Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Who Has the Most Christmas Cheer?

 Here's a quick time-filler at the end of your week - Who Has the Most Christmas Cheer Kahoot!.  You are welcome to use it, copy it and change it, whatever suits your needs. 


https://create.kahoot.it/share/who-has-the-most-christmas-cheer/b9bd37bb-7598-4226-b77c-2fde54fe2052


Merry Christmas and I hope you all have a fantastic break!


And if you haven't yet, take some time to research Krampus Cards!



Thursday, December 9, 2021

Tech Thursday: Make a Self-Running Bracket for Your Class

OK, I know it's supposed to be Tech Tuesday, but I just found this and put it together today and wanted to pass it on you while it was still active.

I'm always on the lookout for brackets that can be used for a March Madness event in my classes.  The problem is that they either are expensive (aimed for businesses), they do not self-advance (making a lot more work on me), or everything looks great until you start and find out that you are only allowed x number of votes in the free trial (which are usually not enough for one class to make use of).

I found one once and it was glorious.  Until it closed up shop.

However, my father made me watch all the Peter Sellers Pink Panther movies and one thing I learned was to always be vigilant!

As a result, I found Polltab.com.
When you go there, click the button in the top right corner to make the bracket, since it defaults to creating a poll.  I have yet to have to make an actual account, but I made a bracket and choose how long before each stage advances.  I suggest that you set it to limit repeat voting by cookies rather than IP addresses, as that may prevent multiple people in your classroom from voting.  Cookies limits by browser only.

It's nothing fancy in the looks department, as you can see in our 1984 meme contest:

but I think the students will get a kick out of it.  How much effort did this take me?  I had the whole thing finished in less than 15 minutes.  Just make sure that you save that URL it creates when you make the bracket or else you might not find it again.  

This is my first run through with it, so I'll find out in the next few days if this is too good to be true.  If you want to see it you can find it here:

https://www.polltab.com/bracket-poll/QT74OsQKly

If you notices any snags or glitches, let me know - and go ahead and vote for your favorites!  The kids will see it starting Friday (12/10/21) and the next stage should automatically advance on Monday and then each day after that until we have a winner.  I have a meme in the contest too, but I won't give it away.  Of course you'll spot it right away because it is the best one in the group.  :)

If you check it out, leave a comment on this post to let me know what you think of this resource and feel free to pass along any other ones that you have used as well! 



***POST UPDATE*** The site worked like a charm.  Everything progressed automatically and there doesn't seem to be a cap on the number of people that can participate.  The only issue is that some students found that when everyone was voting at the same time, they had to wait before it would let them vote on the third or fourth bracket, but that could easily be the school WiFi's issue.  After a minute or two, they were able to vote, so it all worked out in the end.

Monday, December 6, 2021

1984 Audio Book

If you find yourself teaching struggling readers the book 1984 (because you are crazy like me), then yo might be interested in this audio book version by Steve Parker:


The YouTube video also comes with a link for a one without sound effects, if you want to dull it down a bit.

I find audio versions useful if a student struggles with reading, but does well with reading along while we aloud in class.  This gives the student a chance to continue to read along even when we are reading independently.

It could also be useful for an Edpuzzle.  Just clip it to the chapters you want them to read and plug the questions into it.

My web page has the video broken down by chapter if you need a quick jump onto point.  You can find that here: http://lordalford.com/1984/1984.htm


We shall meet in the place where there is no darkness.

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Creative Commons Explained

Hiding behind the Fair Use Act is not enough.  Certain images and work need to be attributed and some just cannot be used at all ethically, even in a classroom.


I found this poster that explains Creative Commons.  Creative Commons is a "some rights reserved" rather than "all rights reserved" restriction.  Not all Creative Commons are the same, but luckily they are fairly easy to figure out.  The most useful thing is that most image search engines have the ability to search images by Creative Commons license, making easy to grab clip art and images for your handouts, PowerPoints, and online activities.  I found the poster on FreeTech4Teachers and they got it from Materialy


Monday, November 29, 2021

The Death of Jayson Porter

Think about adding this book to your classroom library.


Author: Jaime Adoff


The Death of Jayson Porter

Back of the Book
Sixteen-year-old Jayson Porter wants to believe things will get better. But the harsh realities of his life never seem to change. Living in the inland-Florida projects with his abusive mother, he tries unsuccessfully to fit in at his predominately white school, while struggling to maintain even a thread of a relationship with his drug-addicted father. As the pressure mounts, there's only one thing Jayson feels he has control over-the choice of whether to live or die.


Students/Teacher Reaction
My students really like this book.  The crazy thing is that it is written in stream of consciousness, not a style that you would think lower level ninth graders to get turned on by.  The author does an excellent job of making this style accessible and really plays it up.  For example, Jayson becomes unconscious and during that part of the story there are several pages that are blacked out, since that is all that is going through his mind for a while.  This is stream of consciousness, but this is not a boring As I Lay Dying.

Book rating:
A

Monday, November 22, 2021

Shameless Plug - Teaching Students to Write a Formal Email

I've posted this one before.  It is currently the best seller in the EET Store.

We all know students can write emails, but we also know that they often lack formal protocols needed for communicating with professors in college, potential employers, or even when asking teachers and counselors for letters of recommendations.



I uploaded this lesson on the Extreme English Teacher Teacher-Pay-Teachers store.  This is a self-paced lesson (although easily adjusted to be a teacher-directed classroom activity) that is ideal for students stuck at home (as during the pandemic), for homework, for when students are working on assignments at their own pace, or when there is a substitute.  Plus, it is an easy assessment for the teacher.


 The presentation is 20 slides long, but many of them are short.  All in all, it will take a student anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes to complete the slides and all activities.

The presentation starts with the students sending an email to an address and getting back a standard response.  Then it moves on to some famous humorous email fails and shows the students step-by-step what they need to do to make their emails look professional when they need it to be.  Areas addressed:

  • email address
  • subject line
  • salutation and the importance of knowing who is reading the email
  • the body
  • the signature line
  • the follow up

I have used it both in class and at home, both with much success. Find it here:

You can also buy it in a bundle with a crash course on cover letters and resumes here: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/EET-Formal-Emails-Cover-Letters-and-Resumes-6531189

If you have a Teacher-Pay-Teacher store you would like to promote, do so in the comments!


Tuesday, November 16, 2021

Adjectives

 So the other day, I ran across this fun article from the BBC on adjectives.  The title of the article is "The Language Rules We Know - but Don't Know We Know."  

The article pulls from the book The Elements of Eloquence by Mark Forsythe (Amazon).  One paragraph has started trending from this and you may have seen in on various social media platforms. Here it is:


Of course there are exceptions to the rule, this is the English language after all, but the reason is usually because another rule is superseding the above rule (think about it like Asimov's three laws of robotics).  The author of the article uses 'big bad wolf' as an example.  Accroding tot he above rule, it should be opinion (bad) before size (big), but we prefer the sound of 'big bad wolf' over 'bad big wolf'.  Why?

Mr. Forsythe has an answer for that as well.  In words that have similar sounds (big and bad, for instance) we always prefer the sound of our vowels to follow a particular patter: I - A - O.  

If any of you have read the book, I'm interested in your assessment of it!  Also, got any other clever English language rules we know but don't know we know?  Just leave a comment!


If you want to read the entire article, you can at: https://www.bbc.com/culture/article/20160908-the-language-rules-we-know-but-dont-know-we-know#:~:text=%E2%80%9CAdjectives%20in%20English%20absolutely%20have,ll%20sound%20like%20a%20maniac.

Thursday, November 11, 2021

BA


While looking for an image of Othello to go with our movie unit a while back, I ran across this thing of beauty:



The back cover reads:
He's a bardass brother with the love of a fine woman. That is until some cloven hoofed honky starts talking crazy about variously hued sheep tupping the hell outta each other! You gotta pity the fool who gets shafted by the green eyed monster. Let's hope Othello can work out who to trust before it's too late...

So this site, Pulp the Classics, sells regular copies of the books and plays, but with old pulp fiction-esque covers.  AWESOME!


Tuesday, November 9, 2021

For the Daring

My former IT guru had her job changed from IT to Digital Coach.  You may have one of these individuals at your school.  You may be like me and have no real idea of what a digital coach does.  I had assumed it was for helping teachers who were not tech savvy to get through mandatory technology needed for the school year.  That's only partly it.

I asked her how it was going in the new job and she said that she likes it, but it is boring because once the school year gets going, teachers are so swamped with day to day planning and grading, that they are not making use of her abilities to help design lessons using the different tech resources the school had available.

I thought about that for a while.  I felt bad that she was in a place that she felt wasn't going where she wanted it to go.  So I approached her a day or two later and said, "OK.  I'm teaching ninth grade again after quite a few years of not teaching it.  I hate teaching Romeo and Juliet.  Wow me and show me something tech I can do with it."  She took the challenge.

A few days later, she had several ideas ready to go for me.  The thing that caught my eye was making use of the iPads and green screen in the school learning commons (that's Newspeak for 'library').  I had, many years ago, allowed a class of seniors to remake the end of Macbeth in the Lord of the Rings setting.  We were inspired by the (then) relatively new Star Wars Macbeth.  It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun.  They painted my back wall blue (yes, I was teaching before the invention of green screens).  The kids really got into it.  I had actually offered it to my honors class at the time, but they were not very interested.  When someone in my regular class heard, they asked if they could do it.  I was skeptical, but they really wanted to do it.  It was fantastic.

So I was excited to find out that we had a green screen.  My librarian showed me the program and where the green screen was.  I decided to make a video myself to introduce the students to the program, with the benefit of giving me the chance to figure the equipment out.  It came out OK, but there was still a lot of work to be done:


While it is far from perfect, it was a lot of fun to make.  How did the project work out?  It was a lot of fun.  Will I use this again with low level ninth graders?  No.   Too much down time for most of the group to handle.  However, there was a handful that really dove into the project, including a young man that is not very interested in any school assignments who went above and beyond editing his group's project.  I will be using this idea for my mythology class next year and maybe even let my seniors make a 2 minutes hate when we do 1984 again.

So what is the moral of this post?  Go to your librarian or digital coach.  Ask them to wow you with the technology they have available.  I'll bet you'll be surprised.  Be daring and try a project or two.  You'll make their day, your students' day, and probably even your own (even if you do find yourself in a homemade Wonder Woman wig...).

Wednesday, November 3, 2021

Shameless Plug: _The Lord of the Flies_ Interactive Survival Game


 I love this book with a passion!  As far as teaching symbolism, this book really gets reluctant readers to "get it".  The book has great characters, plenty of action, and lots of good, wholesome violence to keep teenagers happy.  The only problem is that it starts so slowly.

Anyone who teaches reluctant readers knows that if you cannot hook them immediately, you've lost them.

So, while sitting in church one day when I should have been listening to the sermon, I had an idea for a game to get my students into the book.  I made it all by hand with maps, cards, the whole nine yards.  As the years went by, I get tired of replacing lost cards or materials that were marked on by various students and started to take it online.  It took a few more years to perfect it, but I think I finally have it down pat.  It has by far been the most popular page on my class web site by other teachers and it is the most mentioned lesson of mine when other teachers contact me.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/EET-_Lord-of-the-Flies_-Interactive-Survival-Game-6933163


I break my students into groups and each group represents 20 island-stranded kids.  The students decide how many rescue fires they will have, where they will be sheltered, who goes hunting, who goes fruit gathering, and if they want to go exploring.  Each round is a 'week' in the game.

First thing we do is have each group draw and Act of God card.  These cards sometimes bring good things to the group, have no effect on the group, or (more likely) bring bad karma to the group.  Then we draw cards to see what happens when they go hunting, fruit gathering, and exploring.  At this point we tally up the morale.  The morale goes up and down depending on many factors like having shelter for everybody, getting food, people dying (there are a lot of people dying), etc. 


If the morale goes below 10, then the group leader has to draw a Revolt card to see what happens.  Sometimes something good happens, but most likely something bad will.  Then it's off to see if you get rescued.  

For the teams that are left, they do it all over again for the next week with the remaining people they have left.

Sometime groups have everything perfect and it is more like a Gilligan's Island episode than a Lord fo the Flies scenario.  Many groups get a good Lord of the Flies type experience, and some have so much bad luck that they make the book seem like a pleasant fairy tale.

Students are encouraged to think outside of the box and try things that are not expected. The teacher is the final say-so for what happens, so when students get creative, roll with it.

Whatever the outcome, the students experience situations that prep them for the action in the book.  Whenever I have used this game, I have found that students are more connected to the reading.

I always like it when teachers send me how their students came up with something new.  Sometimes I adjust the game to match it.  when my students started sabotaging the game to try and make their leader draw a Revolt card, I introduced a new element - Mutiny.  With some groups, that is very popular!



The game comes with the choice to either have it all online (in which case they would move objects on a screen), or to have printables for students to physically manipulate.

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/EET-_Lord-of-the-Flies_-Interactive-Survival-Game-6933163


Friday, October 29, 2021

Lycanthrope Detector

As the weather gets cooler and the leaves blow around us in different colors, our thoughts tend to wander towards the things that make fall wonderful -- apples, candy corn, tiny tots learning the fine art of begging, and, of course, people mutating into blood thirsty werewolves.  I am not talking about the take-the-shirt-of-every-time-I-get-a-chance-and-lose-the-girl-to-a-sparkling-vampire variety.  No.   I mean the say-your-prayers-because-nothing-will-save-you-from-the-furry-jaws-of-death kind.

So, just in case one of you dear readers find yourself plagued by a person that may be a lycanthrope, there is no need to fear.  There are ways of telling if that creepy coworker is licking his chops in anticipation of making you into a midnight snack.


1. The unibrow - this is a sure fire way to tell. Look out for those who shave the middle part.



2. Fur on the inside of their skin - a bit harder to tell. A Roman platoon suspected one of their own as a werewolf and used this technique to discover the truth. After they ripped his skin off and found no fur, well, he was forgiven.

3. Forget the whole moon thing - that was added in movies. True werewolves do not have to wait for the moon.



4. The ring finger - is longer than the middle finger.



5. Excessive thirst - maybe coming for the idea that dogs and wolves pant because they are always thirsty.

6. Obsession with walking through graveyards - I bet Poe was one. He even proposed to a woman in the graveyard.  One theory is that he died of rabies perhaps from being bitten by a rabid bat in a graveyard.



7. Foul smell - werewolves have extra seat glands. Be alert for a smell of hay and horse manure.

8. Check the pee pee - yep, werewolves have urine that is a deep purple.  However, scoping out the color of someone's urine in a public bathroom could result in problems other than the wolf kind.  Use this technique with caution.

9. The Mark of the Werewolf - the dead give away. If someone has a pentagram on their palm, break out the silver weapons IMMEDIATELY!


10. Shoot him/her with a silver bullet - if he/she dies, probably a werewolf.





Side note, if you are out of silver weapons and are being chased by a werewolf, always drop things.Werewolves must stop and pick them up before continuing the chase. Can anyone say, OCD?  That's why I always have a pocketful of rice wherever I go.  It works for vampires too.


O.K. people - be safe out there!

Friday, October 22, 2021

Lady Macbeth vs. Ophelia

 A friend of mine posted this on Facebook and I have no idea where he got it, but I wanted to share it with you guys!  So if anyone knows the originator of it, just let me know in the comments so I can give proper credit.




Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Frankenstein Kahoot!

 For a little fun this Halloween, try giving your kids this Kahoot! I made based on the book Frankenstein.  


They do not have to have read the book - in fact, it is designed specifically for students who have not read the book.  The clever students will soon realize that much of what they know about popular culture Frankenstein's monster has little to do with the monster in the novel.

You can get it here: https://create.kahoot.it/share/frankenstein-introduction/516466e7-6006-4104-a3e4-1d2549871555



Thursday, October 14, 2021

Keeping Your Smart Kids Busy While You Are Gone

 Ok, we've all been there - we are leaving work for a substitute and we know that the three A+ students will be finished before the bell rings. So what do you do?  Give more work?  That stinks for the kid who is struggling to get everything done.  Give those kids extra work?  Way to punish them for being bright.  

I have a slew of things that I use for extra credit, advantages in whatever game we are playing in class, etc.  They take up time and are both fun and frustrating - exactly the type of torture those kids love!

Without further ado that I present to you:


This website is found here: http://joshworth.com/dev/pixelspace/pixelspace_solarsystem.html

What this Josh Worth guy does here is show us exactly how big the solar system is by showing it to scale.  The moon is the size of one pixel.We start at the sun and start scrolling all the way to Pluto.  It takes a while.  Along the way, he throws in little statements about how much space there really is in the universe.

So what does this have to do with English?

Somewhere between Saturn and Uranus we get this:


I challenge my students and reward them with whatever I feel like at the time with finding the Shakespeare quote and telling me what play it comes from.  The site doesn't say what play it is from, so they will have to look that up themselves.


If you have any little throw away fun activity, then share it with us in the comments!


Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Jack's Lament and Teaching Allusions

If you have not seen the movie Nightmare Before Christmas by Tim Burton, you really should.  It is excellent for middle school age children and older.  As far as class goes, there is a particular song in it that is useful for instruction: "Jack's Lament."

A quick bit of background information for those who have never seen the movie. Jack Skellington (pictured to the left) is the Pumpkin King of Halloween Town (every holiday has their own town).  He has just had another successful Halloween.  He has, once again, won all the praise of the inhabitants of Halloween Town.  And he is bored out of his mind.  This is the song he sings to express how unhappy he is, even though everything is going great.

Why show this song clip in your class?  To teach allusion. There are several examples and depending on the level of student that you have, they should be able to pick out most.

Here they are in order as they appear in the song:

  1. Sally, the rag golem is an allusion to Frankenstein's monster.  Students might be able to figure that out from the stitch marks.
  2. He is walking through a pet cemetery (Stephen King's Pet Cemetery).
  3. Zero the ghost dog - easy Rudolf allusion
  4. There is a grave stone figure that looks like Mushu from Mulan.  If students make that connection, that's great.  However, The Nightmare Before Christmas came out in 1993 and Mulan came out in 1998, so no true allusion there (though perhaps it inspired the look of the dragon?).
  5. The horse head tombstone is actually an allusion/pun.  It looks like the chess piece knight.  Use the homophone reference for night.
  6. You have two versions of the Scream painting by Edvard Muench.  One tombstone looks similar to the painting and the other looks similar to the Halloween mask designed after the painting.  To really drive it home, he even says that he, "grows so weary of the sound of screams," at the same time that he drapes his arm around one of the tombstones.  Students might recognize the tombstone from the movie Scream, which has a mask based on the same painting.
  7. He calls himself Jack, the Pumpkin King.  Maybe an allusion or at least a play on the idea of a Jack o' lantern?
  8. As Jack stands in front of the moon, it is a reference back to Tim Burton's Batman, when the batwing flies in front of the moon for a special visual effect.
  9. And of course, the Hamlet allusion as he takes off his skull and holds it to recite "Shakespearean quotations."
O.K., did I miss any?  I feel like I did.  If you notice any more, please leave a comment so that I can add it to the list.  I'll give you full credit!

If you have the movie, you'll find this song starting at about 6:10 and ending at 9:45.  If you don't, here is a You Tube version:



You can find the lyrics here if you would like to do a lesson on assonance.  every second and fourth line of each stanza uses assonance to fake the rhyme.

I even have an Edpuzzle on it I am willing to share, though it is much more fun to engage the students in class.  You can find the Edpuzzle here: https://edpuzzle.com/media/5bc671883b8317406ffe0095

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Introducing Othello Using the Dating Game


I got this idea from a website that no longer exists (or was at least down when I went back to check it).   I took the idea and tweaked it to add music and make it a presentation.  It's a freebie I'll hand to you and you can get it here:

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1k4jTvth_zgwEZCSL9eQ79RDmcZ6Z1nJ0JKNe7nZZ-bQ/edit?usp=sharing

If you are wondering how to get a soundtrack to your Google Slides, you can catch how to do that here.  For that matter, I always check the Slides before using them because the YouTube videos for music often change and need to be updated.

The idea is simple.  I merged the concepts to The Dating Game and The Bachelor to see who Desdemona will choose.


I use it to help them understand the characters before we start watching the Laurence Fishburne version of Othello.  My struggling readers really get into the movie (and isn't Shakespeare meant to be seen?), but the language can be difficult.  If they feel like they know the players ahead of time, it is a little easier to get them to buy into it just long enough for Iago to step in and hook their attention.

Her bachelors to choose from are Cassio, Othello, and Roderigo.  There can only be one winner, but ...


I wrap it up with a character list for them to fill out their notes with.  I've found it super successful in the past and hope you will get some use out of it too!

 





Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Fair Is Foul and Foul Is Fair - Teaching that Scottish Play

While Othello is a close second, I just have so much more fun with Macbeth than any of Shakespeare's other plays.  Here are a few suggestions for ramping up your teaching of it, if you're game:

1. Judge a book by its cover - Show them these covers/drama posters for Macbeth and let them point out what they think is going to happen  These covers will also give them clues to what imagery to look out for when reading the play.
















2. GET A FOG MACHINE - borrow it from your drama or dance teacher at your school.  Buy one at Wal-Mart during Halloween time.  For that matter, you can pick up a jug of fog juice cheap in the Halloween section at Wal-mart.  Get one for yourself and one to give to the teacher you borrowed it from.  Then, when it is time to read the first scene, wait for the narrator to read the setting and hit the button (works even better if the kids don't know it is coming).  Voila!  Perfect setting.  I also suggest letting your hall and principals know what is going on so that no one reports a fire on the hall (fog machines do not set off smoke alarms).  Yes, that I learned that the hard way.

3. Watch three interpretations of Act I scene i -  After reading the scene, let them watch these three movie versions of scene one and have them tell you which is more effective:




4. Point out that it is cursed -   If you are teaching seniors, let it drop that you hope this doesn't interfere with their graduation....  If you want some good information on the curse, listen to this podcast from Stuff You Missed in History Class.  It is only 20 minutes long and you can skip the first 2 and a half minutes if you want to jump right on into the curse discussion.

5. Encourage in-character reading - When reading out loud, offer something to the kid who reads his/her part with the most enthusiasm.  I offer team points (their teams compete against each other throughout the semester), but if you aren't doing teams in your class, modest extra credit, a point on the test, anything.  This way kids put more effort into the part and you have less boring, blah, blah, blah readers.  Also, try making one of the reading parts sound effects.  Every so often, you;ll get a kid who will really go all out to add sounds of people entering/exiting, owls, battle sounds, etc.

6. HAVE FUN!  Otherwise, why teach it?

What do you do to bring the play to life in your class?

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Banned Book Week 2021

 In honor of this being Banned Book Week, here is a graphic showing the Top Ten Most Challenged Books of 2021 as charted by the ALA:



Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Shameless Plug - Teaching Inference Using Proverbs and Wise Sayings

 There's a new product on the Extreme English Teacher store:


When I was in sixth grade, Mr. Lewis wrote this saying on the board:

A dog with a golden collar is still a dog.

Then we had to each say out loud what we thought it meant.  My last name starts with A, so when I was in elementary school, that meant I was first on the list.  I said I thought it meant that no matter how a person dresses, they are still the same person inside.  Everyone else in the class said it had to do with a dog and Tommy (my particular bully in elementary school) went out of his way to make me feel stupid for thinking it was about a person when obviously it was about a dog.  It was a traumatic experience for me at the time, being called out like that in front of my peers.

Mr. Lewis let it go until everyone had spoken and then revealed that it was indeed about people, not about dogs.  He had some lesson to go with it that I long forgot (I told you, the class bully made me feel miserable and the justification of being right was a smaller reward than the price of feeling stupid for ten minutes of class time).  Though the lesson never left me, I did not think much about it until I became a ninth grade teacher and saw that my students were much like Tommy and friends (sans bullying).

Why did that seem obvious to me back then?  Well, I am quite the clever clogs, but I think it had much more to do with me being an avid reader.  I was just to reading between the lines.  My struggling students, however, were not.  So I resurrected the idea a few times over the years.  Once with Celtic proverbs, once with the teaching of Confucius, and once with the wise sayings as Saadi.


I've had great success with these and have used them as individual assignments, group work, and sometimes before a state test as whole-class activities.  They are great for getting kids to think figuratively.  Since the sayings are all short, struggling readers can focus in on the exact phrase and not get lost in a paragraph or page of text.

Or just keep some ready for when you have a 30 minute section of time that you need to fill or in your emergency sub plans folder.

So head on over to the store and try it out! 

Get the activity HERE!


Become a follower of the store (I promise not to bombard you with emails - I hate that and that is certainly NOT extreme!)

Friday, September 24, 2021

Doth the Hoke Poke Forsooth!

 Found this on Facebook today and thought it was worth a share!  Enjoy your weekend!




Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Sleepy Hollow Lesson - Context Clues and Literary Terms

 This is a lesson that provides context clues practice along with literary term identification.  If you have ever seen the Disney movie The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad, though you might only remember the second half as "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow", then you know Bing Crosby is laying out all sorts of high-end vocabulary words for this cartoon.


The story works well with a short story unit or with American Literature.  The lesson works well for practicing context clues and literary term identification.  That means no matter your grade level, this may be right for you.

First of all, let's talk about showing the video in class.  I'm sure you are familiar with Disney's relentless pursuit of copyright violations.



So is it legal to show a Disney movie in class?  The answer is yes, with a 'but'.

Here is the legal copyright information:

(1) performance or display of a work by instructors or pupils in the course of face-to-face teaching activities of a nonprofit educational institution, in a classroom or similar place devoted to instruction, unless, in the case of a motion picture or other audiovisual work, the performance, or the display of individual images, is given by means of a copy that was not lawfully made under this title, and that the person responsible for the performance knew or had reason to believe was not lawfully made;

What does this mean?  It means you CAN show a video in class as long as:

1. it is in a classroom or room specifically designated for class in face-to-face teaching,

2. it is used as a part of the curriculum and teaches what is consistently taught in the course,

3. it is a legally obtained copy.

Don't believe me?  Read the actual law here.

Those of you old school might remember that we were told no video can be shown in the classroom unless PPR rights were obtained (which meant a $20 video suddenly cost you $99), but that was never the case.  Fair Use kicks in with ANY movie.

The problem for teachers comes in when teachers pop in a video as a day off rather than as a part of the lesson.  You guys here are all EXTREME teachers and I know you don't do amateurish hacks like that.

Your district may have beefed up the rules for their own purposes, so you may want to check with them or just beg for forgiveness rather than ask for permission.


Go back and look at #1 - this only applies to face-to-face teaching.  There are rulings about virtual teaching, but they are different and if this is you, then I encourage you to find that out.

So, with it being literature, vocabulary, and terms, this checks all the boxes for #2.

That brings us to #3 - the legal copy.  Purchase the DVD. This does NOT apply to streaming Netflix or Disney+ since they have in their end-user agreement that you agreed to when purchasing the subscription, wording that prevents use for classrooms for whatever reason.

The portion of the movie that we would watch is 25 minutes long, which means you are only using 37% of the total run-time of the actual movie (the first 63% being the Mr. Toad segment).

I guess you could skip the video portion and go straight to the lesson, though I think it would be harder to do in the class.

The lesson can be found here: https://quizizz.com/admin/quiz/6140ec5e11d2c6001d7b68da


I tried out the lesson platform on Quizizz rather than the basic quiz platform.  It is nice.  Think of it as merging Google Slides and Quizizz together.  Turns out I didn't really need it for this particular lesson, but it didn't hurt.  I do know a lesson that I will want to use it for in the future, though.


Last thing - two of the questions are poll and they do not count toward the grade (if you wish to take this for a grade).  The polls ask students to make predictions/guesses on the story. One of them is to make a guess on what they think the actual story says when it comes to who Katrina picked at the end of the party.  That is not given in the movie.  The correct answer is - Brom.  She is never really interested in Ichabod and merely uses him the entire story to make Brom fight harder for her.

Speaking of the original text, you may wish to pair this up with it.  Here is an abridged copy of the original story: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow Found Among the Papers of the Late Diedrich Knickerbocker


And, if you wish, here is a transcript of all that is said during the movie.