Tag Archives: Night

Oh, The Questions???

                                                         One of my latest hyperdocs focusing the use of Night.

I began implementing the use of hyperdocs as a way of utilizing our one-to-one computer initiative in a better way. For the most part I have been pleased with the progress my students have made in problem solving, communicating, and working independently but with these successes have come many questions.

  1. This is an ELA class; are the students reading enough?
  2. Despite the fact that I spend a large amount of time creating these resources, am I being left out of the instructional quotient too much?
  3. How can I achieve a balance of the use of hyperdocs and face-to-face explicit instruction?
  4. What about those students who just refuse to do the activities?

Well, here is where my thinking is today (note: It can change!). I have included multiple texts in a variety of genres in the hyperdocs. I have given tools to them that allow the text to be read aloud if necessary. I have created hyperdocs that work with online texts as well as the novels and books we use in class.

I have had students who complain that they don’t understand but I have included screencasts of me explaining material and strategies. I have pulled out small groups to go over areas of concern. I have moved students beside of me so I can quickly guide them to the next step.

The balance question is one that I really struggle with. I have been allowing the subject matter to dictate whether the students would be better served by a hyperdoc or face-to-face explicit instruction.

This has been an unusual year in that I have a high number of students who refuse to do classwork. For the most part I am allowing students to make poor choices. I have contacted and worked with each of their parents but when the parents themselves accept the regular “Fs” and do nothing to encourage students to complete the work, then I am not sure I have any way to counter this with a positive outcome.

I plan to continue to use hyperdocs as I  believe they are great way to implement problem solving and communication as well as creativity. BUT I will also continue to reflect and work to find ways to make instruction more effective.

One of my latest efforts. Elie in Auschwitz-26a7e1h

Word Clouds, Can They Help?

MyCloud

Word Clouds have been around for years. I have seen these visualizations used in various ways and enjoyed them but never applied the idea seriously to classroom use until this week.

I am working with my students to reduce the amount of passive verbs they use. Despite my modeling, sharing exemplars, and practice, “is” and “was” are their “go to” verbs. So when I gave feedback for the latest assignment I wondered if a picture really is worth a thousand words. I created word clouds for each student’s work using ABCYA Word Clouds for Kids. I chose this tool because it allows you to include common words.

Later as I was preparing the quickwrite for tomorrow I reflected on the question: Someone chose to call the book “Night.” Why do you think this name was selected? Please think first, go back to the book and look for text evidence, and then explain. Look beyond the obvious.

How can I get students to go beyond the obvious? Could word clouds of the text of the book help students?  I was lucky to find a .pdf file of the book and then chose Tagxedo to create the word cloud as it was able to handle the large amount of text.

The feedback has not been seen nor the quickwrite written but I am curious as to whether the addition of these visualization aids will demonstrate my expectations.

A final note: Looking at a word cloud of this post, I noticed some revision of word choice needed on my part.