like "Along Came a Spider" that didn't come close to incorporating the complexities of the book on the big screen. I haven't read the Harry Potter series, but I hear often from those that avid fans that the movies just don't measure up.
I realized that I love movies because they are easier for me to digest. It is like Shakespeare, reading it in class was an almost unbearable chore. Thank you Cliff Notes! But watching it either on stage or in a movie made his ideas come to life. I still struggled with the vocabulary, but I could extrapolate the meaning of his exposition (yes I am trying to use big words).
As a history teacher I loved movies. I was a visual learner, and knew I couldn't always do justice to the stories of history. I know students for the most part enjoyed videos. Well that is to say they enjoyed the Hollywood versions of history, the educational ones not so much. Now I don't really blame them about the educational videos, many were very drawn out or boring. To the defense of the educational videos, there are lots of really good information to help students understand the events of history. On the other hand, while they loved the Hollywood versions, most lacked the educational content that I would have liked.
Educational videos and Hollywood movies both have their benefits and drawbacks. The question is how to use videos effectively?
Have a Purpose
Show what you need!
This is an area that I feel many teachers, myself included fall into. We find a video and say YES! This is amazing! This is just want I needed. And then proceed in showing the entire Roots Miniseries. While I haven't shown Roots, I have shown much more of a video than was necessary to make the intended point or cover the important concept or content.
When you look at the video material you are going to show, think about what you need to show and what doesn't get to your point. Preview the video and cut the parts that don't add to the story, OR that just don't make sense. I say this thinking about movies like Brave Heart and Pearl Harbor. Yes they are cinematic master pieces, well they are cool movies. However why do they have to add the long drawn out subplot of the main character falling in love. This doesn't enhance the drama of either film. It doesn't help sell the story of the historic events. So if you show the video in its entirety you are subjecting your students to the fictitious events Hollywood interjects. So be mindful of what you are showing and choose wisely.
Stop and Talk
I sometimes found that showing a video was a great sub plan. It was way easier than detailing all the things that you would do in a day and hoping a sub would execute it in the way you designed. This isn't to slight substitute teachers, but they aren't you, they don't have relationships with your class, and they don't know the things that are in your mind that don't make it on the page for your lesson plan.
So you send in the video, but the sub may have no background in the content and doesn't know your purpose for showing it. I didn't think about how much learning potential could be lost when we just show a video. I had a conversation with a colleague that stated that his students informed him that when a sub shows a video, it isn't the same as when he does it. When he inquired why, because he thought you push play and away you go, but they said that he stops and talks about the video. He takes time explaining what is happening, how it connects to the content.
Stop and talk to your students about what is happening. Be patient and realize that it isn't about the destination but the journey. Take the time to make sure the learning is taking place. Students need help extracting meaning from our lessons. They don't always see the learning targets that are obvious to us because what is obvious to us isn't obvious to everyone. Also consider that this may be your hundredth time seeing a video, teaching a lesson, etc. but it is your student's first time!
Use these experiences as a springboard to student creation.
My final thought is about the lessons we learn from videos. Students watching Hollywood films or documentaries are learning about history. Many students of history like myself really like history because of the stories that are told. They love the personal experiences of history. I am not a war historian, or know many details about historical events. I find myself being looking at the big picture a lot, but with help of the personal stories. I enjoy hearing about events through the eyes of the individuals. These are stories that textbooks don't showcase, yet they help us make connections to the events because those who made history are just people like the rest of us who made choices to do extraordinary things.
From Hollywood to your classroom! Consider taking time to have your students become documentary historians, or filmographers chronicling the lives of members of their community. This could start small by interviewing parents, or larger by looking at documenting the history of groups of people. In our local community we have some First Nations group or Native Americans who have stories that have never reached the pages of the history textbooks. We have a curriculum requirement to teach about First Nations, but I don't think it has been implemented wide spread or in meaningful ways. So what if your class began connecting with a nearby First Nations group and began learning about their culture and history? What if you build relationships of trust to begin chronicling those histories?
If First Nations doesn't work for your location or curriculum, what about veterans? Chronicle the lives of those who served. Or maybe your location is more connected to the civil rights movement, or the terrorist attacks of 9/11? Find topics, events or people and have students begin to discover the oral histories of those in your community.
These are just a few ideas, but think about how you can create opportunities for your students to be historians in your classroom. The process includes developing questions, analyzing information, drawing conclusions, and if creating a video or written project, they have to synthesize information into a product that tells a story.
Let your students experience what has drawn so many of us to history- The Stories!
Lauren Brown left a comment below, and after reading her blog post, I wanted to share it not only in the comment section, but also here for others to see. She makes some really good points about showing film in your classroom, and she taught in Wisconsin for awhile so she has to be super cool!
Today's topic comes from my week of summer work. On Tuesday we met as a department and learned about our learning preferences and behaviors associated with them. We learned about whether we had preferences for Analytical, Structural, Social or Conceptual. Each preference is given a color and it is said that we all have some of each color in our makeup only it may be a very small percentage of our makeup. What we learned through this is that we all have our own individual unique make up and as we work in a team we need to be aware of people's areas of stronger preferences. This will help us work together as a team more effectively.
Teamwork is vital to our profession and our individual survival. I saw a lot of chats the past couple of weeks examining PLC and PLN. Both are about getting people to work together. That brings us to tonight's chat. We have been talking a lot about how amazing our PLN is, how many great ideas people have. Some have asked for and wanted to look at collaboration to create Ticket Lessons. Tonight I want to look at pushing you to stop talking about building these lessons with others and actually taking steps to make it happen. I want to work with teachers to make amazing lessons for our kids. I want to learn from others about what they are doing. I want to have all of you connect with other awesome educators to start or continue your journey of collaboration so we can all benefit and our students will reap the rewards of these efforts.
Tonight I am looking at not only creating Social Studies lessons, but creating cross curricular examples that could include collaboration from teachers in different buildings or different parts of the world. Image to potential if we don't let 4 walls contain our creativity!
Tonight I am challenging you to commit publicly to connect with another educator and create a collaborative lesson. This could be someone in your own building or so much better, an educator beyond your state. I also hope you consider connecting to another educator from another discipline to create these lessons.
I woke up briefly at about 3:30 this morning and started turning out ideas for lessons. On my drive in I sent myself an email- I used the voice feature, so no texting and driving. Anyway below are some ideas I came up with.
Ideas for lesson plans
Science: a class is examining drugs in terms of the effects on the human body, or discussing the chemistry behind turning cough syrup into meth, not showing them but discussing the science behind it. This could include studies and looking at either public service announcement for awareness videos. This could connect to Social Studies, but even more- while the Science students research and then present on the effects of the drugs, the social studies students could research laws and policies on drug use or the war on drugs. Social studies students could take the information from the science students and then create a policy statement, or propose a law. This could be to legalize a drug, or impose different punishments for drug use, trafficking, etc.
Art - As a teacher you could create a fictitious situation where you tell your students that the art program is being considered for elimination by the school board. Students could collaborate between the art students and the social studies students to create promotional videos as to the impact of art on learning. Art students could demonstrate the techniques and the learned skills acquired through participation in art in the class. The social studies students could work on creating a social event like an art show where they work on marketing and fundraising for the event. This could connect to the economic standards. Students would collaborate on what should be included, and social studies students are working on promoting awareness of social issues or social injustice because one program is being scrutinized.
English Beyond the natural connection of writing between English and Social Studies, there are some visual creation aspects that could be utilized. Students could examine posters and propaganda having students create or dissect advertisements. This could be connected to reading articles, stories or books about historical time periods. You could examine propaganda utilized during times of war throughout history, Uncle Sam Wants You, Rosie the Riveter, or modern political propaganda. Students could examine what these have in common, how they impact public perception and action. Students could look at modern events, research more about movements such as LBGT rights, Organic vs. GMO, Occupy Wall Street, etc. and then look at the alternative POV to begin discussions about how we view events in society.
Phy-Ed - look at the benefits of participation in sports fitness the epidemic of obesity your health issues America do some research on the stuff connect with the expert the Phy-Ed teacher to demonstrate exercises, or create videos about what can be done easily during the day. These could be exercises used as brain breaks in the classroom. Do this to show the value or worthwhileness in daily life.
Science and social studies connecting on social problems global warming, rain forest, global, or things that connect to their own local environment having one group to the research on the issue in the past to be the producers of the public service announcements.
Connect to classes Have one class do one part of the lesson such as perform a trial and the other class would be the jury. This could be a number of academic subjects, or things like social issues like putting Coca-Cola or McDonalds or the fast food industry on trial for putting too much sugar in their food and drink.
Q1A What is the most important thing you teach? How do you teach it?
Q1B What is the most important thing that your students learn? Are these things the same?
Let's design a dynamic lesson
Step 1 pick a collaboration partner - someone in the chat tonight and commit to creating a lesson.
Q1C what learning objective? Content skills?
Q2 where will this lesson take place? Best location
Q3 what hooks can you use?
Q4 what resources/content is necessary
Q5 how set the mood? Music. Location decoration room.
Q6 what will students do in this lesson?
Q7 can you bring in outsiders? Experts audience judges other classes?
Q8 how will you document/record your amazing lesson?
I am a reluctant selfie or picture taker. My first reaction is not to grab my camera and take a pic, I am sure there are lots of reasons for that, however when I was at ISTE I found myself caught up in the spirit of chronicling the events of the conference. The first selfie I took was of Karl LS and Victoria Olson, but this was after I had met them the night before and completely passed on taking the selfie. I realized the second time I ran into them that I may never get the opportunity to capture that moment again. I was at a conference almost a thousand miles away (956.6 mi according to Google), and was getting to connect with many of the people I have been interacting with for months or years via social media. I am glad that Victoria was the first selfie I took because she helped me get my current job. When I was looking at the possibility to move into the world of technology, Victoria helped me learn about some great apps for elementary students. She is also one of the main reasons I started to blog. And Karl LS is originally from Middleton Wisconsin, so he has to be awesome, oh and he teaches history too, so come on.
I included a few of the images I took of ISTE, but the slideshow starts at Summer Spark which was held in Milwaukee in June. I was fortunate to be able to attend and get to present as well, I think that had a lot to do with knowing one of the main organizers, Chuck Taft who may have thrown me a bone because there was awesome educators all over the place there. I wanted to include Summer Spark because I got to see Dave Burgess speak for the first time. We had met before, but never got to see him do an actual presentation. It was amazing. I actually have a student in my grad class reading TLAP and she said, I need to see him present, and referenced a part of his book where he writes: there is no comparison to seeing the live show and I couldn't agree more. I sat through a 2 hour keynote and kept telling people that was an amazing hour. I had to be convinced that he was speaking for 2 hours because it was incredible!
This post could be all about the things I learned at ISTE, but really the biggest thing I took away from ISTE was the power of my PLN. I was able to connect to so many people and get into some amazing conversations. I was able to see some people I knew well in a different light and my respect and admiration of them grew leaps and bounds. I cannot say enough about the positive state of education when I see so many amazing educators giving up time in their summers to learn, share, connect and all to be better for their students.
Tonight's questions are about building your PLN see below the slideshow.
Q1 Why do you attend #sstlap? What brings you here?
Q2 Why are you on Twitter, and how has this helped you as an educator? #sstlap
Q3 How do you use social media as an educator, personal life, and as a digital citizen? #sstlap
Q4 PLN and PLC are terms we now use in EDU how have you built them and maintain those relationships? #sstlap
Q5 What has your PLN done to impact your career as an educator? #sstlap
Q6 What advice would you give for someone new to Social media and Twitter to help them build their PLN? #sstlap
Q7 We are a #tlap PLN - how has @burgessdave message changed your edu career? #sstlap
Challenge - bring someone else to social media and help get them started- help them get followers! #sstlap
Tonight I was thinking about changing the format to a slow chat. I know it is the day before Independence day and many might be heading out of town or prepping for their celebrations of this historical day. My thought is to use a slow chat format. I was at #ISTE this past week in Philadelphia and while I included some images, I must admit that I didn't do enough to take in the full experience of this historic city. I did manage to make it to the oldest bar in Philadelphia which is also the fifth oldest in the US for an event. I unfortunately didn't take out my camera enough to document a lot of the amazing experience of this week.
So I was in Philly and of course had the Philly cheesesteaks. Some with provolone, some with whizz, some on a pizza...umm so I didn't eat well during this trip but I did have a culinary experience. I attended an amazing educational technology conference and met amazing people. Some of them were from my home state, and others helped me get started in my role in technology like Victoria Olson @MsVictoriaOlson who is in the first selfie pic I took at the conference along with her fiance Karl LS @KarlLS and amazing History Teacher from California, originally from the great state of Wisconsin.
As I toured around Philly and thought about the great city, the history, upcoming 4th celebration I wondered how Philly would celebrate compared to Green Bay? I wondered about what people like the many different Uber drivers I met, many who were immigrants, first or second generation, thought about Independence Day? What did it mean to them? What would they do on the 4th with family and friends?
My thought for tonight's #sstlap since it is a crazy time of year is to do a one question, or a one topic post and have you respond whenever you have time. I hope you will go back and respond to each others. Typically slow chats last about 15 minutes, meaning the topic is posted at 8 people come in meet and great answer the question connect to the responses and in 15 minutes can move on with their day or night. I attended a session at ISTE with one of the regular attendees of #BFC530 Breakfast club 530 Jessica Raleigh @TyrnaD who explained the concept. I thought it might fit well tonight.
Tonight's topic is about Independence. What does Independence mean to you? To our founding fathers? To your students? Is it different for students in your classroom than in their lives beyond school? How do you allow them to feel independent or free? What can we do to assist them in understanding this concept?
Challenge: How do you celebrate and HONOR Independence Day? Share pics of your Independence day activities.