Thing #11 – Content Area

Audio and Video Resources!

AUDIO – I found the PBS Learning Media site to be very helpful for locating strong lessons paired with audio resources.  The site is incredibly user-friendly, and given that it’s a PBS site, it wouldn’t take much to determine that the high quality of the resources and lessons provided.  One particular lesson that fit with math content was a lesson called “Double Charged: The True Cost of Juvenile Delinquency”.  This is a Youth Radio special edition that focuses on the statistics and costs behind courtrooms and house arrests for juveniles and their families.  As more and more of my students find themselves in the world of courtrooms and probation (and oddly enough, they are proud of this status), this may be an eye-opening experience.

AUDIO – Another great site that could be used to locate audio resources would be the M.O.R.E. section of the Michigan eLibrary at more.mel.org.  Simply typing in “audio” in the search box will give a list of audio files that could easily be used by English teachers.  I found a number of audio files that contained authors reading their own work, an invaluable experience for students.  This is another site that is very easy for teachers to use, and I plan to use it frequently!

VIDEO – I used the Khan Academy (www.khanacademy.org) extensively last year as I stumbled across it over the summer.  This was the basis of my remediation math class for students.  I was able to do a quick diagnostic check on students early in the year, and then I assigned them specific skills to complete each week.  They could use hints to help them if they did not understand how to do particular problems, and there were numerous videos that would show them each and every step to find solutions.  This was a very easy site for students to access, and as a teacher, I was given weekly emails that highlighted student progress – we had much to celebrate at the end of each week!

VIDEO – The Teaching Channel (https://www.teachingchannel.org/) is another resource that I found very easy to use, and I definitely would share this one with my colleagues.  While it is not directly geared toward student use, teachers can find a number of videos to enhance a variety of teaching aspects.  There are videos for new teachers, classroom management tips, divergent questioning techniques, team teaching strategies, etc.

Podcasts!

The sheer number of audio/video resources located in the iTunes stores with their selection of podcasts is simply mind-boggling!  In the math content area alone, you can get tips on Mental Math, 2nd grade math, math history, math songs, Algebra 1 help, and so on.  One resource that I found particularly interesting was the Math Dude that gives a weekly podcast that gives quick tips to make math easier.  There are a variety of topics that you can quickly scan and locate, and will certainly share this resource with my students in the fall.  For now, I was able to share this information with the other math remediation teacher in our building, and she was thrilled!  She hasn’t taught math in awhile, and she was planning to use The Math Dude herself to help knock off the rust in her math mind.  For my students, this will be yet another provided tool that reminds them that math is not as scary as they can make it.

M.O.R.E., Michigan Learns Online, and TWICE!

There is a Bouncing Tennis Balls lesson that I was able to locate through the M.O.R.E. services.  It appears as though the NCTM Illuminations site that I was directed to has undergone some renovations, and I needed to do an additional search to find the lesson.  At any rate, the lesson itself is wonderful!  Students are asked to bounce tennis balls and collect the data from the height of each subsequent bounce.  This leads to graphs, regression lines, and further predictions.  This lesson does a much better job of giving students real world examples of exponential functions than what I have done in past years from the textbook.  I am so excited to try it out on students.  (http://illuminations.nctm.org/Lesson.aspx?id=947)

TWICE is another resource that I am excited to use this year.  Our 8th grade classes traditionally take a trip to Washington, DC, every April, and through the TWICE program, a teacher could set up a visit with a legislative staff member, either before or after the trip.  (http://projects.twice.cc/vcpd/viewprogram.php?pid=92)  The cost of this “field trip” video conference is free, but the benefits to students would be priceless.  It looks like students can prepare questions before the video conference on current issues.  This is definitely something that I will be sharing with the social studies staff when we get back to class.

ISTE Standards

1a Promote, support, and model creative and innovative thinking and inventiveness – The instructor can open up an entirely new world of instruction to students through the use of audio and visual resources.

2a Design or adapt relevant learning experiences that incorporate digital tools and resources to promote student learning and creativity – A cooperative learning group of students could be asked to solve a real world math problem through text and video resources located at Khan Academy or any of the other numerous resources that were listed in this “thing”.

3a Model and facilitate effective use of current and emerging digital tools to locate, analyze, evaluate, and use information resources to support research and learning – As an instructor works with students as a facilitator of student learning, he/she can consequently provide students with the numerous content tools available to enhance their learning.

5c Evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning – The Michigan Learns Online as well as the Teacher Channel provides educators with articles, videos, and even online professional development designed to help them implement the most current digital tools in the classroom.

CITW – Best Practice

1 Cues, questions, advanced organizers – With every type of audio and video resource made available to students, it will be a simple question that the instructor can pose to the class, small groups, or even individual students.   From there, the students can use the resources to help them find solutions to the questions.

2 Generating and testing hypothesis – Given a topic or simple real world problem to solve, again, students can simply head to the seemingly infinite number of resources to develop a strong hypothesis and then find the resources to test that hypothesis.

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3 thoughts on “Thing #11 – Content Area

  1. That is so sad about you students and their attitudes. Even before seeing your post this morning my husband and I were talking about that very thing. I hate to leave my little cove on Lake Michigan anymore because I see so many things changing especially in the Lansing area.

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