Friday, December 10, 2010

A Tried and True Recipe

One of my favorite things to do is cook.  For me it is really relaxing and I enjoy finding recipes that have historic value or meaning.  I have several of my grandmother's handwritten recipe cards and she would often inscribe messages in the top right hand corner that only she was meant to see.  Her recipes tell her thoughts in these ways:  "private recipe--don't share", "men like this" or "good in the spring." This was her way of marking a recipe and then of course, making it again.

So, how does all of this relate to the classroom?  I think that we all have "recipes" or favorite projects that we do in our classroom, mark them with a private code and then repeat when the time is right.  What makes a successful recipe for the 21st Century?  If do any amount of research regarding this topic, you will find lots of resources and explanations.  Basically, 21st Century Skills include the following:

http://ftla.edulounge.net/principles-of-21st-century-learning/ 
If you don't know where to start with your recipe book for 21st century skills, try Photobooth.  Let your students create, compose and connect with their thoughts and the curriculum you are conveying.  I have had the opportunity to work with Mr. Erik Myrold at Central High School in his Great Wars class many times this semester.  He has been incorporating 21st century skills into his classroom and his students have responded with innovative, creative and articulate projects.  One of the projects that we decided to try involved Photobooth.  Mr. Myrold's students were studying World War I and trench warfare.  The question became clear--how could he get students to have an understanding (even remotely) of what that could be like.  How could he simulate that in his classroom?  We decided to try Photobooth and the proof was in the pudding--so to speak. 

Students were instructed to compose letters home and they rallied for the cause.  In the example below, you will here Jake and Steve write their letter home.  If you listen closely you will hear two languages and a heartfelt example of what the beginning of their stay in a trench was going to be about.

If you are looking for a new recipe, try Photobooth.  I would be curious to learn what marks you make in the top right hand corner.  If you aren't sure where to start, get in touch with your tech partner today and get started!!