Wednesday, May 11, 2011

2011 Summer Reading Programs Grades K-6

2011 Summer Reading Programs Grades K-6

Monday, May 9, 2011

Using Video in the Foreign Language Classroom

Guest Blogger: Mrs. Marie Caruso, MHS Foreign Language

I asked Mrs. Caruso to write up a little summary of how the Foreign Language Department has been using the Flip Video Camera in their classes this year. This is what she had to say...

"One way the Foreign Language Department is motivating students to speak French and Spanish this year is by using Flip Cameras in our classes. They are incredibly easy to use and the quality is HD! If you have not seen a Flip Camera, it is a video camera with a built in microphone that is maybe twice the size of an ipod and charges off of your computer. The picture and sound quality are excellent. Once you take a video, you can show it to the class right away on your computer or through a projector. We are using the Flip Cam to record individual speakers talking in French or Spanish about a variety of topics that we are covering in our classes, as well as group videos for dialogues, class projects, skits, etc. Because it is still a somewhat new piece of technology, the kids love it at all levels and because it is so simple to use (similar to ipods), the kids can record themselves and each other, which frees up the teacher to focus on what is being recorded. We can give instant feedback on pronunciation or grammatical errors when we watch the video with the students. We can easily delete any videos that we don't want to keep and reshoot any that we want the students to improve on.

Sarah is working with our department to show us how to set up folders for each grade level so that we can save the videos on our P drives. We envision that we will be able to keep video portfolios for all of our students and add to them each year that they study foreign language, showing growth and fluency over time. We were awarded a West Best grant to purchase a Flip Camera for the department. Thank you West Best!

I first heard about Flip Cam's from a 3rd grade teacher in a school system where they use them for young readers who have no one to read to outside of class. Students use the Flip Cam's to video each other reading as a motivational tool. The uses are endless, and Sarah can help you save and access your class videos."

Thanks Mrs. Caruso.

Just a note: You don't have to use a flip video, many high school students have video cameras on their phones or have video cameras they can use from home.

If you would like to see how you can use video in your classroom, please contact me at sarahkyriazis @ wbschools .com

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Extreme Couponing for Teachers?

Tonight, Wednesday, May 4, The WBMHS Business Club is sponsoring an extreme couponing event with guest couponer Kathy Spencer.

We all know that being educators, we spend a lot of our own money on classroom, I thought I would find some free stuff for teachers... it was hard to find actual current coupons that were educationally based, but I found some free stuff by mail, free clip art sites and free resources... I think the Free Zippered Case and Eyeball Bookmarks are pretty cool for a high school anatomy teacher.

Free Teacher Tools
Free Stuff for Teachers Sites
(did anyone ever buy those Free Stuff for Kids books when they were younger and there were lists of all sorts of things you could send away for? Well there are tons of websites kind of like those free need to go through these individually, some things you have to sign up for to get it free)

Free Teacher/Educational Stuff by Mail...
Free Clipart Sites
Check the Staples website, every summer they have a Teacher Appreciation Day when they give away free stuff...

A link to your MTA Benefits...

My Education Discount has teacher discounts organized by store.

Don't forget when getting your educational supplies for next year that Walmart now price-matches, so scour the internet for the best deals and then shop right at the Walmart in West Boylson.

Printable Coupon Sites, sometimes you can find office supplies at these sites.

If you have a favorite site or store where they offer teacher discounts or free educational stuff, please share and I will add to this post.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Happy National Teacher Day!

May 3, 2011

History of National Teacher Day
The origins of National Teacher Day are murky. Around 1944 Arkansas teacher Mattye Whyte Woodridge began corresponding with political and education leaders about the need for a national day to honor teachers. Woodridge wrote to Eleanor Roosevelt, who in 1953 persuaded the 81st Congress to proclaim a National Teacher Day.

NEA, along with its Kansas and Indiana state affiliates and the Dodge City (Kan.) Local, lobbied Congress to create a national day to celebrate teachers. Congress declared March 7, 1980 as National Teacher Day for that year only.

NEA and its affiliates continued to observe National Teacher Day in March until 1985, when the NEA Representative Assembly voted to change the event to Tuesday of the first full week of May.
Happy Teacher Day!

NEA Video to all Teachers

Using Technology in an English Classroom: A Teacher's Experience

Guest Blogger: Mrs. Marianna Montuori, English Teacher WBMHS

This post was written by Mrs. Montuori. I asked her to write down her reflections of allowing students to choose between a traditional written response, making a silent movie with the video cameras on their cellphones, or a poster, this is what she had to say...

Thanks Mrs. Montuori! I hope this will inspire more of you.


Junior honors English students read "Bartleby the Scrivener: A Story of Wall Street," by Herman Melville, and after discussing the basics, such as plot, characterization, symbolism, students were asked to explain the last line of the story, which is "Ah Bartleby! Ah Humanity!" Usually, I have students generate a 250+-word written response but wanted to try something different (plus, it was due the Friday before April vacation...), so I gave the kids four options. These were:
  • traditional written response
  • silent movie (made with cellphones)
  • visual interpretation / poster
  • cartoons
One student completed a traditional written response; two worked together on a silent movie; three worked together on a visual interpretation / poster; and then three groups (three students/group) generated cartoons. The assignment was the same for all: Explain the last line of the story. The evaluation was the same for all as well: creativity, insight/depth of thought, and effort. I loved the final products--funny, clever, thought-provoking, very entertaining--and I think the kids enjoyed having choices. I highly recommend stuff!