Saturday, March 23, 2013

Tuesday Teacher Tips - March 5 2013

I'm wearing a lot of hats these days, and that has kept me from devoting time to writing posts.  I'm going to go back through my Tuesday Teacher Tips emails, and post a "best of the best" in my next few entries.

These are some tips I sent out to my teachers a few weeks back.  The focus here is on sharing ideas for uses of QR codes, characterization and a quick review of a new book, Each Kindness.

 
Using QR Codes with Art Work or Classroom Work
 
For yet another fun use of QR Codes, check out Langwitches Blog entry “Transliteracy QR Codes and Art”.  Transliteracy is a term that’s new to me, but basically it’s a term used to describe the use of different forms of media to communicate ideas effectively.   The blog entry describes having students use a voice recorder to describe their work. The voice recording is then uploaded to a website and the URL is used to create a QR Code, which is then attached to the student work.
How can we do this?
I would suggest using a program, such as Audacity for the sound recording. Then, upload the audio file to your teacher webpage or to a “cloud” based service like Dropbox or SkyDrive. Or, of course, Google Docs is always an option also. When you have uploaded your audio file, identify your URL for the file, then go to a QR Code generator like Kaywa. Save the QR Code you generated, insert it into a Word Document, then print it and attach it to the example of student work, and viola, you have instant access to a student artist, author or scientist explanation of his or her own work.
If you want to see this kind of project in action, be sure to check out the blog entry.
What are some possible uses for this kind of project?
This would be a great use of technology for an art show; for parent-teacher night, when we have student work on display for waiting parents to browse; for a student performance of a song, as an extra piece of information for big projects like: Wax Museum, Author Study, or Science Fair.

Spotlight on Characterization

CC.RL.3 deals with elements of characterization.  In considering indirect characterization, it might be helpful to teach students different mnemonics, like STEAL, which is suggested by Read Write Think.  We can get to know a character through: speech, thoughts, effect on others, actions, and looks.  It also helps to have a list of character traits on hand—check out this one from Read Write Think.
Graphic organizers can go far in helping students organizer their thoughts about a character.  Check out some Character Webs from Daily Teaching Tools for some new ideas.
A few picture books to use for characterization include: Where the Wild Things Are, Sendak; Ruby the Copycat, Rathmann; King Bidgood’s in the Bathtub, Wood; Sylvester and the Magic Pebble, Steig—or for a newer one, check out Each Kindness, Woodson.
 
Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson
Recently, I read Each Kindness by Jacqueline Woodson.  It is one of those realistic books that carry a striking moral that sticks in the memory and could generate thought provoking class discussion.
In the story, after a very powerful classroom lesson on kindness, Chloe realizes that she and her friends have been unfair in their judgment of Maya, a new student to the school.  But, it could be too late to make it up to her classmate.

 

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