Top Tools for the Backchannel: Engage Students With Powerful Discussions!

I want to incorporate this during read a louds, or Math or something. I have no desire to be, but with my limited time allotted, many of my lessons are in fact, teacher-centered. So disappointed in myself. 🙂

Joan McCullough

So you’ve planned your lesson, and tailored your lecture so that you tell your students all they need to know about a given subject. You’ve pulled up a PowerPoint presentation you saved on your flash drive two years ago, and made some minor updates. Student’s will need to copy these slides into their notes. Then you picked the perfect YouTube video and prepared a list of questions for students to answer afterwards. Right? Are you bored yet? Your students will likely be. This is a classic example of a teacher-centered lesson.

There are a couple of ways you can take this plan and move from the substitution level to the higher order thinking levels of technology integration, according to the SAMR model.  The best blog that describes this model that I’ve seen is Kathy Schrock’s Kaffeeklatsch!

The SAMR Model The SAMR Model: Image the creation of Dr. Ruben Puentedura, Ph.D.

For this lesson…

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Quick Key App Developer/Educator Walter Duncan Talks Social Justice, Hip Hop, and Educational Technology

QuickKey App Developer/Educator Walter Duncan Talks Social Justice, Hip Hop, and Education

I discovered a podcast show, earlier this evening, called The Planning Period with Jovan Miles. I never thought a podcast show could hold my attention so much. It’s fairly new, about only a month in existence, and has a total of 5 episodes thus far. I first listened to the most recent episode, Social Justice, Hip Hop, and Educational Technology, with guest Walter Duncan. As I type this, I’m listening to previous episodes, and my interest and engagement is just growing. It’s not like some podcast shows, with low audio quality, and a conversation pace on par with CSPAN BookTV. It’s not like that at all. It’s more like listening to a TEDTalk. Check it out via the link above. Once you start listening, you’ll want to discuss what you hear for sure. I’ve listened to two and a half episodes, and I’ve yet to hear something that I don’t agree with. That’s just me though. Whether you are enlightened or perplexed, you’ll have something to say about what you hear. The conversation hashtag to the show is #TPPQues. Any questions or compliments that you share with the Twitterverse can include that hashtag, so your words don’t go unnoticed.



Thanks for stopping by,

The Classroom Curator.

My College Students Act Like Third Graders

11:57 p.m.

It’s true. They act like third graders. I’m okay with that though, as long as they grow out of it by the time they enter college. Friday evenings usually provide me with a burst of classroom ideas. Don’t know why that is. According to contemporary Education culture, Friday nights should find me drained and  plum out of classroom inspiration. However, Fridays, post dusk, is when my creative gears spin. Maybe my self-reflection during Friday’s commute home has something to do with it all:  ‘Didn’t finish as much writing as I wanted them to. I yelled too much, today. Mondays I’m calm. Fridays I’m not. That’s not fair to them.’ Reflections like that, probably influence my Friday evening inspiration spurts.

Tonight’s spurt is this: Strunk and White’s Elements of Style in the classroom! That’s what we need. It can’t hurt to introduce it to third graders. My students’ reading skills are far superior to their writing skills, and their writing skills have developed well in the past two months. Strunk & White showed me how to give voice to my ideas; maybe it can do the same for the 9-year olds. Grammar is purposeful, and conveys meaning. Grammar, when used correctly, leaves little room for ambiguity. It enables a stronger voice; a communicable voice; a precise and coherent voice; a respected voice. Strunk and White’s rules of English writing, is not the only way to write, read, and think; but it does enable people to convey meaning in an effective way. It provides valid concepts for organizing thoughts, that are wise to have under your {knowledge} belt.


Now it’s Saturday.

Tomorrow: Wake, breathe, drink, eat, tutor, breathe, love, create, breathe, sleep.

Hope I didn’t get too open in this premiere blog post.

It’s been real,

The Classroom Curator