<![CDATA[Mrs. Hinkle<br />   6th ELA - Ideas]]>Thu, 10 Mar 2016 23:39:35 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[´╗┐Character Analysis Meets the Techie Teacher's World┬á]]>Thu, 12 Nov 2015 03:31:26 GMThttp://cariehinkle.weebly.com/ideas/character-analysis-meets-the-techie-teachers-world

“You have to be willing to meet them where they are and take them where they need to go.”

I’m not really sure who said this to me, but it has been a statement I return to often as I attempt to guide students into the future, toward careers; some of which do not exist today.   What we do know as educators is that students will need to be able to analyze, problem solve, and communicate in increasingly diverse manners. Analyzing characters in literature provides an opportunity for students to practice those skills that they will later transfer into the workplace.  

Meeting Them Where They Are

The students we meet in the classroom today have never known a world without technology. As educators we cannot ask them to power down in order to function in our classroom.  We must power up to allow them to experience a classroom that is a meaningful authentic experience or we will never get the buy in we need to move where they need to go.  One of the many ways my teaching partner and I attempt to meet them where they are is through the use of web lessons.  

Taking Them Where They Need To Go

This summer, my teaching partner, Angela Drake and I began to explore a way to improve student mastery in regard to analyzing how a character changes or responds to the plot as the story moves toward resolution.  We decided that a good starting point would be to engage students in familiar picture books and charging them with analyzing the characters as they move through the plot elements.  Together we created a web lesson that would allow students to select one of three stories to analyze.  You can find our web lesson at www.characterschange.weebly.com.  

Step One Selecting a Picture Book

The SAG Foundation offers a wonderful site called www.storylineonline.net which features popular actors reading a variety of picture books.  This allows students to engage with the story of their choosing in a new and exciting way.  Every student loves choice and Storyline Online offers something for everyone.  We selected three books which offered students an opportunity to analyze how and why a character changes as the story progresses.  

Step Two The Graphic Organizer

The second tab of the web lesson provides a link to the graphic organizer we would like the students to use to gather their evidence to support their analysis of how and why the character changes.  Read Write Think offers a wonderful graphic organizer specific to our purpose.  You can find this resource and many others at www.readwritethink.orgThe direct link to this organizer is http://goo.gl/zCJYPo.  

Step Three The Writing Plan and Google Docs

Google Drive offers a variety of tools and the best part is it’s all free to use and you are given the extra benefit of your documents, slides, forms, and spreadsheets being at your fingertips wherever you go.  Upon finishing the reading and finalizing the details in their graphic organizer, students are then instructed to create a Google Document to record their analysis of the character.  Students are expected to describe what the character is like at the beginning of the story, how they change, why they change, and then finally, a description of the character at the conclusion of the story.  They then meet with their peer editing partner to review conventions, make suggestions for revision, verify they have met the expectations of the assignment, and review the piece to make sure it makes sense to the reader.  After final revisions have taken place, student can them move on to the next step.  Creating a Voki to share their analysis.  

A Brief Digression

Teaching students to communicate in diverse ways is an important part of our instructional goals. Using a talking avatar of their own creation gives students the sense of choice and control they need and provides even the quietest student with a voice to share their knowledge.  In fact, Voki became my hero last year when a student who seldom spoke in class created a Voki Book Talk that left me astonished at the insight and depth of knowledge he possessed, but had been previously unable to express.  Here is that sweet book talk  http://goo.gl/CEU5PL.

Step Four Creating Your Character Analysis Voki  

The final step in our web lesson instructs the student to create a Voki to share their analysis.  I’ll let my Voki avatar tell you about this step. http://goo.gl/q9xzSjUsing the Vokis created by your students as a formative or summative assessment of the CCSS RL 6.3 standard is an excellent example of “meeting your students where they are and taking them where they need to go.”  

Where to Find Me

Please join me on Twitter @cariehinkle to hear about the latest adventures in this techie teacher’s World.  Also, look for me on Instagram at carieh5 and periodically, as a featured class on EdTech Baton.

A Thank You

Special thanks to my teaching partner, Angela Drake who is always willing to join me on any adventure.  ​]]>
<![CDATA[Bringing Book Talks To Life With Voki]]>Sat, 11 Apr 2015 00:47:02 GMThttp://cariehinkle.weebly.com/ideas/bringing-book-talks-to-life-with-voki      Are you looking for a way to breathe new life into student book talks?  Perhaps you want to create a way students can share what they're reading that transcends the boundaries of your classroom walls.  Allow me to recommend Voki.com.  

     I first came across Voki a few years ago while attending a technology conference.  However, it was a student led event in my own classroom that brought the full value Voki has to offer to my attention.  Student leaders were charged with the task of creating a lesson integrating technology with  a relevant classroom application.  One of our student leader teams selected Voki.com as their technology tool.  Throughout the day I received a flood of Vokis created by my students sharing everything from what their plans were for the weekend to their favorite event from the day, but my student leaders struck gold when they gave each class their summative assessment.  Their assignment?  Create a Voki about a book you recently finished and email it to Mrs. Hinkle before you leave.  The idea of Voki Book Talks was born! 
      Taking from their idea, I began to  look at the current format students were using to share aobu ttheir reading and how I could implement these expectations into this amazing resource.  Next, I set up a list of expectations each Voki would need to share during the book tak and within a few days my students were creating highly engaging and informative book talks.  

Book Talk Expectations 

     Here is the list I established for Voki book Talks: 

1. Create a Voki for each book you would like to share with others. 
2. It must include your Name. (First Name Only) Ex. "Hi, George here." 
3. Title of Book and Author of Book. 
4. Three specific details about the book. 
5. Your favorite part of the book. 
6. Would you recommend this book?  If yes, why? If no, why not?
7. Your Voki must be written in complete sentences, using correct conventions, and it must make sense.  
8. Email your Voki to your teacher and any friends you want to share it with who have school email accounts. 

What Happened Next?
     Well, Students joined together to dance and sing joyful songs about my awesomeness as a teacher, of course!  Okay, that might be a bit of hyperbole on my part, but the improvement in my student's ability to present their knowledge was very real and just shy of a miracle cure for some of my emergent readers and writers.  

     I saw an immediate improvement in the quality of summaries my students submitted.  I attribute this to many things that make Voki.com unique and special.  If the student didn't use correct conventions when writing the book talk, their Voki paused or didn't pause appropriately while speaking.  They could hear the errors even better than when they read their writing out loud to themselves.  Also, if their writing didn't make sense, neither did their Voki.  It was so exciting to see students as they self assessed and mad equality revisions in their work voluntarily and without prompts form me.  

      Now we share our Voki Book Talks in class with everyone. gone are the isolated teacher student conversations from which no one benefits.  Instead, students are excited to share via email with their friends and vie for the opportunity to share in class.  In addition, students can go to a shared book talk document and view Voki Book Talks from all of my classes.  Another new goal among my students is to be a featured Voki Book Talk o my website.  Knowing I change out the featured Vokis every week has created a frenzy to finish their books i time to submit a Voki before I select my next featured artists.  

     Emergent writers are more comfortable working in this medium because they can write, listen, and revise their work privately.  this is allowing them to gain confidence in their skills and experience successful sharing among their peers.  I've also noticed that the vocabulary students are willing to try from the anonymity of their Voki creation features richer word choices, more complex sentences, and a greater depth of comprehension.  

     Thanks Voki.com, you have created a way that allows students to use technology in a way that changes learning.  

Yours In Education, 

Carie Hinkle

<![CDATA[How Things Change]]>Fri, 03 Apr 2015 20:09:27 GMThttp://cariehinkle.weebly.com/ideas/how-things-changeIf you had asked me a year ago where I would be now; I would have never imagined this would be my answer.  You see, a year ago I was about two months post op from a little brain surgery.  I had some technology skills, or at least I thought I had technology skills and I was looking for a new teaching position. 

Today, I am fourteen months past my little drama. I'm teaching 6th grade ELA in a new district.  I've survived a technology learning curve which is most easily equated to the fabled Dead Man's Curve.  Finally, my school just held our First Annual Kiducamp Day which has lead to an exciting new work relationship for me with an online education resource company. 

I've said many times over the past year, "I wouldn't have chosen the path which brought me to this place, but I'm so happy it happened." 

Yours In Education, 

Carie Hinkle]]>