Our Brainyflix video contest just ended, and I wanted to thank you for helping us get the word out. We got 800 submissions from across the country!
That said, MIT was really happy with the results and will let us run another contest, so we're going for it! But this time, we're gonna have kids create Brainypics flashcards - which are images and sentences paired up with a one of our SAT/ACT words. The contest ends May 22nd, and there'll be iTunes and a cash prize like last time. To boot, we'll double the payout if the kids can hit a certain goal. More details at brainyflix.com/main/contest_rules.
Do you mind passing my message along to students and your colleagues again?
Happy New Year! I was wondering if you or your students would be interested in participating in a nationwide SAT Vocab Video Contest @ MIT university. If not, perhaps you have some educator contacts you could direct me to.
You can view contest details at BrainyFlix.com Please let me know. Thanks!
I've been swamped, Laura. Just got reconnected with your blog through technorati. We're reading Lois Lowry's The Giver right now. Will be analyzing film(s) in January, the beginning a nonfiction unit, during which they will choose their own nonfiction book, based on their interest. Handsome son you have! We'll be in touch and see if we can sanely collaborate.
About noncollege bound seniors. I posted this at the forum site, too:
Great point, Laura: having students create their own blogs would make a lot of work for you. I'm still going to try making them start their own blogs for big, long senior projects I'm going to implement. For example, one of my upcoming noncollege bound seniors is an expert stock car racer in the area. I'm going to require that he make a blog selling/discussing/advertising his racing. He'll take us into the parking lot and demonstrate/speak about his car; handout, powerpoint, journal, visual aide, and so on. Huge project all geared toward his interests. My world meets his world. I'm sure it will work, based on little experiments I tried this past year.
Texts that've worked with seniors who have struggled in the past: The Giver by Lois Lowry; 3:10 to Yuma movie with Russell Crowe; Unforgiven movie with Clint Eastwood; American History X with Edward Norton (some nasty scenes--be sure to have parent permission slips and administrator approval; my students said they'd defend me to the death if any issues arose); I'm going to try Touching Spirit Bear, a novel I've heard is perfect for this clientele base; their own choice of nonfiction always works; The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros works with two-thirds of them while the others hate it passionately; advertising analysis units work; debates work. It's so hard with these students, because they have very little support system influence anywhere else.
When I blog with them, they sometimes match the level of thinking I'm seeking. However, sometimes I get too far out of their relevance framework, which is all they'll care about. And actually, many of my post ideas have come from them, so they're authoring our/the blog (not "my" blog) as you suggested.
What texts have worked for you with noncollege bound seniors?