Tag Archives: IPad

How I use “Discrepant Event Inquiry” in my classroom

A few years ago, I was introduced to “Discrepant Event Inquiry” from Glenn Wiebe. (Here is another post about it from his History Tech blog). The idea is that you take an image and only reveal a little bit at a time. As I reveal a little bit of the picture, the students must guess Who is in the picture, What is happening, When was the photograph taken, and Where is this taking place. This encourages students to think outside the box and it also does WONDERS with questioning and how to ask the right questions. Naturally, I turned this into a competition. Continue reading How I use “Discrepant Event Inquiry” in my classroom

Integrating Technology in Social Studies Curriculum

Here are some happenings within the social studies department at my school:

About a year ago, my social studies department decided we wanted to step outside of the box. We were tired of sharing our building-wide computer carts and iPad cart with the other departments (especially ELA – what ever happened to hand-writing an essay?). Our administrators were totally on board and willing to support us in any way that they could.

We contemplated many different options before settling on Discovery Education’s new curriculum – the Techbook. No we didn’t spend our summer’s creating our own iBooks – that will come later, at least for me. But we were preparing ourselves for some intense professional training a few weeks before school started from Discovery Education to introduce us to this new curriculum.

However, in true eduction fashion, that training didn’t happen before school started, and our new iPad minis (One cart for every social studies teacher! I feel blessed!) weren’t placed in their new otter boxes and weren’t configured with apps that would enhance our teaching experience, hooked in to the shiny new carts placed in our classrooms, ready for students to use on the first day. Continue reading Integrating Technology in Social Studies Curriculum

This Isn’t English Class (or computers for that matter)

Having just finished my first year of teaching I find myself looking back at all of this lessons I learned this year, and there were a lot, and how I can change my curriculum next year to incorporate what I have learned.  One of the most surprising things that I learned about 7th graders (at least mine) was that they have no clue how to write.

It all started with what I assumed would be an easy and straightforward assignment, write a paragraph comparing and contrasting the Aztec, Inca, and Maya civilizations.  The first response I got, “Mrs. Medley this isn’t English class.”  Of course I had to be smart and retort with “WHAT?!  They told me I was teaching English!”  After my lame joke received a few giggles I told the students that they would have to write in all of their classes eventually, so we might as well start now.  I got my first hint that they had no clue what they were doing when someone asked what compare and contrast meant, and I had to stop and think to myself “Do they really not know how to do this?”  Continue reading This Isn’t English Class (or computers for that matter)

Writing your own textbook isn’t as scary as you think . . .

Well, it’s a little scary . . . but the rewards outweigh the scariness, I promise!

ImageOur social studies department has been working for the past year to come up with a new curriculum that replaces textbooks from a publishing company. There has been a lot of discussion at PLC meetings and a lot of attending professional development workshops.

I first heard the term eBooks from Glenn Wiebe when he met with elementary and middle school social studies teachers to discuss the new state standards and strategies we can use in our classroom to go along with them. But it wasn’t until I attended the workshop “Creating Content with Apple’s “iBook Author” with Kendall Warkentine (Derby USD) at the KCSS No Citizen Left Behind conference last fall in Topeka that I really started processing the idea of creating my own content. Continue reading Writing your own textbook isn’t as scary as you think . . .