Thursday, June 20, 2013

The "Big Picture"

Greetings World-

I am in the wake of my Google Teacher Academy rejection, I have begun a 12-step program to rehabilitate myself.  Not really.  It was a fun experience and truly the camaraderie among playful and entertaining educators.  So while I didn't make the cut, I wanted to say thanks to those of you who chatted up the event and hyped it up into something positive to be a part of, regardless.  So @sjunkins, @msvictoriaolson, @iteachag, @EricDemore, @techbradwaid, @TechMinock, and @logan_ashlee, thanks for making the last few weeks a blast!

I've been playing with my Bamboo Capture some more.  I have found that there is a wireless feature that can be purchased for abut $40 to the tablet.  Here's the link if you didn't know about it:

Wireless Kit for Bamboo Capture

I want to use this wireless feature for an opening activity to a unit that I call "The Big Picture."  With a SMART Board, I want to create a visual outline of the material to be covered.  I'm a horrible artist, which in this case plays to my advantage.  With the wireless feature I can walk around my room and mention for example "George Washington crossing the Delaware."  I can hand off my tablet to a student to illustrate part of the picture, and then hand it back for me to continue talking.  Then I might need to talk about German mercenaries, which another student could draw for me and label as "Hessians."  Another could help discuss the setting by mentioning it was on Christmas Eve, and draw a Christmas tree, or even Santa (might have to be careful on the religious stuff if that's a big deal where you are).

The picture is not supposed to be historically accurate.  It's supposed to be funny or outrageous (@burgessdave).  The point is to mix things up, create something out of thin air, and to get a ball rolling.  The goal is to make kid-created analogies, illustrations, definitions, etc.  Jargon will be turned into "kid-friendly" language and history will be illustrated with a teenage mindset that I just help facilitate.  I mean after all, you never know what a junior high student will do/say (which I why I love teaching them), but every once in awhile you have to put the brakes on something.

While we do it on our SMART Board together, kids will have a piece of 11x17 or legal paper to also illustrate their own version of the big picture.  When we're done, we should have some sort of wacky image that can be conveyed in terms that the kids helped to develop and illustrate.

This is sort of what I have in mind, thug this was done on a dry-erase board.  My kids did a "big picture" on their own about the Civil War last year.

Just a quick thought tonight... but hopefully a good one.

Until next time-
Mr. J.

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