Videos as Visual Writing Prompts – Part 2

Dec 2, 2011 by

Back in October I shared a few of my favorite videos from Vimeo, and mused about allowing your students to use them as visual writing prompts. The idea was simple. Rather than just give students a piece of text, or some script with which to base their creative writing, why not pull inspiration from another form of creative expression; digital media. To my delight, I actually got a few people that tried it! Daniela left a comment on the original post shortly after I shared the idea: I tried this with my students last week. I pulled the 1st, 2rd, and 5th video on our nine computers (three computers per video) and asked them to choose one of the three. After they choosing their topic of interest, we went to our school garden and, in between the trees and all the nature, my 6th graders began to write a...

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Conferencing with Monsters

May 20, 2011 by

I recently helped facilitate a video conference between two 2nd grade classrooms that used monsters as a vehicle for improving descriptive writing. It was actually a quite humorous connection, as the students presented their self-created monstrosities to the other class, and then asked them to guess the adjectives that were used to help give the creature it’s physical appearance. Adjective-enhanced physical features that were prominently featured included “stinky headed”, “flag striped”, and “skinny legged”, although one group did have a unique “bingo-winged” monster that made us all chuckle. Besides the engagement that came from the actual video conference, the big take away from this experience is that making technology a part of your regular routine in the classroom isn’t that monstrous of a task (you see what I did there?). Start with something you already do Pick an activity or lesson that you already do and feel fairly successful...

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Water Splashes in Super Slow Motion – 4000 fps

Apr 29, 2011 by

Pssst! Don’t tell anyone, but I’m secretly becoming addicted to Vimeo, and videos like this one don’t do anything to help me cope with it. I’m a HUGE fan of finding short media to help illustrate a concept, inspire students, or challenge learners to try something they may never have attempted before. It’s rare that I can find a video that does all three, but I believe I’ve found one in this incredibly serene moving picture I imagine this video could be useful in dozens of different ways, but the few that come to mind would be as a writing prompt in a composition or creative writing course, a slow motion example of water displacement in a science class, or as a challenge for video production students to capture an equally moving piece of imagery. If you don’t agree, then at least you’ve had a few moments of Zen...

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Bud the Teacher has a Posse

Apr 1, 2011 by

Are you a teacher that doesn’t currently incorporate writing on a regular basis in the classroom? Are you “too busy” to add yet another piece of cross-curricular requirements to your already overflowing plate? Guess what? Bud Hunt (aka @budtheteacher) is calling you out, and he’s got a posse…in the form of the Common Core Standards. I’ve been giving the Common Core a look through in the past few weeks, and I have to say that I’m really impressed and excited for what they’re bringing to education, at least in terms of cross-curriculum integration, and technology inclusion. Michigan adopted them last year, and while they haven’t been implemented yet, I wanted to be prepared, so I’ve been looking for different examples, experiences, and voices that support what the Common Core is all about. Which leads me to Bud Hunt’s excellent post about students and teachers as writers over at the...

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