Tweets from the Summer

Here are some tweets from my Summer on Twitter. Some of them have been useful, some have been cheesy but inspirational, and some have just been silly. Here are a few that I have appreciated

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That tweet linked to this post:
It has some really useful tips on how to use technology in the classroom.

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Some nice cheesy inspiration to help me get through grad school!

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The letter can be found here:
I’ll probably need this advice in about a year!


Flipped lesson — Introduction to the Constitution

Below is the link to my flipped lesson. I designed it to be an introduction to the Constitution, which would be viewed before the first lesson of a until on the Constitution and Federal Government. The students would view this video to get acquainted with the general structure of the government and Constitution, and then would come into class ready to read the actual text and discuss the reasons behind Constitution.

Flipped Lesson

After finishing the video, students would be required to take this quiz to prove that they saw it and to get a sense of the interest and prior knowledge that the students posses about this topic.

The students would also be provided with the link to the song used in the video, which can be found here

I used educreations to make this flipped lesson. It is not the most detailed tool out there, and some of the simplicity can be a little annoying. One problem is that you can’t go back 30 to fix something, you have to either leave a mistake in or start over. I think that for a simple white board lesson for a class, that isn’t a very big problem. It is easy to use, and I think I will probably use it again in the future.

Education Podcast – Mission Monday #036: The Pros And Cons Of Being A “Connected Educator”

This week I explored a podcast on edReach that focused on being a connected educator.  I want to begin by saying, there are some podcasts I really enjoy.  Unfortunately, this was not one of them.  Maybe I caught these guys on an off week, but it was about 80% nothingness.  They spent the first 5 minutes trying to remember the name of various movies and actors, and that set the stage for a pretty unprofessional and not very useful 35 minutes.

In the midst of all the noise, the podcasters talked about using twitter as a professional tool. They said it was a good way to connect to other educators, but could become used as a personal notebook, which they thought was useless.  They also noted that it is important for educators to be careful with censoring what they say on twitter.  They also talked about Facebook, which they say is a good way to connect to parents (but they think that Facebook is generally annoying).  Lastly, they talked about Pinterest, which they think has some good ideas, but it mostly for girls.

This pretty mediocre experience has not turned me off education podcasts for good.  I will go on a search to find a good podcast for educators, and perhaps I will write a follow up at some later date.  Stay tuned!

Why do I have to learn this?

I just finished watching a wonderful Ted talk by a man named Chris Lehmann.  His talk, Education is Broken, discusses the problem with the question “why do I have to learn this?”.  Teachers hear this question all the time, and they have a variety of answers.  You’ll need it next year, you’ll need it in college, it’s on the SOL’s, maybe you’ll be a doctor/lawyer/engineer/mathematician, etc.  All of these answers are short sighted, and kids see right through them.  Chris says that the answers should be that learning these subjects teaches you how to learn.

When I was growing up and being homeschooled, I asked my mother (and primary teacher) why I had to learn all this.  Her answer was, “because it’s good to learn.”  My mother talks a lot about learning for the sake of learning.  She loves to say that education comes from the the Greek word for leisure, because learning is a privilege that many do not enjoy.  We don’t need to give kids lame, pragmatic, employment focused answers to this questions.  We need to take the “Why do I have to learn this” moments and use them as opportunity to demonstrate a true love of learning.

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Why should I learn physics?  Because it is the language of motion.

Why should I learn math?  Because it is the language of God and the universe.

Why should I learn I learn art and music?  Because they are the language of the soul.

Why should I learn English? Because it’s your language!

Why should I learn history?  Because it’s the story of you and your people.

Why should I learn biology? Because it is the study of your body and your physical world.

Why should I study philosophy? Because, with it, you can make sense of all this other learning.

It does not matter if you ever use that math formula again.  No one will ever put a gun up to your head and grill you about Shakespearean Sonnets.  You probably are never going to need to know the exact date of the Magna Carta. However, that formula challenged you to think in a way you never would have otherwise; it made you a better thinker.  Those Sonnets were beautiful, and allowed you to hear something good, true, and beautiful; it connected you to the thoughts and feelings of someone in another time.  The Magna Carta was a huge influence on modern democracy, and now you understand that the regime in which you live is not something to take for granted, or even to accept as necessarily correct.

Education is bigger than getting a good job.  Education can make people into better, deeper, more creative, more inquisitive, more empathetic people.  These sorts of people will do more benefit to society than a million worker bees ever could.

The case for Pinterest (as an educator’s resource)

I’ve never been big on twitter, and I tend not to read teacher blogs very much.  The one place I often go to for teaching ideas is pinterest’s education section.  I have found so many wonderful things on there!  Plus it’s wonderful for the more visually inclined, who would rather see pictures or graphs of ideas than read about them.  And, for the most lazy people out that, you don’t even have to click to see the pictures!  Pinterest is of course amazing for many things (weddings, diy crafts, longing for more beautiful homes than we teachers will ever be able to afford), but it really is useful for teachers.
Here are some of the finds for today:
As a future social studies teacher, this could be a good way to review the vocabulary for more visual learners. 

I would use this idea, but change it for a social studies class. I would show all the events and people throughout the world that we are studying.

This is a chart that is for sale for $3.50. It could be useful for a teacher trying to teach students how to write a research paper. Click on the image to purchase.

And my favorite find from today:


Pinterest is full of these finds.  It’s easy to navigate, visually appealing, and takes almost no hunting to find anything good.  Every teacher ought to pin!