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Using WordPress in the Classroom

It is safe to say, I am a blog fiend. Whenever I have a spare second, I always like to be updated with new current events, music videos, websites, and editorials about pressing issues. I find myself subscribing to culture blogs such as Displaced South Florida Kids…DSFK for short, created by a fraternity brother to inform the masses about music, art, clothing, and college life. This creative use of blogging can be used in the classroom as well. Teachers can create blogs to replace discussions, showcase student work, extend classroom activities, and allow for parent involvement outside of the classroom. If I had easier access to computers, I would have student blogging replace journal entries. Students would be able to showcase youtube videos, talents, interests, and educational insight, rather than writing in a marble composition book. These blogs can be compiled into one class blog that displays the individual students work in the order they were submitted. Parents, and interested friends can receive daily blog updates, to keep up with the lives of these students. Attached is a link of my class website that I use to showcase students work.

Room 343 Website

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Free Rice

http://www.freerice.com/

This is a great way to help fight hunger while also learning.  There are many different subjects such as art, math and vocabulary.  For each question answered correctly, rice is donated through the United Nations World Food Program.  This also makes students aware of the issues some countries are facing.

Kirsten Muir

The Best Part of the Super Bowl

We all know that the best part of the Super Bowl is the commercials. I found a way to use these commercials to teach valuable lessons about Greek philosophers and persuasive appeals. In the 10th grade curriculum teachers are asked to teach ethos, logos, and pathos. Ethos deals with credibility, logos with facts and pathos uses emotional appeals. Students looked at various super bowl commercials from this past Super Bowl and were asked to analyze the commercials. They would identify the driving appeal of the commercial, and decide if the technique was effective. After the analysis of the commercials, students created their own using the classroom video cameras. Check out this PSA using pathos to convince people to move from the ghetto to the suburbs.

Here is a link to all of the Super Bowl commercials from the past two years.
Super Bowl Commercials

The Lil’ Wayne Metaphor Machine…PARENTAL ADVISORY!

I would NOT recommend using this as a classroom tool, but often an enrichment activity for certain students struggling with metaphors. This is the Lil’ Wayne metaphor machine. The site generates random quotes from the famous rappers, and all quotes have a metaphor. Some are clean, and others are extremely inappropriate. There is one thing for sure, after a student makes the connection that this southern rapper has quick wit, an incredible mind, and a firm grasp on literary devices, students will understand the concept of metaphors.

This website was used as a complement to a lesson. During a descriptive writing activity, I noticed some of my students were having trouble with metaphors and similes. I knew that lil’ Wayne plays a big part in my students’ itunes collection, so i started quoting some of his songs. They immediately made the connection. I then put the website on the board and told my students that lil’ Wayne was the KING of metaphors, and if they did not believe me, to go to that site. The following day I had numerous students tell me that looking at the metaphor machine really helped.

My favorite:

“And when it comes down to this recording
I must be Lebron James if he’s Jordan
No, I won rings for my performance
I’m more Kobe Bryant of an artist
Same coach, same game, been starting
same triangle offense”.

Link to Website:
Lil’ Wayne Metaphor Machine

Cmap in Psychology Class

Nervous System – What is the nervous system

I used Cmap in my psychology class to create a mind map about the nervous system. My students liked the process and enjoyed the activity. The basic features were easy enough to use but we could not figure out how to share it so we could all type on it at the same time. I think the idea is great, I just wish it was a little more intuitive. It was nice being able to save our file as a PDF and print it out for the class.

-Nicole C.

Another Interactive tool: Corkboard.me

<object style=”height: 390px; width: 640px”><param name=”movie” value=”http://www.youtube.com/v/GeaFCfOPwy4?version=3″><param name=”allowFullScreen” value=”true”><param name=”allowScriptAccess” value=”always”></object>

Basically this site generates a url that you can share with your students to post sticky notes about a topic simultaneously. It’s fast, easy, and free. Best off there is no sign up process involved!

-Nicole C.

Scientific Simulations

This is just one example of a PhET Simulation from the University of Colorado at Boulder.  These simulations are excellent demonstrations of scientific principles.  All the simulations can be accessed by students from the home or they can be used at school.

In this particular simulation for Natural Selection, students can adjust the limiting factors for a population, or they can control the number of predators and watch what happens to their bunnies.  They can also watch how adaptations affect the population and determine which adaptations are advantageous for different environments.