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Showing posts from January, 2010

Kurzweil

The past few days I have been using Kurzweil 3000 with my 7th and 8th grade students. It's been about a year since I have used it, as our district was updating licenses and reimaging computers. Now that it is done, I've got to say, it's been worth the wait. The potential to revolutionize the way students read and write is contained in this program.

The venerable question, "Why are we doing this?" rang out as I began my lesson first period of the first day. I quickly was reminded that learning needs to be authentic and interactive; I needed to not just tell my students they needed Kurzweil, but show my students they need Kurzweil.

Benefits of using Kurzweil:

1. It's the future: e-books are around the corner in college, and probably high school soon (think: Kindle from Amazon).

2. A big payoff: For just the little more work of highlighting while they read, students can have 3-column notes extracted from their highlighting, right from the text.

3. It's convenient

Massachusetts Senate Race - January 19, 2010

With the upcoming Massachusetts Senate election on Tuesday, January 19, things have heated up across the Commonwealth (and the national peanut gallery has been growing). My own political interest is in overdrive, so receiving three to four calls nightly about the election is exciting! Our students need to be aware of the statewide, national and historical importance of this election, so I created some materials to use in my 7th and 8th grade Social Studies classes.
Below, I have shared four documents that I will be using in different capacities with my students. Please feel free to use and adapt them for your own classroom and students as appropriate. Any ideas, lesson plans or reactions, please pass them along, email me, tweet me, or comment on this blog post! Grid of candidates on the viewsVenn Diagram to process informationExplanation of federal and state jurisdictions - from about.com17th Amendment (calls for special election)Recent Yahoo! News article on state election as proxy…