Archive for the ‘Lessons’ Category
(Updated blog post)
I wanted to spice up my lesson on fact and opinion, but I wanted to make sure I was in the upper echelon of Bloom’s Taxonomy. At this point in their schooliverse, my students are well versed in writing F and O on a worksheet. Not because of me, because you know how I feel about worksheets. I wanted to step it up! What to do? What to do?…Read More
My 17-year-old and I were bonding watching music videos, and he was explaining who’s who and what’s what, and Lil Wayne’s video came on.
WOW! I almost cried after watching this video. My next thought was, “I hope our kids are seeing this. I hope our kids understand the message here. I hope our girls are seeing this.” This video broke my heart.
I know what you’re thinking, “A Lil Wayne video, is she crazy?”
But you have to watch until the end. Lil Wayne expertly presents the scenario of how life is for the main character as opposed to what life could have been for her, based on the choices she made.
No matter what you think of Lil Wayne, our children are listening to him!
Turn it into a lesson. Study the lyrics. Let students complete a biography about Lil Wayne and the choices he has made. But let them take this song/video apart and learn a lesson from one of their peers, someone they actually listen to.
I teach 5th grade, I wouldn’t show this video, even though I’m sure some of my students have seen it already. And this is not a video made just for “inner city/urban kids”, this is a video for ALL of our kids, because the choices they are making, oh my gosh, the choices they are making… If you think parts of it are too rough for your kids, use Tubechop to chop up the video.
If you are a middle or high school teacher, a parent, uncle, aunt, mentor, and you know someone who can benefit from seeing this video, watch it , and talk about it.That’s what I did with my 17-year-old, and we had an interesting discussion.
Sometimes those who we deem unsuitable, are the ones who can get through to our kids! My son put it simply, “Rappers influence people.” Why not let them be a good influence for a change?
My team teacher and I were standing in the hallway this morning when she walked over and whispered, “If I were a kid with all this testing, testing, testing, I wouldn’t want to come to school either.” Gasp! No, actually, I know exactly what she means, school has become the most boring place in the universe for these poor kids.
A large percentage of our students are bored with school. Standardized testing is a huge culprit, along with its accomplice, data. When this is the focus of your classroom, hmmm… how can I say this politely? Your classroom is a huge yawn! And you can’t fully blame the teachers, by any means, their jobs are on the line, if they don’t tow the line. What are we to do?!
I just finished teaching a unit on Addition and Subtraction with large numbers, and I did not want to provide the students with a handout with 25-30 problems on it. Instead, I said to them, “I am giving you $5,000, and you can buy whatever you want!”
First reaction, “Are you really giving us $5,000?” Um, no.
“I am going to let you shop on the Internet with $5,000. Use the exact amount, or as much of it as you can.”
We grabbed our pencils and notebooks and headed to the computer lab. They were so excited, they didn’t even realize I was actually checking out how much they had learned during the unit. We got to the computer lab and I let them loose! They collaborated w/o being told and it was amazing to watch and listen to them use their knowledge. The great part is (besides being tons of fun), was that it applied to many other standards that connect to real life.
“What sites can we go on?” (Appropriate sites)
“Should I buy the one with the sale?” (Making financial decisions)
“Mrs.M, I went over!” (Sticking to a budget)
AND, all the adding and subtracting you could ever need! I also let them use calculators to check their work. Of course, you don’t need a computer, newspaper advertisements would work just as well. The other 5th grade teachers loved my idea, (it’s not original), and they are going to use it tomorrow. Fun is infectious!:)
All this is to say, school should be a place students want to come . No, school doesn’t have to be fun all the time, but can’t it be fun sometimes?