Friday, November 22, 2013

Video Vocabulary

One thing all educators can agree on is that understanding vocabulary words, no matter the subject, is necessary to understand concepts,  and think critically about them.  One thing we do not all agree on, is how to teach vocabulary.  In History, I've used a number of different methods, flash cards, act it out, students create their own definition, etc.  For this chapter on American Imperialism I had my students create short video vignettes to illustrate/represent their assigned vocabulary term.  I have done similar assignments in the past, but my interest in doing this came from this article in the New York Times.

The assignment was simple, with a group, they were given 3 vocabulary terms from the chapter, they had to create a short video to represent their words, and upload to YouTube.  Very simple concept, and I received some great videos!  The students enjoyed doing these, and enjoyed learning from one another.  It took 1 class period, they used their own devices as well as school ipads.  I received over 90 videos, here are a few of them, enjoy!

Chapter 10 Vocabulary Playlist

Friday, November 8, 2013

The Power of Pictures in Education

Last Wednesday, #nebedchat examined the topic of photos in the classroom and the power they hold.  (#nebedchat is a Twitter chat that discusses different topics on education on a weekly basis)  After looking at the archive, I began brainstorming the numerous ways in which I could incorporate more photos in my classes.  Also this week, I came across this video-"Why Study History?" on YouTube.  Putting these two ideas together...I will be trying out an assignment over Thanksgiving/Christmas break with my students to reinforce why we study history, as well as the power of pictures.  I have yet to decide on the exact details, but it will go something like this: each student will have an assignment over Thanksgiving/Christmas break (yes homework over break!), they will each find something relating to history at their homes/relatives homes/traveling etc...snap a picture of it and send it to me.  I will gather all the photos (150ish) and place them on some sort of collage to show them the power of photos, and to reinforce the fact that history is EVERYWHERE!  The pictures they take can include nearly anything, from old farm machinery, military uniforms, signs, letters, memorabilia, long as they have historical significance they will work!

I'm very excited to see how this turns out!  I think this is a perfect time of year to reevaluate why we study history/social studies.  On another note-the power of social media is amazing!  If it were not for Twitter, and the amazing educators on #nebedchat, I would not have come up with these ideas and put them together.  (I also found the YouTube video from Twitter.)  I'll be posting the results to this mini project after Thanksgiving break...thanks for reading!