Making Curriculum Pop

Reflection on William Kist at TTP3

So many times people sprout off many creative ideas, but can not give you concrete examples of how to implement it. Kists presentation was great. It helped me be able to see more clearly how I might integrate various activities into my classroom. My favorite new activity presented—the snowball. Kist mentioned it as a great way to collaborate. I also loved the idea of using postcards or other visual images as story starters for students. I had never thought of implementing story starters in this way. The examples of the use of videos for persuasive projects or for reenacting parts of a story were great. It’s something I had thought of doing in the past but never took the time to try. It was wonderful to be able to see something I had thought about brought to life. Kist’s students seemed to be genuinely engaged in the projects they made. I can also guess how much fun it must have been to watch the projects in class!

The media autobiography also seemed to be a wonderful activity for students to make. I loved how it included not only books, but TV shows and even a gameboy. I thought this was a great representation of how interests and technologies have changed over the years. And because of this change everyone may not be on the same technology literacy level.

I was initially very nervous to try the snowball activity in my classroom. I was nervous that it would turn into one giant mess of misbehavior. However when I tried the snowball activity in my classroom it went great. When reading an editorial in class during our nonfiction genre study, students had to respond to the authors opinion and then their peers opinions. Since performing this activity students constantly ask me when we are doing it again.

Kist talked about how the snowball activity was collaborative although technology wasn’t involved. He also pointed out how it was not teacher driven and how it built community. At my school teachers and administration believe that technology is a great way to engage students. Sometimes I think while pushing for more technology integration into the curriculum they forget, that engagement is engagement. Students can be engaged without the use of technology. I am not discounting the use of technology however it was nice to be reminded that there are other innovative ways to engage students.

I believe Kist brought up a great point when he mentioned that many of his students seemed overwhelmed at times with all they were asked to do for class assignments using technology. I know many of my students have been overwhelmed with the simple use of technology, even MS Word this year to my surprise. I had made the mistake of assuming that students would know the basics when in actuality they didn’t even know why a word in MS Word was underlined in green or red. I believe that the use of a smartboard in the classroom is a great way to engage students, use technology and the moving image. Smartboard activities can also be less stress for students than wikis, blogs and so forth. Smartboards are engaging and still involve the moving image in the classroom just in a different way.

Video Links and Resources

Excellent source for educational videos

Another resource besides youtube to view videos

Another resource besides youtube to view videos

Keep and save any video from youtube…

Smartboard Resource Links

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Replies to This Discussion

I also loved the interactive ways that Mr. Kist had our class playing with each other. He really exemplified the "Play" as integral to the "Think and Teach" part of what we want folks to experience. I very much feel like the snowball shows that it is not the complexity, the newness, the coolness of a medium that makes it an excellent tool, but how any particular medium is used to create community. Isn't it the movement, the laughter, the warmth, and the collective knowing that invigorates education? We can be taught all sorts of things to think, but it is the throwing of a paper ball across a room, getting lined up by bdays, and making new friends that we remember a learning moment?



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