Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Lets Rap About The News...

Last week my good friend Richard over at the Free Technology for Teachers blog posted what has to be the coolest video ever. Ok, well maybe not ever. But it is still pretty cool. The folks over at Flocabulary post, each week during the school year, The Week In Rap, a short music video set to rap, that highlights current events from around the world.

This week is the Summer Recap. Check it out!

Cool right?

But think about it.

Why not have kids do the same thing? One of the things that some teachers do is require kids to get current events articles. I even did it as a science teacher. Kids had to the newspaper or online and get some science current events. My goal was to get them to know more about what was going on in the world of science. What usually happened is they got the articles, did a summary but couldn't tell you a thing about it a few days later. It was more "busy work"

But this idea...

Let the kids have a little bit of creativity with it. They can still do current events in history or science or the news but they could create a song, act it out, write a letter to the editor. The point is that when the students are allowed that little bit of freedom to express their creativity with what they are learning they take ownership of it and it means something to them.

And it doesn't have to be with current events. Any type of classroom assignment or project can be this way.

And that is sorta where I wanted #edchat to go this week. The topic centered around the Arts and assessment. The conversation broke down into how the arts are assessed and how they fit into modern day testing. What I hoped we would talk about is how the arts can be used as assessments themselves or parts of assessments.

What do you do in your class or what do your teachers do to differentiate assignments or projects? What cool or different ideas have you seen teachers do to allow students to express their creativity? Leave me some comments below.
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