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Archive for November, 2012

In the last few weeks, I have been thinking a bunch about Youtube and how it can be used as an educational tool. I ran across this video today, and it confirmed all that I have been thinking about!

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I don’t usually think the best place to go for great teaching resources is on a school website. Often, they are clunky, and the link pages they usually list are disorganized and cumbersome. There is one school website, however, that I have used over and over again over the years: the Greece K12 website.

Today, I was looking for rubrics for a speech unit. I wanted one that was simple but that would still cover the standards. I looked around and then thought I should google “speech rubric greece k12.” Sure enough, the first hit was a whole list of rubrics, and one of them was a speech rubric. It was exactly what I was looking for. To make my day even even better, the rubric was created in a Word document, which means I was able to download it to my computer and edit it to fit what I wanted for my class. This rarely happens with rubrics.

The page I have used the most on this site is their excellent, organized list of graphic organizers. This is a resource that every teacher, no matter the subject, should have in the toolbox.

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Yes, you read correctly. Youtube is not just a place to watch mindless videos, though, no doubt, there are plenty of them there. The fact that Youtube can actually be repository for good educational content is hard for some to comprehend, but it is there!

Currently, my Juniors are reading The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn. Because it was written before copyright laws came into effect, I was sure that there would be a free audio book out there somewhere for my students to use as they read. There are plenty, but the best audio book I found was on Youtube. Honestly, I would have never thought that this would be the place to find a good audio version of a book.

Free Audio Books on Youtube has over 100 titles to choose from. Besides Huck Finn, these include:

  • Dracula
  • White Fang
  • Robinson Crusoe
  • The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
  • Various Shakespeare Plays

 

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My guarantee to students on the first day of school is that they will never watch a full length movie in my classroom. Okay, we might watch a Shakespeare play, but not in one 2 hour sitting. It will be shown in bits and pieces as we read the play.

This does not mean, however, that I will never use video in my classroom. I use it almost every day.

Video is a great way to connect the dots in a students mind.

Here is a quick lesson I did this week to show students how good grammar affects writing. First I showed them this video. It shows numerous cars sliding down a hill in the snow and crashing into various cars, trees and houses.”This,” I told them, “is what the grammar errors in your paper do to me when I am grading them. It is literally like running into a tree or smashing off of a snowplow. After so many grammar errors, I can’t even remember what the paper is about.”

After this video, I show students this video, which depicts snowmobiles floating through the snow gracefully and jumping off of cliffs. All of this is done with only one wreck in the entire video. Today, just as the video ended, one of the students blurted out, “Hey. That isn’t fair. They edited out all the wrecks.” I looked at him with a smile, and said, “Precisely my point.”

It took a second, but then he got a funny look on his face and said, “Now I get it.”

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