Friday, September 28, 2012

Just For Fun: Advice From Thelonious Monk

Open Culture posted this list of tips from Thelonious Monk for playing a gig. Some of them seem to work as tips for writing, too. I like "Avoid the hecklers." In any case, enjoy the list, and have a great Friday!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Teacher Ideas: Smartphones

Wayne shared this article on smartphone dependency. The video below is a series of short man-on-the-street interviews with New Yorkers on the same topic. There's a lot in here to serve as food for discussion. Thanks, Wayne!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Activity: Gangnam Style as Satire and Global Online Phenomenon

I made a silly joke about Gangnam Style to some students the other day, and when I saw how excited the Korean students got, I realized this was a perfect, timely thing to talk about in class. The activity I made is appropriate for students at intermediate and advanced levels, with a focus on vocabulary and reading and listening comprehension.

If you haven't already seen the video for Gangnam Style, here it is. It's all in Korean, so there's not much to do in our classes with this. (You may now be wondering how in the world to use this in class. Understood.)

The activity I created uses a short article and video from the Wall Street Journal. It could support discussions about online media, virality, satire, popular culture in different countries, or pop culture as an increasingly global phenomenon; I think Korean students might enjoy sharing their own insights on this song, the artist, and contemporary Korean culture. Let me know if you talk about Gangnam Style in class, and please film any dancing that may occur!

Monday, September 17, 2012

One Activity and Two Songs for the New Term

Welcome back! We've created three warm-up activities for the fall term; an video and reading activity designed to help students understand the presidential election process, and two songs with different levels of vocabulary difficulty.

The activity on the election process begins with this video and a series of comprehension questions designed to help students understand some important concepts and terms. The students are then instructed to go to the interactive electoral map at The New York Times, and find the answers to questions specific to the 2012 election. We've also devoted a section of the Media Center board to fielding questions and comments about the election, and we plan on sharing those student questions and opinions with faculty and students via this blog and Facebook. We've noticed that this topic is confusing yet interesting for our students, and we thought we'd try to capture this momentum. (Also, we're going to do a TELC election on Election Day, so let your students know!)

The activity that accompanies this song focuses on verbs and verb forms. The lyrics are very simple and repetitive, and the activity would make a nice warm-up for a low-level class.

There is a version of this song on YouTube with many more views, but absolutely nothing of interest happens in the actual video; therefore, we chose this video shot in Tokyo. The xx has some international recognition, and our students may be familiar with their first album. This song is off their latest release, and the lyrics are simple but poetic. The activity focuses on adjectives, verbs, and verb forms.

As a reminder, worksheets for these activities can be found on the board outside the Media Center, in the binder in the teachers' computer room, in the binder at the teacher desk in the Media Center, and electronically on the wiki. Feel free to adapt them for your classes.

(Oh, and fans of the original Caine's Arcade video - look here and below! If you show this to your class, let us know what they thought of it!)

Deferred Action: An Event For Educators

The Literacy Assistance Center shared this information about an upcoming information session for educators on the "Obama thing" that many of our students are asking about. If you are interested in learning more about Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, this event is free.

Are your students asking you about “that Obama thing”? Are you wondering what your role is in the Deferred Action process? Are you interested in sharing ways of supporting immigrant youth with other educators?

New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE) and Rachel Einbund, Esq. present Deferred Action for Educators

Thursday, September 27th
6 pm – 8 pm
NYU 3rd Floor Pless Hall
82 Washington Square East

LEARN all about the new Deferred Action program, including important legal guidelines for advising students

UNDERSTAND the facts about DACA and dispel the myths you may have heard

SHARE your experience with your students and help guide them in the right direction

Refreshments will be provided RSVP here:

* Need information sooner? Check out these links:
New York Immigration Coalition:
New York State Youth Leadership Council:

Friday, September 14, 2012

Webinar on Soloist and Virtuoso

Media Center teachers, you may be interested in this upcoming free webinar series on the basics of the Soloist and Virtuoso systems.

Click here to register for one of two hour-long presentations on Tuesday, September 18.

A good introduction for teachers new to the system, and a good refresher for people who are looking for one!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

LaGuardia's Student News

The September issue of LaGuardia's student newsletter can be found here.