Thursday, February 24, 2011

TELC on The Learning Network!

Exciting news! Do you know the old standby, the One In 8 Million series at the New York Times site? TELC teachers have long been fans of using the stories on this site, and I've seen many Media Center classes embrace listening to and discussing these stories. (Especially The Sneaker Connoisseur! Students love him.)

I wanted to share our collective experience teaching these stories with the people at The Learning Network, and they decided to feature us. Read it here! Thank you to those teachers who have shared their ideas on how to use this site with me.

If you have not explored the series, I really encourage you to do so. Your colleagues can vouch for how much students love it - despite how challenging it can be - and I'm happy to share ideas for how to present it in the classroom.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

LiveWire: The February Issue

Here's the latest issue of LiveWire, the monthly newsletter for the greater LaGuardia community.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Music in the Classroom: An Activity and a Song

Music is a great motivator in the classroom, but not all music-oriented activities have to be cloze exercises of song lyrics. How else can we bring music to the classroom?

Music can be an entry point to a great narrative or discussion. The video below is a snapshot into the lives of New York City subway performers. The video offers good listening practice, but if you want students to read and discuss this subject in greater detail, the companion article and slideshow are also useful.

The Grammy awards were held this past weekend, and music writers and internet-savvy kids alike are buzzing about some major upsets. Most notably, Arcade Fire won Album of the Year, beating out some incredibly popular contenders. You may be asking, who is Arcade Fire? You are not alone. Why not capitalize on the buzz and bring these emerging artists into your classroom? Why not talk about other emerging or lesser-known artists?

Worksheets are in the activities binder, on the wiki, and on the board outside the Media Center. As always, modify as you see fit for your level. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Goodbye, Blackboard

Many of you have heard that we are losing access to Blackboard by the start of spring semester. We are holding two more informational meetings about the transition away from Blackboard on Thursday, February 10 or Monday, February 14 from 12:45 to 1:30 in C333. Please RSVP to Heather or Liz if you plan to attend.

We will talk about blogs and wikis as possible replacements for Blackboard, and we'll also introduce the course management features of software called Digication. This is the same software students use to build their e-Portfolios when they enter the credit side of LaGuardia, so it makes sense that some teachers may choose to adopt it. (The video below demonstrates the e-Portfolio aspects of the software.)

Digication e-Portfolio Introduction from jyan on Vimeo.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Classroom Ideas: ReadWriteThink's Calendar!

ReadWriteThink is one of the websites I refer to regularly for classroom ideas, and I just discovered an interesting tool they've developed. The Calendar Activities section catalogs lessons and teaching ideas which are thematically related to events in literary history. In February we could celebrate the work of Alice Walker, use Valentine's Day as a reason to explore poetic devices in writing, or analyze the power of a free and impartial press.