Susan R. Blake
Blake's Takes on Podcasting

Assignment #2

Classroom site for students:
American Revolution:
Great lecture on the"Road to Independence". "Revolutionary Heroes" This covers all of the taxes....

Presidential Elections
The American Experience by PBS has numerous podcasts that fit in with Presidential Elections in the U.S.
A few of the ones that I found interesting and helpful are:
First Ladies...Compares Eleanor Roosevelt to Hillary Clinton and their roles as First Ladies.
The Presidents: Campaigning and the primaries...This starts out with the history of how primaries came into existence.
You will also find podcasts for Biography Day:
Eleanor Roosevelt
John and Abigail Adams
Behind the Scenes: Presidential Biographies

Reconstruction: The Second Civil War
Hoover Dam
The Gold Rush
Mount Rushmore
Annie Oakley
This is an extremely useful link for our 8th grade curriculum!

Professional development site:
Overview of podcasting for teachers. Describes a book about podcasting that you can download from Tony Vincents web site.
This link takes you to many podcasts by Tony Vincent.

Vote 2008/ NewsHour with Jim Leherer Podcast/PBS... This is a great way for me to broaden my understandings of 2008
election. There is a great podcast on the roll of the Vice President and their importance in our government.
Supreme CourtWatch with Jim Leherer Podcast/PBS... This has all of the latest rulings including the decision about banning guns in Washington D.C., The Exxon VAldez oil spill rulings,and much more....

Podcasts of interest for EarthKAM
Hubble cast HD
Mars Landing Challenges NASA Cast: Solar System Video

For Susan's pleasure:
The New York Times Music Popquest is about new music. Great way to keep up with the latest tunes! ou can listen to various
podcasts from this link.

Assignment #3 Notes

"The Power of Podcasting", by Liz Davis

Podcast="Glorified tape recording"
Digital Recording, telephone, digital voice recorder
Audacity, GarageBand, add music, sound effects, edit = Podcast
Web sites - Odeo, Podomatic, Gcast, Gabcast
Computer with speakers
Writing modified as it is read aloud
Write &record book reviews, small group discussions, record poetry, ideas for a paper, reflection on an assignment read.

Assignment #4

Assignment #4

“Teaching With Tunes: 21 Ideas for Incorporating Music Throughout the Curriculum”, by Folwell Dunbar

This was a great article for me to read! I already incorporate music into my classroom and lessons. This article reconfirmed my belief that music is the “Universal Language” in this world and that it also helps to “Sooth the Savage Beast” and calm jittery nerves. Before I respond to new ways I can incorporate Mr. Dunbar’s ideas into my classes, I’d like to share some ways I already use music.

While my advisors are at lunch, I usually play soft piano music to help me transition after a busy morning of teaching. I left it on, one day while I was doing hall duty, watching for my students to come back from lunch. They got organized with their materials for “guided study”. I came back in and immediately said “Sorry. I forgot to turn my music off.” I went to turn it off and they said, “No! Can you leave it on while we work?” Whereupon I did and I do. I play wordless music softly unless it’s too distracting to anyone. If it is I can tell by watching them and I keep turning it down or totally off. That seldom happens during this time of the day. I also have used this time to share music played and/or recorded by students on our team.

I also share music that supports the time period we are studying in American History while students are working on projects or homework that doesn’t take too much concentration.

This next project is an expansion on a borrowed idea that our 8th grade SS classes do at the end of the year. We play Billy Joel’s song “We Didn’t Start the Fire” from the Internet. There’s a great site that has a slide show of pictures that go with every event that he mentions in his song, while he is singing. There are sites that briefly explain every event that is mentioned in the song. We also go over the time periods he covered. Then we sing the song a few times for fun and to feel and understand its rhythm. Next, my students have to make their own verse of the song starting with their birth year and ending with the year we are living in. They need to write it down in a way that it fits the rhythm of the song. They also have to write a brief description of the events they used in their verse on another piece of paper. I put a link on our schools website under 8th grade, Social Studies, that has links to every site that they might need to use for this project. When finished…we sing…together! ☺

New Thoughts

Have students make a Digital Story or Podcast of their “Biography Day” person. Have them find music that goes with that person’s life or the time period they lived or make their own music with Garage Band, or make/play their own music and record it. This is also a way to practice their public speaking, as they have to dress in character and talk to a 6th or 7th grade class as that person.

Make Podcasts of Civil War Battles or some aspect of the Reconstruction time period and add the appropriate music using one of the methods mentioned above.

I think it would be fascinating to do “Field work” in the cafeteria, and make a symphony of the sounds found there. Then perhaps we could play them over the AM announcements for all to hear. I’m not sure how pleasing to the ear it would be.

During breaks from MEA testing, I have students move quietly around my room doing various exercise movements to relieve the stress from testing. Next year, I will try to time it so that we can do it to music, without disturbing any other classes.

Our Maine Studies Unit is taught in SS and LA classes. I think it would add to the writers of ME studies to have students put music to the poems of ME writers…using any of the methods mentioned in my “Bio. Day” paragraph.
Definitely doable! ☺

Last year our team borrowed a karaoke machine and we spent a couple of hours having some fun, after the 8th grade award assembly, while waiting to be dismissed for the summer. It was a blast! This past year we bought our own machine. Next year I would like to expand the fun. We could do karaoke the day before Feb. and April vacation. Once in a while we could do it on early release days while we are waiting to be called for lunch. Fun! Fun! Fun!

Needless to say, I loved this article!

Assignment #6

Assignment #9 & Final Project Notes

The 8th grade at BJH does a huge "Biography Day' project right after the holidays. Students read one or two biographies on a person who has made a major, positive impact on the U.S. (They also need to use Database and internet resources.) They start reading their biography right before the Dec. vacation. After vacation they begin gathering information on Noteshare and they then start the process of filling out specific journal entries. One of the final journals is a five - paragraph essay on their person. Everything...product descriptor, calendar with specific due dates, and rubrics are included in the letter sent home to the parents, at the beginning of the project. We walk them step by step through this project so they can see how they need to manage their time and work for future long term projects. Once the journals are completed, they organize/highlight their notes for their talk with students in grades 6 and 7. Next, we begin working on techniques to overcome the fear of giving their speech. The new piece I want to add to Biography Day is doing a Podcast of their speech. I think this would be extremely helpful for them to become comfortable with the information that they will be presenting and they will be able to listen and critique themselves to improve their wording, intonation, mannerisms, etc. I also think they will have a better understanding of why they need a catchy opening and unique and unusual details about their person to hold the audience's attention. The more varied the ways that they prepare and practice; the more comfortable and knowledgeable they will become about their person. Making a podcast will be extremely helpful to the process of getting rid of the extreme fear of speaking to an audience. When I share my Margaret Chase Smith podcast with my students I will ask them to critique it to help me make it better. Then I will make another one using their suggestions.

When I introduce the podcast part of this project, I will let them choose one, two, or more classmates to collaborate with. This could happen within our SS class or it might happen during guided study, lit. block or study hall. With all of those opportunities they can
collaborate with students on our team or the other two teams. Hopefully, by the end of January, they will be familiar and comfortable enough to help classmates that are not their best friends.They will recognize that they might need help and offer to assist them by sharing ideas, comments, and positive reinforcement. They will also be able to have other teachers, parent, grandparents and siblings listen and share comments. Actually, as I sit here writing...I'm thinking I'll give those that want to take the time, the option of making a Voicethread and then embed it on my Wiki so they can share with family that lives outside of Brunswick.

Final Project

When you click on my Final Project it will take you to my Gcast page. Scroll down to "MC Smith Final Project" and click on
the green play arrow. You will then hear my podcast as Margaret Chase Smith for "Biography Day" at BJH. Needless to
say...It's my first try and is a work in progress.

Battle of Manassas