Inspire with Poetry! 10+ Ideas & Resources

science haiku tweet“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” – Robert Frost

April is National Poetry month and the perfect excuse to inspire your students with poetry no matter what subject you teach. Try posting a short poem on the board related to the topic of the day, such as the science haikus found @Sciencehaiku. Then give your students the mission to create their own poems that explore the topic more deeply. For example, they can create descriptive poems about animals and challenge their peers to guess the animal. They can create shape poems that explore science or math such as Bob Grumman’s long division poem. Start of with haikus or shorter poems that are easier for all students to create. Get them excited about animating their poems with digital tools and apps. See the slide presentation and bookmarks below for more ideas and resources.

Lesson Ideas

Here are a few lesson ideas I talked about during my presentation. Students can:

Resources

Here are a few more resources:

More Resources and Lesson Plans

Find many more ideas in my Pearltree bookmarks below. Click on the circle to make that resource appear.

Teaching Poetry in Vday Resources / Holidays & Events / ELT 2 / English Language Teaching

Cultivate your interests with Pearltrees for Android

Challenge:

Try one of these tools or apps to get students interested in creating their own poems.

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics.

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Digital Notetaking to Stimulate Their Minds

Included in the Digital Ideas Advent Calendar with a new idea each day!

I am not a teacher, but an awakener. – Robert Frost

Many students take notes, because the teacher requires it, but many do not know how to take notes effectively. Students also don’t know how to preserve paper notes well. The ink gets smeared, the paper gets tattered, and their isn’t a quick and easy way to categorize or search paper notes. With digital tools and apps, students can create beautifully illustrated notes that support their cognitive development and stimulate their minds. The right tools and apps make research quick, engaging, and interactive by allowing students to bookmark, curate, tag, categorize, and annotate. One of the reflection activities in my new book, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, is to visually map an idea. Visual mapping, or sketch noting, is similar to mindmapping/concept mapping. At the center of these notes students highlight a concept then draw branches that provide information about the concept. Students do not have to be artists. Instead, they are encouraged to be creative and allow their minds to explore the concept through different branches. With digital tools and apps, students can choose the font, color, or background. They can include stickers, images, links, videos, drawings, and documents. My students are required to include research (links, videos, etc.) and examples of how the concept impacts them. They can keep these notes in the cloud so they can access them anywhere or on the go and they can also share them with others or create notes collaboratively with their peers. See examples in the slide share below and find the resources, web tools, and apps in the bookmarks at the end of this post.

Free Brainstorming Apps

Below are some great apps and tools for digital note-taking. Keep scrolling to find the bookmarks with the rest of the  resources.

  • Linoit web/iOS/Android App- Online sticky note board. Include links, images, video, and audio as well as change the size and color of your fonts. Has various background options and other attractive options. It’s embeddable as well. More stable than Padlet.
  • Padlet web/iOS/Android- Online sticky note board with beautiful templates and backgrounds.  Include links, images, video, text (160 characters) and audio as well as change the size and color of your fonts. Has various background options and other attractive options. It’s embeddable as well. Drag and drop files. Print as pdf and offline.
  • Popplet web/iOS App- The browser tool provides collaborative mindmapping. Students can support text with images from Flickr or Youtube videos. They can upload their own images or draw on their iPads. Embeddable.
  • Google Drive for all devices- I can document all events offline and it automatically updates when I get an Internet connection. Integrate with apps to do more. Test out the Research tool that shows students different resources with the MLA, APA, or Chicago citation.
  • Evernote web/iOS/Android- take notes, draw, add audio and tag, categorize, and search your notes. Use the app offline and it will update the notes when you get an Internet connection. With Postach.io you can automatically publish the notes you add to a specified folder as a blog.
  • Skitch iOS- annotate images and websites with capturing and doodle and text tools.
  • Diigo web/iOS/Android- bookmark, categorize, join groups, bookmark on other social networks using hashtags, annotate websites, add sticky notes and highlight text.
  • Lucid Chart web/iPad app- Collaborate with others and create flow charts, concept maps, and more. Drag and drop options. Add text. Send as a pdf or image.
  • Inkflow iOS app- Sketch & write ideas then move them around and organize them.
  • PenUltimate iPad app- Draw & write on notebook paper on your iPad. The writing becomes searchable, stored, and categorized with Evernote.
  • EduCreations web/iPad app- Interactive whiteboard and screen recording app. Ability to include images taken and from the web and narrate with audio. Create a 9 minute video that can be edited and embedded. Students can record their note-taking to playback later in case they want to revisit ideas they voiced.

Challenge:

Get students to create visual notes for a test or essay.

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics. Subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

Bookmarks
Notetaking, by shellyterrell
Included in the Digital Ideas Advent Calendar! Scroll the image below and each day discover free web tools, apps, and resources.

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Use Humor to Inspire Learning

Included in the Digital Ideas Advent Calendar with a new idea each day!

I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living. – Dr. Seuss

Often, you will see me include pictures of my pug in my webinars, keynotes, or profile pictures. I had few people question if this is professional. When I conduct classes- online and offline- I am more concerned with building relationships with my students and getting them to warm up to me. I find that laughter helps students get to know me and relaxes them when heavy duty learning that is stressful is involved. My classes are challenging and I require a lot of effort but I also need my students to be open to the content and motivated to learn. Humor also has helped ease my stress. It’s always a great teaching day when I get to laugh with my students. Recently, I published an article in the GO Teach magazine, LOL! Teacher! Using Humor to Enhance Student Learning. Click the link for a free digital version of the article. Below, find a slide presentation you can download with ideas included in the article, such as introducing a subject with jokes, using memes, choosing humorous content and more! Scroll to find a list of humorous apps for learning.

Teaching with Jokes Webinar Recording

Favorite Apps and Web Tools

Challenge:

Create a great learning atmosphere or interrupt the monotony by using humor effectively.

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics. Subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

Bookmarks
Humor & Learning, by shellyterrell
Included in the Digital Ideas Advent Calendar! Scroll the image below and each day discover free web tools, apps, and resources.

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Spice Up That Lecture! 20+ Ideas & Resources

Included in the Digital Ideas Advent Calendar with a new idea each day!

Undergraduate students taught by lectures are 1.5 times more likely to fail than those involved in active learning. – Bajak, A. (2014)

In my new book, The 30 Goals Challenge for Teachers, I talk about how even the best lectures aren’t fair for the majority of students in our classes. They simply aren’t brain-friendly if the lectures are over 10 minutes and students are not actively involved either by taking notes, using a backchannel, etc. It’s actually natural for us to want to share what we learned the last 4 or more years in college with our new audience of learner, especially if we are inspired. I’ve lectured before and felt I inspired people. However, I’ve been trying to make even my keynotes and presentations more interactive with demonstrations, backchanneling, and a few activities. The idea is to change things up at least every 10 minutes so that you can awaken your learners’ brains. My art history teacher was a master at this. She’d throw in a funny image to make us laugh, then we’d move on. Try any of the ideas listed below to spice up your lectures and if you find them interesting then share them with your colleagues who lecture. Feel free to download the slide presentation below with ideas, examples, resources, and web tools. Keep scrolling to find the bookmarks with free apps, tools, and ideas.

Ideas

Find the presentation ideas listed below:

Challenge: Use one of these ideas or resources to spice up your lecture!

If you enjoyed these ideas, you may want to get your copy of The 30 Goals for Teachers or my $5.99 ebook, Learning to Go, which has digital/mobile activities for any device and editable/printable handouts and rubrics. Subscribe for FREE to receive regular updates!

Bookmarks

Included in the Digital Ideas Advent Calendar! Scroll the image below and each day discover free web tools, apps, and resources.

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6 Second Learning with Vine: 22+ Ideas & Resources

Screen Shot 2014-05-14 at 2.41.35 AM

Part of the Byte-sized Potential and Mobile Learning categories

The heart and mind are the true lens of the camera. – Yousuf Karsh

Most of our students love learning and creating even if they do not express this in our classes. Millions around the world read, create, produce, direct, summarize, translate, edit, and share outside of learning institutions everyday on their mobile devices or through the web. I’ve been studying the various new social networks and apps that are gaining momentum. I was excited to discover the creativity and imagination taking place on Vine, a social network with over 40 million people creating and sharing 6 second videos. We can use this popular free mobile app and social network to engage our students and get them to connect with our subject matter. With Vine you can create 6 second videos with your Android, Window or IOS devices. You do need to download the free app to create the videos, but you can watch the videos on the web. Currently, Vine only allows those 17 years-old and up to create personal accounts but don’t let this deter you from creating a class account. If your students create accounts, they can now send you their assignments via the new direct messaging feature.

Why use Vine? Vine was one of the top social networks this past year. The most followed and popular users are teens and college students who are now making $10,000 to create these videos. The most followed Viner is 16 year-old Nash Grier with over 7 million followers. Each of his videos are shared by 75,000+, receive 150,000+ likes, and get 3000+ comments. He has a lot of byte-size potential to influence people and has probably had very little guidance from teachers on what to do with it. We need to be guiding our students on how to spread meaningful messages on the social networks and texting apps they use. They all now have audiences and I’ve seen students as young as 9 years-old with viral Youtube channels. Below, I have listed lesson ideas and resources to help you teach with Vine. Click on the idea to see an example of that lesson in action. You can access my recorded webinar here and download my slides.

22+ Resources & Ideas

  • Set-up a class account that you can make private for parents and students. You can post their class work, homework, assignments, important announcements, videos of their games/ events/ ceremonies, and more.
  • Post regular weekly challenges in which students find real world examples of the topic. For example, if you are studying chemical reactions they create a Vine showing an example and explain what is happening. Check out #6secondscience videos inspired by General Electric’s Vine account.
  • Students can post predictions. Vine has a feature where you can stop recording and continue later. Students choose a live event or experiment to record. They start the first 2 seconds with a prediction of what will happen, then record the event or experiment in action to see if this occurs.
  • Who said it?- students take any quote or dialogue from the text you are studying. They repeat it in a Vine and peers have to guess who said it and the context surrounding the quote. If your book doesn’t have a lot of dialogue then assign them important characters/ historical figures you are studying and they can look up quotes. Make sure they don’t reveal ahead of time who they are assigned.
  • News bytes- students report a current event, world news, local news, or school event.
  • Create examples of idioms. See these examples by students in Barcelona. Feel free to introduce your lesson with these Vines.
  • I Spy- students record close-up shots of objects and their peers guess what it is. They add 2 hints. Do this to review vocabulary. If students are learning about geometric shapes, then their videos should be close-ups of these shapes. Peers guess what the object is and the shape.
  • Charades- same as I Spy but they record themselves acting out something related to the topic for peers to guess.
  • You can introduce them to new topics dressed as an important figure associated with the topic. For example, you can talk about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein as Frankenstein.
  • Voiceovers- express what an animal or object is saying. Check out this grateful squirrel.
  • Create videos sharing their haikus or short poems.
  • Create how to videos like this recycle one.
  • Share a tip for passing an exam, doing well in a project or students can share tips for future students.
  • Reflect on their learning regularly by sharing one thing they learned in your class each day or require them to do one a week.
  • Critique or review a piece of art, literature, restaurant, or movie.
  • Define a word and record a real world example. Here’s a Word of the Day Vine.
  • Share a fact of the day with students or assign each student a day when they share a fact through the class Vine. Check out this student sharing a fact about America.
  • Have them create Public Service Announcements like this one on bullying.
  • Vines of most interesting observation during a fieldtrip. Check out this Vine of someone feeding a giraffe a carrot.
  • Various Vines that show an ongoing observation of an animal, plant, insect or phenomenon. For example, you might have them observe a plant’s growth for a week or month or specific bugs that visit your area during a season. In Texas, we get visited by Monarch butterflies. Check out this Vine of butterflies. Students keep track of the progress and embed the Vines on a blog in which they share what they discovered during their observations.
  • Students can do book trailers. Here are examples from Larry Ferlazzo’s students.
  • Students can host a regular video cast with class announcements. Assign different students to do the video cast each day.
  • If you’re going to flip the classroom, why not do this with Vines? They are only 6 seconds and you can embed/post them easily in a blog, Edmodo, or Wiki.

Other Resources

Find many, many more ideas and examples of teachers teaching with Vines by scrolling down and clicking on any of the posts.

Challenge:

Try Vine to engage learners and their parents and let us know how they respond.

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