Tag Archives: Amy Kissel

Just finished our 6th grade #MemoryCorps project, which is our in-house version of @StoryCorps. #engchat #edchat

6th grade just finished their annual MemoryCorps project. This is the 4th year we’ve included the project in our curriculum, as it meshes so nicely with their conversations about identity. The mission of StoryCorps is “to provide people of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share and preserve the stories of our lives. We do this to remind one another of our shared humanity, to strengthen and build the connections between people, to teach the value of listening, and to weave into the fabric of our culture the understanding that everyone’s story matters. At the same time, we are creating an invaluable archive for future generations.”

Similarly, for our MemoryCorps unit, 6th graders interviewed a family member to learn from them and their stories. When possible, students captured audio and/or video of this interview, and after, they wrote a summary of the conversation and recorded themselves in school delivering this summary either using Garageband or Photobooth (we have batches of Logitech USB headsets with microphones which the students share). These files were uploaded/archived to our in-house video server powered by @Drupal and supported by Cristina Martinez, our brilliant network/server manager. English teachers, Amy Kissel and Elana Metsch-Ampel, created three separate shared Google Slides presentations — one for each of the three learning groups. Each student went to their class’s slideshow and added a slide which included:

  1. The name of their family member.
  2. A scintillating quote from the interview.
  3. A brief biography about the family member.
  4. A photo or a photo of an artifact representing that person.
  5. Links to their reading of the summary and any links to the original interview when applicable.

I totally love this project!

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Working with 6th graders to update their digital portfolios using #GoogleSites

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Amy Kissel (6th grade English), Peter Weiss (6th grade English Associate), and Dena Rothstein (6th grade Social Studies) collaborated on a Personal Artifact Project. Kids were provided a mason jar to fill with items that represented their identity. They had to choose and describe factually one of their own items and also compose a fictional story about a classmate’s item.

Later, I came in and asked the students create a new page on their personal Google Site for the 2013-2014 school year. They used this same Google Site in 3rd and 4th grade and will continue to add to it throughout their middle school years…or until the technology changes.

We talked about how this page should use the Announcements template so it can be structured like a blog. Because they took a picture of their jar and their objects, students use the 2-column layout for this first post. So the image/s could be in one column and the text could be in the other. We also talked about what it means to curate a portfolio and craft their digital presence.

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Amy Kissel’s 6th English students are starting a MemoryCorps project influenced by @StoryCorps.

Amy Kissel will soon start reading The Giver with her 6th grade English students. In the meantime, she asked the kids to interview someone over their Thanksgiving vacation and record these stories via video, audio, or text. The idea of collecting and archiving stories is so profound, and even at her own Thanksgiving table, Amy asked her dad to share stories with the family. He replied, “Amy, I have so many. I’ve been around so long. Give me a specific question.” He also said to her, “When you’re finally old enough to ask these questions, the older generation is usually gone.”

Today, Amy asked her students, “What is memory?” After a discussion, we all watched a short video, Fifty People, One Question. Information about the filmmaker is listed on the YouTube link:

Produced and Directed by Galvea Kelly from Ireland – http://www.brandnua.com
http://www.facebook.com/brandnua
http://www.twitter.com/brandnua

Then we visited the StoryCorps website to see how they structure the collection of stories shared on the site. Each story includes a quote, a photo, a blurb, and a link. Amy then introduced the idea of building our own MemoryCorps, so she created a shared GoogleDoc with a table comprised of 3 columns and 18 rows. (One column per class and one cell per student – all students have editing rights). Like the stories featured on StoryCorps, the students too will include a quote, a photo, a blurb, and a link from the stories they gathered at Thanksgiving. If the student is unable to locate a photo, they can use an avatar/image that represents the story or the person. They will link to a transcript of the conversation in a separate GoogleDoc and also link to the audio or video file created with GarageBand and uploaded to our internal video server called TheTube (powered by Drupal).

(*** This is a modification of a project that Marisa Guastaferro, Monica Amaro and I designed last year. I wrote about it here.)

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