Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Shelly Wright - Flipping Bloom's

Sometimes when I read something, I am just overwhelmed with the simplicity of the message. It makes me wonder how I lasted this long without ever reading anything like it before. The article from Shelly Wright was one of those moments for me.

In the article, Shelly describes how flipping Bloom's Taxonomy can make the classroom so much more project oriented and engaging for the students. Basically, she starts projects with the synthesis or creation part, and then backtracks through analysis and the other levels of Bloom's to arrive at knowledge. This makes so much sense to me.

Two things I feel deserve another moment to reflect upon are the value this style of teaching places on student's inherent abilities both to create and to reflect. If you run a class like this, you have to walk into it thinking, "Come on, you guys can do this. I know you can." Then, you also have to incorporate the act of reflecting on what the students created and on how they could improve it based upon their analysis of master texts.

This article makes so much sense to me. Thinking in this way will allow me to refine my practice in several of the units I struggled with this year.

See it at Shelly Wright's blog.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Post Modern Multimedia Research Projects

My American Literature class created Post Modern Multimedia Research Projects in coordination with the book The Things They Carried. They researched a question that was interesting for them, and then used Movie Maker Live to combine perspectives on that question from the book, from interviews, from music, from movies, and from any other source they could find. The results are very open and very connected. I am very impressed with the whole class. All of the results are posted on Youth Voices, and I will embed a couple of examples below.

While the movies worked well, and the students were very engaged with them, there are a few things I would change next time. First, I would schedule in some work with movie maker before hand. Perhaps have the class work in groups to make something. This would minimize the learning curve, and it would also allow for more experimentation with techniques like layering in audio tracks. Second, I would require the use of proper MLA citations in the reflection as well as a bibliography in order to meet the state standards for research papers.