Creating a YouTube channel

Social media has virtually taken over this world and instead of discouraging students from using it at school, I think it is important to use it as a way to teach them. They obviously feel connected through it so why not use it to our advantage? Much like the blog assignment, this YouTube channel assignment is a way for students to express their feelings and thoughts. For those who are more visual learners, this is a way to transform blogging into a more intriguing way to journaling. Each week students can upload a video of them talking about a topic or issue that they feel passionate about and they have the liberty to edit the video or add cool effects. It’s an interactive way for students to bring their thoughts to life. This is an assignment that can work for any grade in high school.

 

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Create your own channel here!

A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan

This book is by far one of my favorite books from college. That being said, I believe it fits right into a high school curriculum. The narrative is uniquely written; each chapter is written from a different perspective and the entire story spans 40 years and moves between characters that are loosely connected to each other. I feel that this book works for a high school curriculum because its structure is unique and inviting.

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Purchase the book here!

Creative Writing in the high school classroom

This is an assignment that I remember doing in a creative writing class I took in college. It’s a simple poem format in which each sentence start with the phrase “I remember…” and the writer of the poem can write as many things that they can remember about their pasts. While poetry is not a strong suit for many students, this format is easy for students to follow but also allows them to be creative in their own personal way. This assignment would work well for an 11th or 12th grade classroom. It doesn’t have to be a significant part of the student’s grade but it would serve well as a supplementary assignment to a part of a creative writing unit.

 

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View the worksheet here!

Vocabulary in the high school classroom

Vocabulary is one those age-old problems that we can never find the solution for no matter how hard we try. I haven’t come across any methods of learning vocabulary that I felt were particularly helpful or that stuck with me all of these years. While I can’t say confidently that I have found the holy grail solution to this problem, I think that the link I have provided is helpful in stepping towards the right direction. The best way to attempt teaching vocabulary is by making it fun and not a chore. When they enjoy it, it becomes easier to want to learn it. I know I would enjoy games whether I am a ninth grader or a senior in college, so there is no age limit for fun ways to teach vocabulary.

 

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Visit the website here to learn more info!

Blogging in the classroom

When I was younger, journaling was the way to express ones emotions from the inside out onto the paper. Today, the popular way of journaling is keeping up a blog. In the classroom, having students blog once a week on a topic that they prefer or enjoy will allow them to freely write and express themselves without the pressure of being graded or evaluated on their performance. This type of writing environment can elicit more meaningful writing from students because they are not stressed about earning a good grade. This could work for any age in high school and in my classroom, I would use it as a participation activity, for those students who don’t feel as comfortable speaking in class in front of their peers.

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Try out a free blogging site here!

Vik Muniz – Waste Land

This movie is a documentary about an artist who created a series of portraits (of people who worked in a land fill) out of the garbage from a landfill. It addresses not only the issue of waste but also the issue of workers being mistreated. Although it may seem a little mature for a younger crowd, it is a great documentary that sends an overall positive message to it audience; 99 is not a 100. Don’t stop putting in work until you start seeing results. Art is a form of expression that allows the artist to bring their imaginations to life and since some people are better visual learners, teaching art is a way to reach out to those learners.

Visit his website here!

Classroom management in an English classroom

An important part of running a classroom is having proper classroom management. This video features a British teacher in his English classroom and his strategies for keeping his classroom and students in order. Although it features a teacher from another country, there is still something to learn from this video. Classroom management is important in any grade for any classroom, and the classroom dynamic depends on how it is run. There are many ways to run a classroom efficiently, and this video is just one of those ways.

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Watch the video here!

An Inspiring short film

This short film was something I came across a couple of months ago when I was browsing YouTube, and I  was immediately intrigued. This film reverses the stigma attached to homosexuality and assigns it to heterosexuality. I through this would be important to include in the site because it emphasizes the importance of not discriminating a group of people based on how they identify themselves, and also just not discriminating any group of people. It also tells a story in the most 21st century way; through film. This film features a middle school girl and so it would be appropriate to teach in a middle school class, but I think it be equally appropriate in a high school class. The message behind this movie is strong and important to get across to students.

 

Spoken Word

This century brought along with it new ways of telling stories. Spoken word is a form of prose poetry that I think is inspiring and captivating to the audience, and when it is performed, the words come to life. The link provided below is a page of ten spoken word performances. These performances are a form of writing that allow people to be more expressive. Being expressive is important for students in high school because it’s a time of hormones, unwanted change, and stress and sometimes teenagers tend to either keep their feelings to themselves or express their feelings in ways that can get them in trouble. And so teaching this form of expression allows teenagers/students to say what they’re feeling but still remain safe and out of danger.

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Watch some great performances here!

Socioeconomic status in the classroom

Another major barrier students face in the classroom is the difference in socioeconomic status. Family income can greatly affect how students learn in a classroom, and how they are treated. This difference becomes more apparent to students as they enter high school because they are becoming more aware of things that might set them apart from other students. In these situations it is important to offer support and advice to these students so that their financial situation does not affect their growth in the classrooms. This resource offers solutions, ideas, and advice to teachers in supporting students in these situations.

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Learn more about it here!