language


Virtual Electronic Field Trips
by National Hall of Fame teacher Alan Haskvitz
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Haskvitz

Thing back to your school days and the chances are that besides a lost love it was a field trip that you recall vividly. Whether that class visit was to a museum, park, or historical place the learning and enjoyment standout. Today, with modern electronics, budgeting concerns, lawsuit avoidance, curriculum standards, and high value testing results, field trips are a rarity, if not extinct.

Sad, yes, but what is even more disheartening is the fact that students won’t have the opportunity to go somewhere that they could later in life share with their family. Even when a grant has been secured to help pay for the transportation and entrance costs you need to impose on other teachers to have that student miss their class. A small favor to ask, but nonetheless a day of learning missed for that subject area.

There is also the time consuming of tasks of trolling for parents to supervise, arranging the time for buses to arrive, medications, making sure no child is without an emergency number, and that the students understand the time schedule. There may be need for substitute plans and it is recommended that you take a picture of the group on the day of the trip so that if one is missing he or she is easier to identify by officials. This is a lot to ask from a teacher and certainly not a requirement for their position.

But all the above are practical matters. What is missing is the spontaneous learning opportunity across curriculum areas and the diversity of learning opportunities. For example, before the students get on the bus they must calculate the mileage, make an estimate of the miles per hour, study a map to see what other significant places are along the road, and study a layout of the facility noting where they are to report, restrooms, and other places they need to know. The combines both geography and math and map reading. Add to that mix the directions the bus will travel and estimated time of arrival and you have a great learning experience before the trip begins. Having the students make their own note taking book using inexpensive note pads and self-made marbled paper using printers ink and library or book binding tape and you have an art lesson. Using technology, students can even use global positioning information to track the trip and note the various streets taken to make them more aware of the importance of knowing where they are when traveling.

There is always the value of debriefing once the trip is finished and having the students share a study guide for the trip about such items as types of occupations noted, most unusual fact, names of docents, and a list of items observed and the addresses of those who need thank you notes and, perhaps, art work.

The learning that can be linked to a field trip makes if memorable, but just as importantly, enables them to learn on their own, something that electronic field trips to do not currently offer. It is not that electronic field trips are bad, far from it, what better way to visit places far behind the immediate area. What they lack is the spirit of adventure, the learning with friends on their own, to learn from others and, above all, the excitement to actually tell their family about and share the learning and motivate a future excursion.

Fortunately, when I was attending school legal matters were not the main concern. Learning was. We stood in the back of a truck on the way to a historical park, walked miles across town to visit a museum, went to a zoo and were simply told to report back at a certain time, not to mention trips to airfields, ships, museums, and significant buildings. The fact that I can recall these and don’ t remember the teacher’s name is not an indictment of the school system, but a reflection that perhaps we need to rethink what I call “seated learning” as the only way to inculcate facts.

Due to legal and financial constraints perhaps it is time to take a longer look at electronic or Internet field trips.

First, to make this lesson as real life as possible it would be good to have a map of the location, and, if it is a building or park, a map of that as well. In this way the student has a sense of where the images are coming from. Furthermore, if it is a location, such as a museum, the students can be given math problems on time and distance to help them understand the expenses of such travel. This also ties in with Common Core questions as well.

Before the trip is taken the students should read about the place, be prepared to compare it to others, and be given time to write what they might learn or would like to learn. These can be used at the end of the lesson as the bases for a compare and contrast essay. Obviously, the lesson also ties in with technology and science lessons as well.

The students need to take notes on the field trip including the webpage and what was shown. I would recommend that the trip take place during class time to keep the group on task and eliminate students going off-topic.

The teacher needs to review the site first, make an agenda of what is going to be shown and in what order, and create a list of questions for the students to answer as the lesson progresses.

It should be remembered that field trips may not be the same as once thought. There are now field trips that show how to make bread, ride a horse, and more. So be selective and make sure they meet your objectives.

Virtual Field Trips
Ten of the Best Virtual Field Trips
http://www.eschoolnews.com/2013/04/07/ten-of-the-best-virtual-field-trips/

Huge List of Electronic Field Trips
http://www.bsu.edu/eft/home2/31digest.php

http://www.pitt.edu/~poole/VirtualFieldTrips.html

Apps for field trips from Edutopia
Rather limited, but varied.
http://www.edutopia.org/blog/ipad-apps-virtual-field-trips-monica-burns

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Shakespeare for the Classroom: In Honor of His Birthday, Sort of
by Alan Haskvitz
National Teachers Hall of Fame

for more free resources go to http://www.reacheverychild.com/

No one knows for certain when William Shakespeare was born, but he was baptized on April 26, 1564 so why not use that date as an excuse to bring his work into the classroom. Here are some exciting ideas that can be used to meet Common Core standards and are useful for classes from upper elementary through high school.

I really like to read a sonnet to my students and have them discuss it. I use this site (http://www.sparknotes.com/shakespeare/shakesonnets) Afterwords they create there own poem about the same subject. Some interesting and creative poetry comes from this, but most importantly when they are done they have to compare and contrast their work to Shakespeare’s and make a case for which one was the best. I let students work in teams based on the sonnets mentioned in the link.

Lots of good ideas for teachers are posted here:
Primary resources and videos of how to teach sonnets and other elements. Excellent.
https://www.folger.edu/index_sa.cfm?specaudid=2

The New York Times
All sorts of ideas to teach Shakespeare and make it come alive.
http://learning.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/08/02/teaching-shakespeare-with-the-new-york-times/

A great idea from the New York Times
This printable gives students an opportunity to learn that they may already know something about the bard.
graphics8.nytimes.com/learning/teachers/studentactivity/20081218a.pdf

These are quick, video overviews of some of Shakespeare’s work
It deals mainly with the plot.
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=shakespeare+sparknotes

The PBS offerings
Includes a webquest and more
http://www.pbs.org/shakespeare/educators/lessonplans.html

148 Ideas
Uneven quality, but well worth a look.
http://www.teachersfirst.com/spectopics/shakespeare.cfm
98 More Ideas
Lots of good stuff here. I like the Types of Female Characters in Shakespeare to get students interested in reading more. For older students.
http://www.onlinecollege.org/2009/12/16/100-incredibly-useful-links-for-teaching-and-studying-shakespeare/

Common Core Video Resources

There certainly isn’t a shortage of Common-core related videos and resources and that is the good and the bad news. A simple Google search reveals over 8.5 million possible websites offering everything from paid lesson plans to teachers demonstration videos. In most cases the material is limited in value or meant for a non-teachers. So I put together the better free sites to help narrow that search. If you have another to share just email me by clicking on my name at http://www.reacheverychild.com

 

A good starting point

http://www.reacheverychild.com/feature/common-core.html

 

A collection of ten important sites including those featuring teachers demonstrating practices as well as important sites that explain various  aspects of Common Core.

http://www.teachthought.com/teaching/15-more-resources-for-common-core-learning/

 

Resources by subject area

http://www.teachthought.com/learning/curriculum/109-common-core-resources-for-teachers-by-content-area/

 

Classroom videos showing math instruction

http://insidemathematics.org/index.php/classroom-video-visits

 

175 Videos on all aspects of Common Core with the emphasis on how teachers are implementing it.

https://www.teachingchannel.org/videos?page=1&categories=topics_common-core&load=1

 

200 Videos

Mixed quality, but good descriptions and the teacher rating system helps winnow out the less useful.

http://www.watchknowlearn.org/SearchResults.aspx?SearchText=common+core

 

This is a large link site with an index by subject matter. Some videos are linked.

http://schools.nyc.gov/Academics/CommonCoreLibrary/CommonCoreClassroom/CommonCoreRoundup/default.htm

 

Share My Lesson

This site was created by the American Federation of Teachers. You may have to register.

They have a teacher rating system that can be of value in finding those that others have found to have the most value.

http://www.sharemylesson.com/TaxonomySearchResults.aspx?area=resources&keywords=common+core+video

 

Here are the Share My Lesson site’s resources by subject area:

http://www.sharemylesson.com/article.aspx?storyCode=50000148

 

LearnZillion is a site that contains a great many resources

You have to register, but it is worth it if just to see this extremely useful visual which shows what has be to taught at when. A must visit.

http://learnzillion.com/common_core/ela

A variety of lessons with excellent explanations.

http://learnzillion.com/explore

National Poetry Month

April is National Poetry Month and so to help celebrate that event here are some wonderful free sites to stimulate new ideas and places to poke around in searching for that motivating lesson.

Poetry links

http://www.reacheverychild.com/language/english/poetry.html

Where to get student work published

http://www.reacheverychild.com/feature/kids_publish.html

Poetry for younger readers

http://www.reacheverychild.com/feature/primary_resources.html#3

Immigration lessons and poetry

http://www.reacheverychild.com/feature/immigrate.html#7

Patriotic Poetry

http://www.reacheverychild.com/feature/patriotic.html

Instant Poetry Forms 

http://ettcweb.lr.k12.nj.us/forms/newpoem.htm

INTERNET POETRY ARCHIVE:
Listen to poets read their words.

http://www.ibiblio.org/ipa/

POETRY TERMS Online QUIZ

http://www.quia.com/tq/100093.html

FORMULA POEMS: 30 Days of Poetry.
http://www.msrogers.com/English2/poetry/30_days_of_poetryday_13.htm
IDEAS FOR WRITING POETRY IN THE CLASSROOM:
http://www.netaxs.com/~katz/teachers.htm
POETRY PLUS—A 3RD GRADE POETRY UNIT:
http://www.coreknowledge.org/CKproto2/resrcs/lessons/32K_Poetry_Plus.pdf
HOW TO WRITE A 5W POEM

http://www.canteach.ca/elementary/poetry2.html

Poetry.com. Poetry.com invites poetry writers of all
ages to submit poems for online publication. Poets 18 and younger

http://www.poetry.com

The Digital History of Canadian Poetry, and the Poem in Progress.

http://www.youngpoets.ca/

Otta Ray’s Head

Huge Links page to all elements of poetry.

http://home.cogeco.ca/~rayser3/poetry.htm

Info Please

Site for older students

http://www.infoplease.com/spot/pmonth1.html

World of Haiku

http://edsitement.neh.gov/view_lesson_plan.asp?ID=305

 General links for younger students

http://teacher.scholastic.com/lessonrepro/k_2theme/poetry.htm

Very large and complete poetry site

Includes contests.

http://www.poetryteachers.com/index.html

Lesson plans

http://www.education-world.com/a_special/poetrymonth.shtml

Large link site

Very complete coverage of all types of poetry and terms.

http://www.proteacher.com/070034.shtml

Acadmey of American Poets

http://www.poets.org

Poetry magazine

http://www.poetrymagazine.org/

Cube poetry for younger students

http://www.col-ed.org/cur/lang/lang50.txt

Links to poets

Extensive

http://www.pmpoetry.com/linkspb.shtml

Cheers, Chants, Raps, and Poetry

http://songsforteaching.homestead.com/Chant.html