Some rough demo recordings

Some rough demo recordings

So… I have started a band with fellow teachers. We have yet to decide on a name but the following are on the table Deep Sea Cavalry, Echo Wreckly, Mr. Wreckly, Saint Gigantic the Third and Phaedrus. Here are some of the rough demo recordings that we have made and I have fooled around with in various audio editors. Enjoy… if you like this sort of thing.

Oh yeah and we will be playing a house show in Pittsburgh on June 12 at 8:00ish. Message me for an invite.

WWII Mapping Project Video

WWII Mapping Project Video

This video shows the introduction and progress of a wall mapping activity in my American Cultures Class at Baldwin High School. The room that I taught in was shared with a Spanish Teacher and contained no maps whatsoever. I constantly found myself wanting to point at maps while teaching so that I could include a Geographical component but I could not because of the lack of maps. So my students suggested that we make maps. I followed through with their request by designing this mapping project. Here are the necessary resource documents if anyone would like to have such a map for WWII.

WWII in Europe Wall Map in 49 pieces

Europe Map Grid key

WWII in the Pacific Wall Map in 49 pieces

Pacific Map Grid Key

And along with this map making assignment the students researched certain topics pertaining to WWII; all of which had a geographical component to them which was locatable on the maps. Here is a list of the research topics as well as a preliminary research document. We went to the computer lab to do this research.

Research Topic List

Preliminary Research Worksheet

In the Preliminary Research worksheet I asked the students to find the who, what, where, when and then 5 whys. I stressed this point of 5 whys deep. I gave them an example by asking…

Why does the floor of our classroom look like a basketball court?” I asked.
“Because this used to be the gym.” They said.
Why is this no longer the gym?” I asked.
“Because they needed more room.” They said.
Why did they need more room?” I asked.
“Because the school is undergoing construction and the old part has been torn down.” They asnswered.
Why is the school undergoing construction?” I asked.
“Because it was really old and now we’re getting bigger.” They said.
Why is Baldwin getting bigger?” I asked.
“Hmmm…” They said.

So I wrapped up by tying the first to the last by saying, “We have a basketball court for a floor in here because Baldwin is getting bigger.” Many of the students really liked this questioning sequence others became a bit confused.

WWII footage & Budget project

WWII footage & Budget project

American Cultures:

One of my fellow Student-Teachers owns a WWII news real footage DVD collection. After borrowing and checking out these DVD’s I found that there are a few clips that pertain exactly to what we had just learned in chapter 17. So I showed video clips demonstrating.

  • Hitler’s Rise to Power
  • The Kellogg-Briand Pact
  • The Munich Conference
  • Hitler’s invasion of Poland
  • France’s defeat
  • The Japanese annexation of Manchuria
  • Pearl Harbor

I had the students take notes on these topics because many of these will be included on the test tomorrow. This was a great moment of clarification for some students.

Navigating:

We continued our work on the Budgeting project by looking up apartments in the apartment guide circulars found in grocery store lobbies. The students were to pick three different apartment so that they can pick and choose the cheapest one later when they must add everything up. They were also required to call up the realtor and ask how much utilities normally cost. Some outgoing students loved this. Others could not handle making a cold phone call.

WWII battle tactics & Budget project

WWII battle tactics & Budget project

American Cultures:

Today, I created a PowerPoint to show the students a series of pictures demonstrating the differences in battle tactics from WWI to WWII.

Nazi Militarism, Presentation

WWI included a lot of trench warfare with small clumsy tanks that did not hold many people or pack much of a punch. WWII tanks were large and mass produced. They were organized in entire divisions. This presentation also demonstrates the German Blitzkrieg, the London Bombings and the German Military regimes rallies.

Navigating:

Today, we continued on the Budgeting project as we began to look up more info on the grocery list. Many students had not completed and printed out their shopping carts from the day before so we continued it today. Very many of my students are way off in one direction or the other. Either buying a multitude of food that they could not possibly eat in its entirety or skimping to the extent that they will be starving. They’ll learn.

Chap 17 section 3 & Groceries

Chap 17 section 3 & Groceries

American Cultures:

In the packet, I broke section 3 down into two parts of homework to save the students some trouble. This section went well. I showed a short web video through S-video on the TV. The video was on Pearl Harbor. The students seem to like breaking up the class lecture with these short videos. I think this packet method is working out pretty well. Even though some of the students don’t like having homework, this method works well in three important ways…

  1. Clearly shows and goes over the objectives, which end up being the short answer test.
  2. Engenders engaged participation by asking those hard questions that students do not ask when taking notes. Application questions rather than just recall note-taking.
  3. Gives the students a tangible guide through each and every chapter, including a calendar so that students know when assignments are due and cannot play that “I wasn’t here when this was assigned” card.

I will use the packet method when I am out on my own.

Navigating:

Today, we went to the computer lab again and looked up produce on Peapod.com. The students made a weekly grocery list out of estimates for how much they will eat when they are out on their own. They also made monthly household items lists. The prices on Peapod are a bit higher than in Pittsburgh, but it didn’t hurt to shock the kids with high prices to show them that it’s a tough world out there.

Patton & Autoweb.com

Patton & Autoweb.com

American Cultures:

Today, we continued to watch Patton. The students continued their notes on Patton in preparation to write an essay on his…

  1. Leadership Style
  2. Personal Views
  3. Battle Strategy

I’m beginning to like this idea of showing a movie one day per week rather than for four or five days strait. The students seem to remember what is going on and it doesn’t cause a huge planning blackout.

Navigating:

Today, we went to the computer lab and looked up cars for the budgeting project. We had already done this in the cars unit, but were picking out three more affordable cars on this go-around. After finding a car using one of these websites…

The students used the Auto loan calculator on Cars.com to figure out a monthly payment. I think our lowest monthly payment was on an old used Hugo where the monthly payment was $33/month with no down payment.

War breaks out & Budget Presentation

War breaks out & Budget Presentation

American Cultures:

Today, I played a clip from the radio drama War of the Worlds and had the students take it at face value. Then, I let them realize that many people thought this was a real alien invasion. This showcased the paranoia that existed at the time. We then covered section 4 of chapter 17, (included in the packet) which had been assigned for homework.

War Breaks Out Lesson Plan

Going over this, the students asked why we do not have a world map in our classroom. We share the room with the Spanish department and as of now it is entirely draped in the flags of Latin American countries. One of the students asked if we could draw a big map and a light bulb went off in my head. More on that later.

Navigating:

I created a PowerPoint presentation that started with a Price is Right style game. This showcased how little the students knew about the price of common household/food items. After this we transitioned to going over the steps for creating a budget. I showed a video of MC Hammer going from riches to rags in a Nationwide car commerical. This demonstrated the point that people should live within their income. The presentation…

Budget Presentation

Lesson Plan

I then included a scenario of a young guy named “Josh Darnumpour” (loosely based off of myself) from a webquest assignment I did last fall in Technology of Instruction at Pitt. Josh Darnumpour wants a sailboat but can’t quite make things work out. Check the PowerPoint for details.