SIG Presentation • Emily Mullins and Melissa Benoit • CEP 810 • Summer 2012
Quick Links • SIG Proposal • Diigo Annotated List of Resources • Weebly
The Choice • For our SIG presentation, we chose to focus on content we can use in our classroom. Since we both teach The Catcher in the Rye, we decided to create something that we could use immediately when we returned to school. • Next was figuring out what would best accommodate our classrooms. A website was something we both knew would be an asset to our teaching, but also an invaluable resource to the students. We decided to use a Weebly because it is so user friendly and had the capabilities we needed.
Rationale • A website allows students to access additional resources in and out of school. It makes it possible to post digital resources and give students different ways to view the content. The following links made it even more clear a website would benefit our classroom and students: • "The Write Motivation" The internet is a way to get students to engage in writing. It allows them to collaborate and share ideas through a broader audience.This is a perfect example of why a website will be an asset to an English classroom. It will get students collaborating on ideas and topics to help improve their learning. • "Effects of Technology on Classrooms and Students" When students are using technology as a tool or a support for communicating with others, they are in an active role rather than the passive role of recipient of information transmitted by a teacher, textbook, or broadcast.
Rational (Con't) • "Flipping the Classroom..." The website allows for learning to extend outside the classroom. Students use what they learn in class and apply it digitally. Students gain additional resources and knowledge. This is exactly the type of learning we want our students to engage in. • "Technology in the English Classroom" Times have changed, and the role of teachers in the classroom has too. No longer can teachers be effective without incorporating technology into their lessons. For some, the thought of using computers, WebQuests, or Promethean Boards is a daunting proposition. However, there are some easy ways to use technology. • "The Instructional Power of Digital Games, Social Networking Simulations" Learning to use technology to make learning more engaging for students. It offers some interesting suggestions and ideas for bringing technology into the classroom.
Rationale (Con't 2) • This video talks about how technology in the classroom increases choices. It allows students more options for learning and differentiates the material in a meaningful way. It also prepares students for the future because careers in the future will inevitably include technology.
Organization of Weebly • We decided to organize our Weebly based on the needs of our students. We didn't want too many separate pages to make students feel overwhelmed. We included subcategories, links, and images to help make the Weebly appealing and accessible. • We thought about what challenges students face when reading the novel and what resources would best help them succeed. • We figured we could guide them as we read to the different subcategory they could or should be focusing on. • The Weebly is clear, easy to follow, and hopefully will get them to do a bit more research and reading on their own. • The following slides are how we broke down our Weebly:
Home Page • The first thing students see is the home page where we introduce the book and explain what the website offers. It's the first chance to catch their attention, so we've included a Tagxedo (a tool they will use later). • We felt it was necessary to give students an explanation for why we have the website and an explanation for how they are expected to use it.
Introduction • It is essential to have a strong context before starting to read a novel. Instead of just telling students about the author, the time period, and important references they will read about in the book, we want to give them the tools to explore and research on their own. • Our website did that in several ways:
Introduction (con't) • We chose to present the information on the text in multiple ways, so different learners were able to understand the information. It also helps set up the novel, so students are engaged in the content. • The various mediums of content allow the students to get perspectives from multiple sources and see how the same information can be presented in different ways. It forces them to look at the information and make decisions about what they feel is important, useful, credible, relevant, etc. • Differentiating instruction is a very important part of not only classroom instruction, but also in how students gain information and find out how they learn best.
Characters • For some students, a challenging part of the The Catcher in the Rye is keeping track of all the characters. That is why we chose to have a page on our Weebly dedicated to that. • Students also find it hard to really dig into each character and understand their thoughts and motives. The Weebly page gives students help working with each character. • We also found a cool website called the Dead Caulfields • and it shows which characters Holden encounters in • each chapter using his own descriptions of those • characters.
Characters (Con't) • We made sure to include some important articles as well about Holden because he is such an iconic character in literary history. One NPR talks about how the book is still applicable today. Listening and absorbing information is something students struggle with because they are constantly bombarded with so much information, they tend to tune it out. This is a good activity for them to practice their listening skills. • We also pointed out that there are some crucial turning points associated with certain characters Holden comes into contact with. He makes changes in his scenery due to these physical and verbal fights. • On the Holden portion we included non-fiction resources as well including articles on the loss of a sibling and an informational guide to defense mechanisms.
Reading Assignments • The reading assignment section is a place students can visit and see what reading they need to get done for a certain day. • It also links assignments in case students were absent or lost their homework. They can log in from home or school and print it. • We included some NPR podcasts, as well as articles to match with readings to help students a really understand and analyze the text.
Reading Assignments (Con't) • We included a calendar for students to follow with the readings and assignments specified. It tells them how many chapters they need to have read by a specific date, as well as what supplementary readings they need to have done. This way there is zero excuse for not having the reading or assignments completed. This website holds the students accountable. • The calendar will also tell them what other assignments they must complete. • It also serves as information for parents to see what • we are doing in class and what assignments students • need to complete.
Helpful Resources • This section has information for students if they need additional help. • We included an online version of the text. This helps students who forget their book at school or who find it easier to read the text online. It's also helpful because they can download the text as a PDF to their phone or computer and always have it with them. They also can download software that lets them comment and take notes, so they are able to mark the text, which is an invaluable English skill. • This is a video that shows the Lunts show that Holden sees at Radio City Music Hall. The book has a lot of real life references that students are unaware of. By seeing the actual people they then have a frame of reference when reading the book. It also is a video so it'll give students a chance to see the book come to life and imagine what the show would have been like.
Helpful Resources (Con't) • We also included a website that gives students a summary of each chapter and some information about the characters, plot, setting, themes, etc. Sometimes students who read the chapter, but miss some of the key components. This is a reliable place they can go to help them understand the text better. It also have quizzes and questions to help guide their reading and show their understanding. • This is the website for the National History Museum which plays an important role in the novel. This will be a neat resource for students to visit and understand why Holden finds it so important. It will help their frame of reference as they read the novel. It also has a lot of cool things students can look at and explore. I think students will enjoy looking around and learning things, but also help them understand why Holden enjoys it so much.
Helpful Resources (Con't 2) • We included a video explaining why The Catcher in the Rye is banned in schools. It explains to students what aspects of the novel have been challenged over the years. • We also put some study guide questions that students can use to make sure they understood each chapter and they didn't miss any important information. It will serve as a personal check and make students more responsible for understanding what they read. • Finally, we included a place where students can contact us if they have any information about the novel or any resources on the Weebly.
Overall Weebly • After doing research on using websites and technology in the class, we realized how essential it is for students to engage with these tools and learn to be part of an online community. We used various resources (and will continually add and update) that we feel will greatly benefit our students. • We believe the Weebly is an extremely beneficial tool to use for any unit. It gets the kids more involved in the text we are focusing on and allows them to improve their digital literacy at the same time. • The purpose is definitely two-fold in that it is an aid and a resource for students, and it also puts some of the accountability back on the students rather than the teacher. • We are both excited to see how it works with our students! :)