YWP Tips Letter 2.20.12 -- Images, passwords
Notes from the Underground
This is part of an ongoing series of Tips Letters -- at minimum once a week -- for users of the YWP Schools Project digital classrooms. Hopefully you will find the information helpful and easy to process. We are always looking for new lesson ideas and useful tips to pass along to the many users across the state -- please contact your school coach with your thoughts.
Q u i c k T i p s
One of the most compelling reasons to use the YWP digital classrooms in your school is the robust security and safety features of the sites. Despite those measures, teachers need to also be mindful of some simple tips to keep kids safe on the internet. Make sure that all your students have changed their initial passwords to their school network password. Please remind students to only use their FIRST NAME and LAST INITIAL when they post their pieces. Posts created within the site do much to ensure this; however when students cut and paste from word processing programs outside the site, they often import work with their full names still in the heading. Please remind students to self-edit these headings and do what you can to proof posts and remove this important personal information.
H o w D o I ??
Of the most frequently asked questions on the site, administering users rises to the top of most of our lists. Though we are happy to do this for you, it may be easier and faster for teachers to do this on their own. Details can be obtained by clicking the HELP button in the masthead of your site. Many of you already manage your own spaces and users, but for those who currently do not, this additional level of control will prove helpful and signinficantly more efficient.
E x e r c i s e I d e a s
(cut and paste onto your site)
Daily Picture Prompts submitted by Cindy Faughnan, YWP Coach
Discipline: English, Social Studies, other subjects
Skills: Creativity, reading, using details, critiquing, revising, using images, on-demand writing
Grade Level: 4-12
Tools: Blog, comments, image uploading
Students can use these sources to find a photo that inspires them to write. They should create a blog post and complete a 7-minute write. They should read and comment on at least three other students’ posts, paying attention to posts which have fewer comments first. They should read the comments on their own pieces and see if there’s anything they can do to improve the piece.
The National Geographic link leads the user directly to the photo-of-the-day. By clicking previous, users can see earlier photos. Teachers can assign a specific photo or let students choose.
The Christian Science Monitor link takes users to the front page of the CSM. Users will then have to click on the photo of the day link on the left hand side of the page. This link gives users around 17 pictures to choose from each day. The pictures tend to be more political and therefore might be excellent to use in a Social Studies class studying world geography. One day’s pictures include countries all over the world. For a Social Studies assignment, students could write creatively about the picture or they could be assigned pictures and write about details of culture they find.
Under the digitalteachers.net link, go to Images.
There’s plenty of science in the pictures on the sites also. Students could be directed to write about the picture in terms of science. The picture below could lead to writing about diving, pressure, fish, or the science necessary to keep aquariums. The possibilities are only limited by the teacher’s directions.
Of course, for English, the use of pictures can feed into any skill that is being taught. If students are working on dialogue, ask them to write a dialogue between two characters in a picture. Have them write a poem or story based on a picture. Write about what’s going on from one character’s point of view, and then switch and write the same story from another character (above maybe from the woman’s and then from a fish’s). Play! Have fun!