It’s Read Idea Week on The Learning Network.
The idea below explains how Robin Fogel-Shrive uses cellphone “selfies” to break the ice and get students writing — an idea inspired by a Times article and Learning Network Student Opinion prompt.
Idea: Students are asked to take their phone out and photograph themselves in selfie mode. The selfies serve as a springboard for writing and discussion, and along the way they help create classroom connections between teacher and students.
Teacher: Robin Fogel-Shrive
Institution: Konocti Education Center and William Carle Continuation High School in Lower Lake, Calif.
Grade Level: Grades 9-12
What Ms. Fogel-Shrive Did, and Why, in Her Own Words
My teaching idea originally came from the October 2013 New York Times Sunday Review article, “My Selfie, Myself,” and the Learning Network post, “Why Do We Take Selfies?” The focus on the selfie phenomenon, including today’s Instagram and Snapchat applications, is a subject that can provide a bridge in the high school classroom, as students express themselves and share their chosen selfie persona with their fellow classmates and their classroom teacher.
As a way to connect with my students at the beginning of the school year, and additionally to provide an engaging topic for a pretest writing assignment as a diagnostic tool for assessment, I found the selfie reading selection to be a perfect springboard for close reading of a complex text. Students, accustomed to school policy on keeping their phones in their backpacks, were certainly surprised and eager to be requested by me to “take out your phones, take a selfie and send it to me!”
While some students did not have access at the time (wireless and equipment challenges), and some wanted more time to prepare for their “close-up,” this prereading activity was captivating and enjoyable for students. Students’ background knowledge on the subject was acknowledged, and the article and questions posed provided the opportunity for rich discussion, entering the conversation, and connection to the writing task.
Questions posed and then incorporated in a quickwrite were based on those in the Learning Network post, “Why Do We Take Selfies?” ……. (Read Full Article)