I've put together a stand alone research lesson for some of my students, because of two big problems I often face:
I start off by having students brainstorm what sort of questions they should answer to understand their song, (at this point, they don't know what song they have been assigned - so you can start this as a group activity). Then they get the song title and artist and have a few minutes to come up with more questions and assumptions. Then they get given the lyrics, and finally they get given a photo of the artist(s). Only after they have looked at all these, are they allowed to go online to answer their questions.
The lesson will end with students sharing out what they learnt, and then we will listen to a clip from the five songs!
(I basically picked songs I like...BUT also I thought this was an interesting mix. Three have English lyrics, one has Hindi, (with some English) and one in Japanese (with some English). Some are original songs, some are songs made famous by films, (one is in a film from the 70s, then made famous through being in a Wes Anderson film)....Also there are lots of other little extra facts they might find out - for example 'Pon Pon Pon' is the onomatopoeia for clapping, but it also sounds like the Japanese word for bread, so at one point in the video, the artist is clapping, and bread is flying from her hands!
Feel free to use / adapt with songs you like. Also could be useful for a language acquisition class!
Next week I will be delivering a short training session on the basics of Notebook Software. To be honest, I prefer using a tool which is free, browser based and can be used on any device, (so I make most of my presentations in Google Slides), but I know that some people really enjoy using Smart Notebook. A lot of the SMART Notebook training/resources online are mainly used for primary schools, but as I work in the secondary school, mine may be a little different. Last year I did training about using Notebook for artful thinking and visible thinking routines (a lot of hiding paintings off screen, and slowly revealing them), and I may do a video on that at some point too.
Here is the video of me going through my training:
Here is my presentation. Feel free to make a copy and adapt it for your own school.
Students have been working on coming up with ideas and prototyping. They've been moving backwards and forwards between those, after getting feedback (testing).
Student shave been busy brainstorming ideas for their living spaces units and sketching out initial ideas. Students have come up with all sorts of crazy and wonderful ideas to suit their clients needs. We started off by having them put their ideas on paper and most jumped straight to designing their space and the layout - if we did this again, we would have them start off with a brainstorm, before committing their ideas into a defined floor plan! However, they really impressed us with their designs. Students also had a lot of time to give feedback to each other. They worked with different students every time they received feedback, and used different methods, including the ladder of feedback.
The ideas included: a star shaped bed for the rap star, a house to suit the giant, with accommodations for human guests (a giant sofa and a mini sofa!), a tower with a telescope for the astronomy loving snow-queen, a giant entertainment system for the teenager vampire and more!
We found that students were limiting themselves by committing to paper, so let them re-design their prototype with Lego, Pipe Cleaners, Paper Plates and more! I was super impressed with how different all their designs looked, as well as the symbolism and how they described the different parts of their spaces. Some of the students who are used to making everything very accurate and detailed initially found this a little hard, but once they realized that their prototypes could be super rough, they relaxed and had fun creating! Students were really 'in the zone' during these sessions - they showed an incredible amount of focus and were super engaged in the activity (who doesn't like making their ideas visible with Lego!)
Our next step is students will be creating short videos to describe their client, their needs, their ideas and their prototype designs. Watch this space to see what they come up with!
One of the greatest things abut using technology in class is that it enables us to view many different perspectives, through highlighting stories we may not have heard of or through giving us easy access to primary source material. In the newsletter below you'll find videos, articles and audio stories, to enable you explore different perspectives this February. Direct link here.
Throughout the year I had students reflect on the different Approaches to Learning (ATLs) they used and strengthened throughout the process of the Personal Project Report. Now that they have come to write the report, I've given them some further guidance to help them with planning for each strand.
Here's what I shared with them: