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Reform Symposium: George Curous

The Reform Symposium is in full swing, George Curous is our first session!  His presentation is titled: Identity Day-Revealing the Passions of Our Students. I hope that you were able to join us, here are the notes I took during the session: Identity day- near the end of the year School philosophy- relationships are central to everything they do, everyone has the ability to be a leader, recognition of the whole person, effective teaching leads to effective learning. Learning must be relevant to the student. Never pass a student without saying something (whether they are in your classroom or not). Distributed leadership, find strengths and capitalize on those strengths. Everything that we do is based on the best interests of the students and then work backward from there.  If you focus on that the confrontations are reduced. Dan Pink’s What’s Your Sentence Video Everyone needs to find their sentence. We aren’t preparing kids for the real world: this is the real world. The “Why” of the day: Identity day was a staff initiative.  A science fair activity where students could set up displays and tell one thing that they are passionate about.  Everyone in the school did this: teachers, students, admin, staff.  “What is one thing about you that you really would love to share about yourself?  Think of the different ways you can share this with others and create some type of display to show your passions.” This was about everyone getting to know each other.  (k-6 school) Keep it simple-share ONE thing! Work as partners with parents. The entire school community was invited. If you take 2 min. a day to learn about the “problem child” by the end of the year they won’t be a problem any more. I recommend you take a look at this great session so you can see all of the awesome examples of Identity day! See the recorded session here.

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Photo Booth/ Seenly

Posted by admin | Posted in Character Education, Language Arts, Middle/High School, Open Source, Primary Elementary, Secondary Elementary, Teacher Resources, Websites | Posted on 25-10-2007

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What it is: If you are lucky enough to have a newer Mac in your classroom, you are familiar with Photo Booth. Photo Booth is reminiscent of its name sake, it allows students to take pictures with the built-in iSight camera. If you have a pre-Photo Booth Mac or a PC you can now use a free Browser application called Seenly. Seenly lets students take pictures of themselves (even applying different effects like sepia tone or x-ray). Seenly can be used on older Mac’s or PC’s. The only requirement is a web cam. These are coming way down in price, $15-$25.

How to integrate Photo Booth or Seenly into the classroom: Photo Booth and Seenly can be used for a multitude of projects throughout the school year. My favorite project for using Photo Booth/Seenly is for character education development. I create a “How are you feeling today?” grid in Pages or Word and save as a template. Students take pictures of themselves displaying the different emotions and drag and drop onto the template. When they are finished we print them out and create a class book of emotions. This is a wonderful way to teach students empathy. Photo Booth/Seenly can also be used at the beginning of the year for a getting-to-know you project. Create a bulletin board with student pictures. Students could use Photo Booth/Seenly to star in their own stories. Teachers, take pictures of students throughout the year as you podcast students reading. The photos with the podcasts make an excellent end of the year gift for students and parents as they can see and hear students growth throughout the year. Create a classroom “dictionary” where students create definitions for themselves along with their pictures. When teaching action verbs, have students take pictures of themselves actually doing an action verb. You will find a hundred and one uses that you never expected when you bring a web cam into the classroom and pair it with Photo Booth/Seenly!

Tips: See the image below for an example of the “How are you feeling today?” templates I created in Pages. One template was created for kindergarten through second grades and the second template was created for third through fifth grades.

Comments (2)

What a great idea! You said it best. Photo Booth does have a 101 uses and then some. I really like the idea of using it for character education. Also, seeing the maturation of a reader doesn’t get any better than capturing it over the course of a year. Good stuff!

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