Skip to main content

How did I live before Youtube?

So, last year, after fighting for years and promising that we wouldn't spend every class watching videos of cats using the toilet or pandas crying, my district decided to unblock YouTube!  I had known what a powerful tool this would be for the classroom because I had been illegally ripping videos and burning them to CDs for years.  As a Department Chair, I was a little amazed at how fast my department jumped on the bandwagon.  Seeing that this was something new I thought it might take a year or two for people to feel really comfortable with it.  Well, obviously YouTube is what spans the generations because my teachers jumped on it so fast that only one teacher asked for any DVDs last year and those were merely to have in our library for emergency sub plans.  So my next step was figuring out how I could help them vet the sources out there.  As I played around with YouTube I have found that Playlists is my answer!
For me, Playlists can be used for two reasons.  First this was a great way for me to organize content by grade level and share the entire Playlist with my teachers.

I created ones for each grade that I called Singles where I would just put singular movies that matched the content.  
There is also a fabulous thing that Playlists allows you to do.  Many of the videos uploaded have been split into multiple parts in order to meet upload criteria.  In order to show these as one full movie,  pull them all into a Playlist in order.  When you choose to Play All, it plays all of the videos together as one.  Brilliant!
I just recently showed one of my kiddos' favorites:  Future Fright:  Losing the Bill of Rights.

It is a Discovery School Movie that details what life would be like if we suddenly lost the Bill of Rights (it also stars Timothy Busfield so all of us old people can give a "What up?" For Thirty Something!). The kids love it but I find it funny because they think the video is "long" (it's 24 minutes long).  I guess gone are the days of watching a movie over multiple class periods.  Usher in the era of YouTube!  Come on over to my YouTube Channel and see all the great middle school social studies movies I've found!!
Click here:


Popular posts from this blog

Grudgeball.. a Review Game Where Kids Attack!

I have long been a huge fan of using games in the classroom.  Much like sneaking broccoli into the pizza sauce, I have always felt that games were that perfect balance of teaching and engagement.  When I first started, my consummate go to was Jeaopardy but..... Holy work Batman! Setting that all up was extremely time consuming.  I wanted to find a way to have a quick go to game I could use with any set of questions.  I bought myself a Nerf hoop and did a straight game of answer the question, get it right, shoot the ball and earn points.  For a majority of the kids this was enough but for one of my classes, nothing could get them excited.  For them, this game was accompanied by the sound of crickets, followed by awkward silence, followed again by crickets.
I came up with the solution one night while watching Survivor.  The contestant competed in a challenge where they answered trivia questions about their teammates.  For every question they got correct they got to put a coconut in the…

250 Virtual Field Trips.... most of them are free!

If you have been following my blog lately, you will know that I am absolutely (and probably ridiculously!!! ) obsessed with virtual field trips.  I promise I will blog about something different soon but I have one last thing.  I have been working on organizing all the field trips I find into one sheet and I was just able to make it into a searchable database!   So search away and make some connections!  Let me know if you take any of these field trips!  I would love to hear how others are using them in their classrooms!!! This list is ever growing so bookmark this and keep coming back when you are planning next year!

Crime Scene In The Classroom!!!!

*** I have updated the resources and website for this activity.  Access the resources here and the website here!
*** If you would like to see how the simulation evolved, click here!
I had such an amazing class today I just couldn't wait to blog about it! I've been doing decent teaching since I started at my new school but every time I chat with my Teach Like A Pirate peeps (#tlap Mondays at 9 eastern and #sstlap at Thursdays at 9 eastern) I feel really inadequate. I knew I had to try to do a lesson I could sell a ticket to and even though I almost decided to scrap it five different times I finally made myself do it and it was fabulous!

I decided to create a detective agency where we were going to determine if the British soldiers at the Boston Massacre were guilt of murder or simply acted in self defense. I borrowed very heavily from this website and got a lot of inspiration from a video that I now can't find but I'll post it as soon as I find it. In the video, th…