Seniors in AP English class have recently read the book Grendel by American author John Gardner. It is a retelling of part of the Old English poem Beowulf from the perspective of the antagonist, Grendel. The novel deals with finding meaning in the world, the power of literature and myth, and the nature of good and evil. Students used Glogster to create an interactive poster based on a chapter from the book emphasizing the astrological connections to the characters and themes throughout the book. They identified heroic and philosophical values as well as including sound and video in their posters. See the rubric to learn how this project was assessed or click on the following links to interact with posters from chapter 6 and chapter 2. Students were engaged in learning about analyzing and interpreting text for their interactive posters.
Students in the new AP Cambridge Capstone Seminar are using various technology to complete this rigorous course, which requires students to use and expand their information literacy skills to engage in rigorous scholarly practice of core academic skills. They are using NowComment to discuss contemporary articles on political, social and economic issues. Students respond individually to each paragraph of the article or to the entire text. This works well for homework assignments to introduce the next day's topic. Students engage with the text, make some analytical judgments and written comments. It facilitates a more in-depth discussion or essay or research assignment in class. See more about NowComment in an earlier post.
in addition to the rigorous AP assessment at the end of the year. Student work is even evaluated by TurnItIn for plagiarism. Students in this class are using truly technology in sophisticated ways to prepare for success in college.
Biology students are using a great deal of technology in the classroom this year. They use Google Classroom for all of the major projects such as lab reports. This allows students to coordinate and collaborate on projects. It also allows their teacher to give them timely feedback on their work. In addition, using videos to illustrate biochemistry helps engage students in understanding microscopic details. The cell membrane video provides an in depth look at something only two molecules thick.
Students have also recently completed web quests about Photosynthesis and Cellular Respiration. WebQuests use several strategies to increase student motivation. They use a central question that honestly needs answering and provide a variety of resources to help students find the answer. Students can choose to watch videos, read articles, or complete interactive challenges to scaffold student learning.
In AP English Language and Composition students are using NowComment. NowComment allows groups of students to read and have an online "conversation" about a piece of writing. Every week, groups read a magazine or journal article and discuss it among themselves, commenting on the argument(s) and the rhetorical strategies within the piece, focusing on concepts recently studied in class. Students ask each other questions and clarify misunderstandings about the piece, coming to class prepared to discuss, write about, or take a test on the piece. By reading the student comments, their teacher is able to gauge their reading comprehension and see which concepts are giving them difficulty. Below is a screenshot of a recent conversation. NowComment engages students in learning by providing a different way to contribute to class conversations and demonstrate understanding.
Seniors in chemistry class recently used the PBS Interactive tool Tales from the Poisoner's Handbook to learn about the impacts of poisons on the human body. Students were pulled in by the comic book stories of murder and engaged with the forensics experiments to discover the culprit. PBS provides a variety of teacher resources to use with the interactive tool including lesson plans and chemistry labs based on the material. In addition to this chemistry lesson, teachers can find interactive and engaging material about history, science, literature and more on the PBS Learning Media site.
Several high school teachers are using Quizlet in their classes to help students learn vocabulary. Quizlet is a platform for studying vocabulary with a variety of activities. Students can work with the traditional format with the word on one side and the definition on the other. They can type words while definitions fly across the screen, test themselves or match scattered words and definitions. They can see how they rank in speed and accuracy among their peers and the Quizlet community. Students can create and study their own flashcards, access collections made by their teachers, or study collections made by teachers and students worldwide. Quizlet is fun and easy to use. Students are more engaged with the variety of options available and can study their flashcards anywhere they have an internet connection on a variety of devices.
The fourth annual Ciclo de Conferencias was a great success with the theme Entre hombre y mujer. Students used the Ciclo de Conferencias website to learn about the different workshops and choose the workshops they found most interesting. After all students had registered for the conference, each received an email with their schedule for the day. After the conference, students completed a reflection about the conference.