Flocabulary Gets It Right: Civil Rights Hip-Hop Resource

MLK Day Dream

Flocabulary has a great musical resource available for remember Martin Luther King Jr. and honoring the Civil Rights movement. Along with the hip hop song that brings in words and imagery into the flow, the group provides a set of lyrics you can print out. Whenever I use Flocabulary and their mad rhymes, my students pay attention. The site even has a classroom view, allowing the video to come into center focus. You can’t embed the video in other sites because Flocabulary sells subscriptions (and periodically, makes resources like this one free).

Check it out.

And remember and honor the man whose voice continues to ring out and resonate with much of the country.

Peace (on this day),
Kevin

Sending You A Message of Peace (Posters)

Our sixth graders recently finished up a Peace Poster project with our fantastic art teacher, and now the posters are all over the school. It’s such a great way to infuse art with a social message, and get young minds thinking of the world in global terms.
Here is a collection of some of the posters:

Peace (in the sharing),
Kevin

Mapping Out Peaceful Imaginary Lands

Some projects just seem to connect with students, and our Imaginary Peaceful Land Brochure project is one of those. With lessons around informational text and creative writing, with a focus on our school’s role as a Peacebuilding Community, students create an imaginary place and then design a brochure. I particularly love the maps they draw, which brings out a different angle of creativity in students.

Check out some maps:

Peace (in the lands of peace),
Kevin

Breaking Apart the Saxophone

Saxophone Construction Diagram
I am going to be writing more about this lesson around reading and writing diagrams for my blog (Working Draft) over at MiddleWeb soon, but here is a diagram that I shared with my students about the saxophone, as I modeled how to draw a simple diagram. Their assignment has been to create their own diagrams, as we talk about ‘reading’ different kinds of texts and information sources, including diagrams.

Peace (in the music),
Kevin

Some Respect: Student Webcomics

Our school theme this month is about “respect,” which turns out to a tricky concept even for sixth graders. It’s not as concrete as our theme of “kindess” from last month. We had a long conversation the other day about what respect might look like, and then I had my students go into our comic site to create ideas around respect. Here are a few:
Respect Comic1

Respect Comic2

Respect Comic4

Peace (in the sharing),
Kevin

 

Student Views about Cell Phones in School

We are working on a synthesis reading/writing activity, in which students are writing persuasively about whether or not cell phones should be allowed in school. Your first impression might be that they would want them, but surprisingly, that is not the case.

Check out the breakdown of their views:
Cell Phones in School

Peace (in the chart),
Kevin

 

Student Voices on Art and Peace for National Day on Writing

http://lionsclubs.org/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Peace_Poster_Logo-resized.jpg

Yesterday, students in each of my classes did some podcasting for the National Day on Writing.

They had written an artist statement about a Lions’ Club international Peace Poster project now underway with our art teacher, with a theme of Our World/Our Future. When their posters are hanging up around the school, their artists statement will be part of that. I am still mulling over the best way to connect the podcasts to the posters in a digital space. Maybe Voicethread …

Here are a few of the podcasts:



Peace (in every poster),
Kevin

 

Of Field Trips, Vocabulary and Comics

We went on a whitewater rafting trip last week and when we got back, I challenged my students to create comics about the trip, using some of our vocabulary words. A few have gone into our webcomic site but a few chose to do traditional comics.

Check them out:
Raft collage

And:





Peace (in the panels),
Kevin

Stories Untold: Short Story Titles by Sixth Graders

Here, at the start of the year with my sixth graders, we do a lot of brainstorming activities. This writing prompt has them generating a list of short story titles that they might pull from during the year for various writing-into-the-day activities. Plus, it is interesting to see what they come up with. Here are just a few from the list of 80 short story titles of stories not yet written. I put them in Prezi to give them a little “wow.”

Peace (in the story),
Kevin

What It Looks Like When We Hack Chess

hack chess collage 2013
My sixth graders have been working in collaborative groups to hack the game of chess, with new pieces and new rules on how to play. I’ll share more later as part of a larger collaborative DS106 radio project but this collage nicely captures some of the work they are doing to invent new board games out of traditional ideas.

Peace (in the hack),
Kevin