Spark Student Interest with Time Search

Spark Student Interest with Time Search

Time Search is a great resource that I came across near the end of this past school year. It is a great research tool to assist students looking for information about many different topics in a history course. The timeline approach is one students always seem to appreciate and often captivates their attention. The way that the information is displayed and linked together seemed to really interest students. I found my students often discovered topics that intrigued them and really seemed to captivate their attention. Many of the students who used this began asking me questions about a variety of history topics that we were not covering in class. This lead to a few of my students research and studying different events in history in addition to the topics covered in class. Anytime I find a resource that has this effect on students it is one I bookmark and use in future classes. If you teach history you need to have a look at this site along with their parent site History World. Check them out with the links below.

Click here to check out Time Search.

Click her to check out History World.

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What is your one thing this school year?

What is your “One Thing” for this year at school?  I discovered mine the first few days of school.

As the first few days of school came and went I was struck by the excitement and enthusiasm all the students seemed to have as they arrived at school.  Students were generally open and willing to learn and participate in all activities.  We had no shortage of students willing to help move things and help out when needed.  This caused me to stop and ponder; “Where does this willingness and motivation go as the year progresses?”  “What is it that we as teachers do that causes some students to lose that motivation?”  While we can not control what happens to students outside of school and we will always lose some to those events, we can control what happens in our schools.  So the question for me really becomes what can I do as a teacher to maintain and even enhance that motivation to learn?

So my goal is to maintain that first day excitement and motivation all year.  This will be my “One Thing” for this year!

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Toonlet Class Project

This past week I decided to use Toonlet in the classroom.  Being near the end of the year focus and attention can be hard to replicate in the classroom.  So my hope was that by having students show their knowledge by using a cartoon might be an engaging activity.  The assignment was simple  choose from a variety of topics, I provided in class, and then create a cartoon to provide me with the who, what, when, where and why of the that historical event.

I have to say that I was very impressed and excited about what I received.   I was further encouraged by how engaged the students seemed in creating their cartoons.  They acted as if it was not the last week of school.  The project seemed to captivate them and keep them engaged.  The depth of knowledge was a little bit of a disappointment for me but that I believe had more to do with the nature of the project.  This is definatley an assignment that I will do again in the class but will need to look at reducing the amount of information to be presented in this project.

The Oregon Trail

The Oregon Trail
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Launching of my 7th Grade Class Blog (Comments Greatly Appreciated)

My 7th grade social studies class decided that they wanted to do a class blog.  They created this blog and placed all content on this blog themselves.  They have decided to do this with as little help from me as possible and see how they do.  I was impressed by their motivation and effort in creating this blog.  It truly was a class collaboration.  Please have a look and post some comments on the content.

Link to class blog.  http://studentthoughts.wordpress.com/

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A Useful Diagram Tool for your Lesson Plans

Over the past week, I began using diagrammr in my classroom for a variety of tasks and have found it to be useful in many ways.  I have used it for directions in class, as students enter the room.  This program can be used for scaffolding for assignments, readings, and projects that they have been assigned.  It can chart the flow of reading assignments and demonstrates reading strategies.  I have also used it to create timelines for students for my history classes.  This tool is easy to use and share with students via the web, interactive board, Powerpoint, Prezi or any other electronic media.  The possibilities on the classroom are huge.  Students often need that direction to keep moving and learning in the classroom, and this tool will allow you to provide just enough guidance to keep them moving in the right direction.  Check it out at the address below:

http://www.diagrammr.com

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