One of my favorite new blogs to follow is Sonya Terborg’s. Every time I read a new post from her, I feel like we are kindred spirits. Recently, she wrote an article called, “Teaching Without a Plan…What???” in which she addressed how we, as teachers, can approach being “the guide on the side”. I think that her Inquiry Cycle poster, which you can download as a PDF from her site, will be a perfect resource for me as I guide my gifted students through Genius Hour this year. I highly recommend reading her entire article, and to visit some of the other posts on Sonya’s site.
According the the above website, “PechaKucha is a presentation format for creative work originally devised in 2003 by Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham of Klein-Dytham Architecture in Tokyo, Japan. The name derives from a Japanese term for the sound of conversation or chit-chat.”
I first heard about Pecha Kucha from some of my fellow G.T. teachers, and was fascinated by the concept – a presentation of 20 slides with 20 seconds for each slide. At the time, I was already caught up with end-of-the-school-year projects, and did not have a spare moment to do more research. This summer, I ran across this great blog post that gives 10 great suggestions for how to create an awesome Pecha Kucha.
I love the idea of giving this option to my students – particularly for their Genius Hour projects. I also think this is a great way for teachers to introduce a new topic – or even review one. Or, you can do what the professionals do, have a “Pecha Kucha Night” at which your student present their most inspirational slideshows. If you can think of any other ideas for Pecha Kucha in the classroom, I would love to see your comments!
If you are trying to allow some of your students who are reading at a higher level to work independently, you might find these literature units helpful. There are only 6, but they include discussion guides written with Bloom’s Taxonomy in mind. Another great thing about these materials is that they were created by students. Not only could some of your students work through the units, but they could use them as examples for developing some of their own. While you are visiting Mrs. Sunda’s site, check out some of her other links. Many resources are given for teachers, including a link to a detailed article explaining the process behind the literature units.
Today’s post comes from the same people who provide “Boolify”, which I highlighted yesterday. In Comparison Search, the researcher gets the added benefit of searching for web sites that may have different points of view on the same topic. It allows you to type in a keyword or phrase, such as “genetic engineering”, and to then choose the positive and negative search terms you would like to use, such as “advantages” and “disadvantages”. The search results are then given in two columns, respective to your search terms. As I mentioned yesterday, these searches are not “safe searches”, so teachers in primary grades probably should not let their students loose on this tool. However, it can be quite valuable in trying to teach a lesson on the objectivity, or lack of it, on many websites.
S.C.O.R.E. Cyberguides is a site that was produced by Schools of California Online Resources for Education. It is based on California’s Language Arts curriculum, and offers a multitude of literature units at levels from K-12. The units include teacher and student resources. They could be used as supplemental materials, or as jumping off points for Literature Circles or independent study assignments. There is a disclaimer on the site that lack of funding has resulted in some of the units being out of date (broken links, etc…). However, it appears that even those units are still available on the site under “Retired” sections. This is helpful as a teacher could scavenge them for curriculum ideas or website suggestions.