Guest Post from Sarah at Tales of Teaching with Tech
I feel so honored to be a guest blogger on Kovescence of the Mind. Sarah and I were
paired up as SLANT partners a few months back.
Being paired up again allowed us to bypass the introductory part of being a SLANT
partner and gave us the chance to dive into something new.
We decided to do guest blog posts and have a fun giveaway.
Currently, I teach third grade, but last year I grew as an educator and taught tenth grade. (Yes, you heard that right….high school!) So I came up with a list of things I was going to blog about. And the one idea that topped my list was CNN Student News.
CNN Student News creates a 10-minute current events video designed for middle school and high school students. And guess what…. It is 100% FREE! (Which you know we, teachers, secretly do a happy dance when we hear that four-letter word!)
So let me tell you how/why I used CNN Student News in my World History class last year. I taught at a very low socioeconomic school and my students had ZERO interest in learning World History. For the first month of school, I tried everything for my students to feel connected to the world and to history. History is one of favorite subjects to teach and I was completely drained. I felt that my students were
disconnected to the world they lived in.
So I stumbled upon CNN Student News late one night and was instantly reenergized to teach. I made a simple worksheet for my students to record three items/ideas for each day. I used it as apart of their participation grade. The first day, I implemented watching the video and explaining the expectations of the worksheet, there were a ton of groans and complaints. But by the end of the week, my students were asking if we were going to watch Carl (the host) today. Other teachers asked me often in my district, “If I thought it was a waste of time because it took 10 vital minutes from instructional time.” My answer was always NO and I gave this example.
I had this student that came up to me and said, “I bet I know what’s going to be CNN Student News today!” Of course I asked how he knew what was going to be on. He mentioned that he started watching the news at home, so he could compare what was going on CNN Student News. I was completely shocked and if you only knew this kid… it was a huge accomplishment that he was making connections. (A totally teacher moment for me!)
There were countless times a major issue was covered on CNN Student News and it would perfectly tie in what we were covering as the main lesson. I usually would show it at the beginning of class, which in turn led to minimal wasted time. The expectation for my students was they had to be in their seat right when the bell rang and were ready to watch what was going on in the world.
It also led to great conversations and extension activities/projects. Oh… and they have this thing called ROLL CALL! Everyday they do a shout out to three schools from around the world. After six months of diligently entering in the daily roll call, we were mentioned! My students FREAKED out!
So long story short…. I cannot rave about CNN Student News… go check it out!