Sunday, April 29, 2012

We are all more than labels!

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Society has a way of labeling people. I'm sure you've heard some of these labels in school, like the "jocks", "geeks" or worse. More than anything, these labels are a set of expectations, and are always harmful. Hiding behind these labels are some amazing talents and interests. In our lesson, we are going to talk about how everyone is more than a label.

For Wednesday (at 1:00!), please complete the following:

  1. Visit, and read Tyler's story
  2. After you have read Tyler's story, watch his video (It may download the video, which is fine, just watch it!)
  3. After you watch Tyler's video, think about what stuck out to you. Tyler does not let his cerebral palsy get in the way of doing what he loves. Think about some things that you love to do that others might not expect. Be sure to write these down so you remember!
  4. Once you have some ideas written down, write a script of how you might explain this to a listener. Try to find some photos or videos of these things, or record a video or voice over of yourself explaining this. Try to do as many of these as possible. 
On Wednesday, you and your group will be working together to create your own movie sharing what makes you unique, and more than any label. You will need to work together to create smooth transitions from each individual story to the next.

What to bring on Wednesday:
  1. Your script. (Required)
  2. Digital photos and/or videos (Required, but you can choose how many you wish to bring and use in the final product)
  3. Voice over of your script (Optional, but recommended. The computers in class are not the best for recording voice)
We will be discussing iMovie on Wednesday, and watching this video by John. If you would like to refer to it while working on your movie in class, you can pull it up to watch here!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Helping Homeless Veterans

Sheltering Our Homeless Veterans

Some American military veterans are experiencing many hardships since returning home from their tours of duty. Many are without jobs, struggling to find food, and are homeless. Our group’s goal is to inform everyone of the challenges our heroes are facing day-to-day. Please watch the video clips of Dave, a Vietnam veteran, and Joe , a veteran of the war in the Middle East, to hear their stories.
The bright side to all of these struggles is that there are many wonderful programs to help our heroes, like Dave and Joe. We would like you to review at least 3 of these websites that explain various programs that are out there to help veterans:

~Opportunities to return to employment
  1. Homeless Veteran Supported Employment Program (HVSEP)

~Safe housing
  1. Homeless Providers Grant and Per Diem Program
  2. HUD-VA Supportive Housing (VASH) Program
  3. Acquired Property Sales for Homeless Providers Program
  4. Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF) Program

~Health care
  1. VA’s Health Care for Homeless Veterans (HCHV) Program
  2. Project CHALENG (Community Homelessness Assessment, Local Education and Networking Groups)

~Mental health services
  1. Veteran Justice Outreach
  2. The Health Care for Re-Entry Veterans Program
  3. The Readjustment Counseling Service’s Vet Center Programs

           ~How technology is helping
  1. Project REACH (Real-Time Electronic Access for Caregivers and the Homeless)

Now that you are a little more knowledgeable on this tough topic, we would like everyone to bring a picture pertaining to American patriotism, the military, or the homeless. Bring this picture to class either saved on your laptop or to a flash drive. We will be using this picture in our class lesson, if you do not have this file with you on Thursday you will lose RWLD and Project points.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

You Choose the News

Attribution Some rights reserved by NS Newsflash

 Have you ever thought about how difficult it would be to learn about current events if most of the news sources were too challenging for you to understand?

It is going to be your task, as 10th graders, to find a way to engage a 3rd grade class in current events.

To help you prepare for your task please:

1. Look through the below websites and read a few news articles.

2. Watch this Jing Video which explains how to use the web 2.0 tool Blabberize.

3. Listen to this podcast, created by a 3rd grade class, to help you get re-aquatinted with the cognitive level of elementary students. You don't need to listen to the whole thing, you can skip around and listen to different segments, you just need to listen to about 5 minutes in total.

4. Choose one of news articles that you read which you think would be relevant to 3rd graders. Then print out and complete this current events form.

Complete by Tuesday, April 24th

Friday, April 13, 2012

Boundless Playgrounds

Please complete this RWLD for class on Thursday, April 17th.

Think back to elementary school, I know this was a long time ago, and recall your childhood playground. Was everyone allowed to play on it, was this playground handicap accessible, could someone in a wheelchair get around on the playground, would this playground be a good environment for special needs children to play?

Please watch this video to help you gain an understanding of how important this matter is.

We think that this is a serious issue because not many schools are making an effort to create a playground accessible to all. We want you to use your research skills and find or take a picture of a local playground and post it to this document for the class to see.

After reflecting on your playground, it’s time for you to explore this website and watch this video on playground safety. Be prepared to discuss your playground and if it would follow the NPPS regulations during class.

During class on Thursday, we will be using google sketchup to create a boundless playground. Please go to this link to download google sketchup to your laptop. It should only take a few minutes to download and it's free. Please watch these introductory videos on Google SketchUp and become familiar with Goolge SketchUp.

We will also be using components to help create our boundless playground. Please watch this instructional video on how to find and use components in Google SketchUp.

Come to class ready to create a Boundless Playground. Think outside the box to help create the playground of a special needs child’s dream.

Here is how you post your google SketchUp to your blog.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Kind Words Change Lives

Picture from Flicker:
Can you think of a time when someone used their kind words and it turned your whole day around? I am sure many of you are aware of the positive effects this simple act can have. Now we want you to think about what it would be like to have no idea when your last breath could be. Unfortunately, this is the reality of 2000 children in US every single year who are diagnosed with Leukemia. Please read this webpage about Leukemia and what it means for a child to have cancer.

Now, we would like you to listen to this podcast by Dr. Robert K. Stuart. In this podcast he defines Leukemia in depth. After listening to this video, we want you to think about what it would be like to live with this cancer.

The  next two videos are true life stories of people who have survived Leukemia. Their struggles are nearly unbearable to imagine, but their survival is an inspiration for anyone who hears their story.

If you're interested in hearing more stories about kids with cancer, visit this website and read all about their struggle and their new lives! 

Often times we hear that money is the best way to help cancer patients. We say that isn't true. Words of encouragement are just as effective, if not more, to get them through their struggle. Be kind. Change lives. Give your words.

The Movie Community - PBL Example 2011

Literature is essentially one big discussion.  It's all about people talking about books, movies and ideas, and now that the internet has become so accessible to everyone, that discussion has continued and thrived.  Think about the sites you visit on a daily basis.  How many of those have a "movies" tab tucked away up in the corner next to "Sports" and "News."  iTunes has a whole category of podcasts devoted to movies. And you can be a part of this discussion.

Take a minute to check out a few ways that movies are being talked about on-line:

Visit a few of these links and read a little about your favorite movies being dissected's 6 Famous Movies with Mind-Blowing Hidden Meanings and 6 Insane Fan Theories that Actually Make Great Movies Better
Ain't It Cool News
 Fatboy Roberts' Movie Blog
or go to IMDB and check out the forums for your favorite movies.
(Really, just Googling "movie Blogs" will bring you to a bunch of great writers writing about awesome movies.)
or check out some Podcasts on iTunes.  They're free and many of them are done by your favorite comedians and actors.  Including Doug Benson, Kevin Smith, etc.

Now that you've gotten acquainted with this sort of movie talk, its time for you to join the discussion yourself.  First, in our own little community before you strike out into the world-at-large.

Join our Class Group on Edmodo

Our class code is udplyy (Libby's the Teacher)

Next watch one of the short films at  They're just a few cool little movies that won't take up much of your time and are pretty fun to watch.
You can watch any of them, but We'd rather you'd watch one of these four so that there will enough of each one of you to talk about the movies in class and online.

The Descendant (Horror, action)
Foolishly Seeking True Love (Comedy, Romance)
On Time (Fantasy-ish, Philosophy)
Piano Man (Crime Drama)

Answer the Poll on Edmodo so we know what you watched, and post some comments in the discussion groups.
For more fun, watch the movies at these eight o'clock tonight (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday) night with your class mates and talk about them in real time at riiight here.

I'll be posting a video of a commentary of the Descendant  tonight, so if you need some ideas or want to see how it's done by a pro, sort of (Alex).

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Breakfast Inventions - PBL Example 2011

Have you ever woken up late one morning, scrambled to get ready, and did not have enough time to make a healthy breakfast? We are going to give you the opportunity to build an invention that will make breakfast in a snap and is also healthy for you. We think that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and should not be skipped or filled with a pop tart. We hope you will help us make the perfect breakfast invention that will solve all the breakfast problems.

Before class on Tuesday, we would like you to read the article What a Cracking Invention. This article will help you think of some ideas for you invention. Read through the article and make sure you take a look at the pictures for inspiration and the video at the bottom. The video shows how the invention works. That invention is a great one but we will not have you make one that big.

Another thing we would like you do before class is to watch this Chitty Chitty Bang Bang video for more inspiration. It is a childhood favorite of ours and we think you will enjoy seeing another breakfast invention in action. It will give you more inspiration and is fun to watch.

We would also like you to take a look at our Google Sketch-Up Informational video. This is the program we want you to use when designing your breakfast invention. Our video gives an overview of the basic of Google Sketch-Up and will help you in making your invention.

We would like you to download Google Sketch-Up to your laptops and bring them to class, if you have them. Please check out and test Google Sketch-Up before you come to class on Tuesday. You will be designing your breakfast invention on Google Sketch-Up in class on Tuesday so we want you to know how to work it before class and to think of some ideas for your invention.

Make sure that you join the Breakfast Invention Wiki as this will be a way to collaborate with your group and show us your inventions. Please join the wiki by midnight April 16th.

In class on Tuesday, you will be working in groups of up to 5 people in designing a breakfast invention that will make breakfast fast and healthy. After you design it, you will be making the invention using household items. We will go into more depth with what you will be making and how long you'll have to make it on Tuesday.

Hope you all have a great weekend and make sure you get started on all you need to do before Tuesday. See you all then! :)