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Showing posts from May, 2014

Why do they keep murdering people in my classroom?

Ever since I staged the Boston Massacre in my classroom, my seventh graders have been begging for a similar experience. I was going to wait for 8th and make it a rite of passage and then I asked myself, "Why?" Exploration should not be saved. I knew I wanted to do something with Julius Caesar and I totally lucked out to find exactly what I needed on a fabulous website run by an amazing Mr. Kevin Roughton. He is an amazing teacher (whom I have never met; I'm entirely an online groupie). Who puts ALL of his resources for Ancient World History online for free. To say that his work is engaging and amazing is an understatement. I have been using his interactive notebook ideas all year and was excited to give one of his activities a whirl. I decided to do his Cold Case: Rome activity, which would have the kids decide the true motive for Caesar's death; was it to save the empire, was it jealousy, or did Caesar actually know all about it and decided to die in a blaz…

Engaging Tech Tips: Green Screen by Do Ink

So when I went to fabulous EdCamp Boston a couple of weeks ago and I accumulated massive amounts of new information on everything from new apps to new ways of thinking. One of the apps I decided to purchase was Green Screen by Do Ink. It was $2.99 and totally worth every penny for the giggle factor alone.
The intro video that comes with the app does a good job at explaining how to use it so I was literally up and running in less than ten minutes. The best thing about this app, beyond its simplicity, is you don't need a GREEN screen. You can use any color you have hanging around. I went and pillaged our art room paper and thought this bright yellow was the best bet.
I was launching an activity where kids were making plays on the various groups of settlers that went out west and totally wanted to give this as an alternative to kids who don't like to perform in front of a live audience. In true Wilkins' fashion, I made a launch videos using the green screen.

The kids lo…

PBL and Real Estate.....too much fun!

So, as the year is nearing a close (21 days and counting, not that I'm counting:)) I'm going full tilt. I'm throwing my best at them and we are loving it! In my 7th grade, I just finished up a totally fun PBL on Athens and Sparta. Here's the explanation and info.

Here's the launch video:

First I explained to the kids what a real estate agent was and what their assignment would be. Their first activity was to become experts in what daily life was like in Atens and Rome for various family members. We considered this the orientation phase. It consisted of textbook reading, studying the fabulous information provided by the British Museum and some fun and informative Horrible Histories videos. In phase 2, students were then assigned a family that consisted of a father, mother, son, daughter, and slave. There were two possibilities for each family member; a person who would fit in Sparta and one that would be a perfect fit for Athens. To randomly choose the family an…

Mission U.S....We're In Love!

I finally had a chance to find the time to use Mission U.S. in my class and I was not disappointed. I had been looking at it since last year and knew that it would be perfect as my slavery unit. I teach semi thematically so I launch a huge The Worlds of the North and South unit and then do smaller mini units on the Industrial Revolution and slavery. I wanted to see if the Mission 2: Flight to Freedom could serve as my entire lesson. The answer is absolutely and I barely scratched the surface.
Under the "Educators" tab there is a slew of before, during, and after activities that are just beyond amazing. I was super impressed by the amount of primary source activities they offered! Even if you don't have the technology or opportunity to play the game, this section is a "must go to" for anyone trying to add more primary sources into their curriculum.
I decided to do this just days before the math and science MCAs so I decided to just have the children go th…

I Appreciate You!

My entire store on Teaches Pay Teachers is on sale for 20% right now! Use the code below for additional savings! Happy Teacher Appreciation! Head on over to TPT right here!Posted with Blogsy