Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Richardson 8th Grd ELA/Soc. Studies

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Richardson 8th Grade ELA/Soc. Studies

Student Debate - Denmark Vesey

What are the students doing?
Students participated in a debate regarding the controversy of Denmark Vesey, an African-American community leader and freed slave from Charleston, South Carolina.  Students created an argument, researched, and supported two opposing views.  They had to prove whether he was a martyr who deserved a monument or a terrorist who did not.

What do you hope students accomplish by completing this activity?  
With this debate, the hope was to have students improve their skills in effective public speaking, communication, research, reasoning, and collaboration of ideas.

How did this activity tie to your standards?  
The debate structure allowed for students to deepen their understanding how sectionalism within the United States arose from racial tension during the Antebellum Period.  Debates also tie in with our inquiry and communication standards.

How did this activity promote student learning?
In this debate, students were asked to research a randomly assigned viewpoint on Denmark Vesey.  Many of them were stretched beyond their preconceived idea of what is wrong and right; researching opposing viewpoints encourages critical thinking, and students are able to see evidence and reasoning to justify both sides.  Throughout the research process, students also made connections to present day events which notes their recognition of trends       throughout history and society.  

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Trapp, Spanish, VoiceThread

Teacher Spotlight: Mrs. Yadira Trapp, Spanish

Using VoiceThread in the Classroom

     Today's spotlight takes a trip to Mrs. Trapp's Spanish classroom and how she uses VoiceThread, a web-based program that allows the use of images, video, and audio to be placed together and provides a means of getting users to give written and verbal feedback.  Mrs. Trapp's use of VoiceThread is excellent with helping her students speak Spanish fluently and allows her to give quality feedback. Hope you enjoy today's Spotlight.

1. What are the students doing?  
My students are currently working on their interpersonal performance assessments. Students have to record their oral communication in the target language using VoiceThread.

2. What do you hope students accomplish by completing this activity?  

By using VoiceThread students and I are able to listen to the recordings and assess their performance. Students have a rubric which is used to assess their work and reflect on ways to improve it.

3.How did this activity tie to your standards?  

The World language standards require students to be able to use the target language, not just recite verb conjugations or isolated vocabulary words. This activity is the culminating exercise of the speaking and listening abilities developed during the unit.

4.How did this activity promote student learning? 

This activity promotes learning because students know that there will be a recording of their work. It is something tangible. They can play the recording several times, they assess their work and their classmate's and I +reflect on ways to improve. This activity also allows us to show improvement. 7th grade students recordings were 1 or 2 minutes at the beginning of the school year. Currently, 7th grade students can sustain a basic conversation in Spanish for 6 - 7 minutes without falling back into their L1 or first language.
Creative Commons License
Make Common Sense Common (MCSC) by Tyler Abernathy is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.