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Showing posts from July, 2014

Teaching Through The Arts: "Gamification" I Like the Sound of That and So Wil...

Teaching Through The Arts: "Gamification" I Like the Sound of That and So Wil...: Walk into many high school classrooms a few minutes before class starts and what will you see? A large number of students will be on their c...

"Gamification" I Like the Sound of That and So Will Students

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Walk into many high school classrooms a few minutes before class starts and what will you see? A large number of students will be on their cell phones, iPads, etc. and many of those will be playing games. So if they like playing games (and who doesn't?), then shouldn't we be figuring out how to take advantage of this in the learning process? Like making a worksheet into a "playsheet" perhaps. In her article "Beyond the Worksheet: Playsheets, GBL, and Gamification" (I love that term), Educational Technology Specialist Alice Keeler discusses how using electronic devices to play learning games in class has become a hot topic in education. 

She defines the following terms as "GBL [Game Based Learning] is when students play games to learn content. Gamification is the application of game based elements to non-game situations."

Keller also goes on to discuss the use of playsheets instead of worksheets; it's a thought-provoking argument that may be use…

Thinking and Having a Voice: "Save the Last Word for Me" Activity

In this age of let's memorize this content or this form of writing so we can do well on the high stakes testing and pretend that we learned something valuable, it becomes more and more important for us to get our students to think and have a voice. Allowing students the opportunity to come up with their own ideas and cultivate a point of view can often get lost in the race to cover content. This activity called "Save the Last Word for Me" from Facing History and Ourselves is a way to facilitate thinking and voice for all of our students. I'm definitely going to use it this fall.

Save the Last Word for Me

Rationale “Save the Last Word for Me” is a discussion strategy that requires all students to participate as active speakers and listeners. Its clearly defined structure helps shy students share their ideas and ensures that frequent speakers practice being quiet. It is often used as a way to help students debrief a reading or film. ProcedureStep one: Preparation Ident…

"Embodied Cognition" We Think With and Through Our Bodies

I love learning new terms and putting language to concepts; it helps me to learn it better and also helps me to explain it to others better. Allowing students to move so they can learn and think has been a constant theme in this blog, and the term "embodied cognition," thinking with and through our bodies from the article "The Body Learns"  by Annie Murphy Paul on Slate.com discusses the importance of getting the body involved in the learning process.

In a series of experiments carried out more than a decade ago, Arthur Glenberg of Arizona State University "found that children’s reading comprehension improved when they acted out a written text, using a set of representational toys (a miniature barn and horse, for example, accompanied a story about a farm). Glenberg then demonstrated that the same procedure could work on a digital platform: In a 2011 experiment, he showed that having first- and second-grade students manipulate images of toys on a computer screen…

Bates Middle School: Transformation Through Arts Integration

In our age of showing results through data, the Wiley H. Bates Middle School is doing just that. Check out their results after integrating the arts for just four years. Click on the link for Edutopia to read what they've accomplishes. It's worth the time. Arts integration has been shown by several rigorous studies to increase student engagement and achievement among youth from both low and high socioeconomic backgrounds(Catterall, Dumais, & Hampden-Thompson, 2012; Upitis & Smithrim, 2003, cited in Upitis 2011; Walker, McFadden, Tabone, & Finkelstein, 2011). Arts integration was introduced at Wiley H. Bates Middle School, in Annapolis, Maryland, as part of their school improvement plan in 2008 after the district applied for and was awarded a four-year grant under the Arts in Education Model Development and Dissemination (AEMDD) Grant Program. Since arts integration was first implemented at Bates, the percentage of students achieving or surpassing standards for reading…