Thursday, February 15, 2018

TED Style Talks

Students took their passion based non-fiction writing and turned it into a TED Style talk. Recently, I took a class offered in my district on implementing TED-style talks in the curriculum. Part of the course was reading "Talk Like Ted" by Carmine Gallo. I decided to embed students' writing and delivering a talk as a culmination of our Lucy Calkins Essay Writing unit. We used our iPads, green screen and the DoInk app to put students front and center in their topics! Check out some still images of their videos:

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Passion Based Writing

When choosing topics for our non-fiction writing this year I decided to put the curricular integration aside and let students write what they are passionate about. When designing curriculum as an elementary teacher you are always trying to check off multiple boxes when referring back to curriculum standards. Usually, I will have students write about whatever science or social studies topic we are learning at the same time.

This year, I decided to have them conduct interviews with each other and really dig down into what they enjoy most. What is it that they are learning about on YouTube? What do they do in their free time? What do they feel that they are experts in? The results were astounding, and as their classroom teacher not only did I learned so much from them. I learned a great deal ABOUT them.

The entire experience was a validation that when giving students voice and choice you will see different results. The level of investment and time spent on task and independently at home was impressive. Students wrote more, they went into more detail, their text features of timelines and diagrams made in Google Drawing blew me away. When learning is authentic and drives a purpose of learning more because YOU are interested in the topic, great results will follow.

Stay tuned for the next post when I share how we turned these articles into 2 minute TED Talks on their passion!