Vote for a Video with ClipChoose

With so much video content online, it is important that our students know how to watch a video to learn from it, not just for entertainment. This media literacy is part of the PA Core ELA Standards across the grade levels (look for standard 1.2.your grade level.G, but can be applied across the content areas.

A few weeks ago while browsing my Twitter feed, I came across a new resource called ClipChoose (via @rmbyrne on his blog). ClipChoose is very easy to use. To create a poll, first create a free account. Next, simply paste in the links of up to 12 YouTube videos and post a question. Then share the link to your poll. Participants click the link, watch each of the videos, and then click a button below the video they think best answers the question. The picture below is a screenshot of a poll we used at the TIC meeting last week.


You can also browse ClipChoose for polls created by others. Click here to view a poll someone created to see if students could identify a story told in first person.

ClipChoose is very new and there are a few things that are listed as “coming features”, including the ability to make polls private and to edit polls you’ve created. It’s not a fancy site, but it could be an engaging way for students to practice making meaning from video. As one of the TIC members put it last week, it’s kind of a sneaky way to get kids to engage with content multiple times or from different perspectives.

A few things to think about if you decide to try ClipChoose…

  • At the moment ClipChoose only supports YouTube videos, so it will be most relevant for our high school students.
  • There’s nothing stopping students from voting for multiple videos or from voting for the same video multiple times. I would still allow students to vote, but I’d follow that up with some sort of written activity in which students tell which video they chose and why.

Next time you have several videos you want students to view, consider using ClipChoose. And don’t forget about your colleagues! Try it out on your fellow teachers at CPPD, department/team/grade level meetings, etc., and as always, add a comment below to let us know how it goes.


Have You Ever Wondered…?

Special thanks to Mary Lehman and Monica Shirey for bringing this one to my attention! wonder quote pic The Habits of Mind shared by Costa and Kallick have played a major role in our curriculum work over the past two years. For most of the sixteen habits, it’s been easy to see their place in our work with students. Persisting? Creating, Imagining and Innovating? Thinking About Thinking? No problem. But one habit has stopped us in our tracks more than once – Responding with Wonderment and Awe. Where does that fit into our curriculum? And how in the world do we teach it?

These questions have led to some rich conversations about learning and the role of wondering. If we want students to learn how to learn, we have to encourage them to ask questions and to be curious about the world around them. Walk into a Kindergarten class and you’ll see this happening everywhere. We can’t let it stop there.

Wonderopolis is an amazing resource from The National Center for Families Learning for helping students to get their wonder back. Each day it features a new “Wonder of the Day”, complete with a short video intro and an informational article about the topic. Words that might be unfamiliar are underlined and the definition pops up when you hover your cursor over them. There’s also a “Listen” button at the start of each article that plays an audio recording of the article, with each word highlighted as it’s read. At the end of each article there’s a short quiz, in case you want to see how much you learned. You can even leave a comment for the Wonderopolis folks, who make it a point to reply to every single one. They also encourage visitors to suggest new wonders and vote on wonders suggested by others. It’s truly a community of wonder-ers!

Students can explore Wonderopolis to learn about things of interest to them. The informational texts would make great shared reading opportunities about curricular topics. I can also see this site acting as a springboard for students to act on their own wonderings. After exploring a few wonders in Wonderopolis, students could come up with their own wonders and then do the research to find some answers. They could then create their own “Wonderopolis”-style presentations to share what they’ve learned. These wonders could be completely student-driven or could be related to curricular topics. This would be a great way to connect learning and literacy across the content areas.

I encourage you to visit Wonderopolis and watch the video on their “About” page. Then start exploring the wonders. Here are a few to get you started:

Enjoy exploring the wonders of Wonderopolis! Just be careful…you might get lost in your wondering. I know I did.

Online Resources for Elementary Teachers and Students

Just a reminder to my elementary friends, I’m constantly on the lookout for links to informational and interactive websites that fit your curricular needs. Some of these searches come at the request of specific teachers, but other times I literally stumble upon something that I think would be useful. Rather than email you all when I find a new link or continue to add every new link to my webpage, I’ve been using my Delicious bookmarking account to collect and organize these sites. This week I added quite a few new math sites and some sites about reading strategies. Some of the sites are for teachers, but most are activities for the kids. When I add a new site, it appears first on the list, but you can click on the tags at the right side to see only bookmarks about a particular topic. If you find something that you’d like to use with your students, please add the individual links to your own webpage. Please don’t just link directly to my Delicious account. There are too many choices there and the kids would be overwhelmed. If you need help adding links to your webpage, just let me know!

Also…if you have some good sites that you find useful with your students or that you think other teachers would like, please share them with me! I’ll add them to the list so that we can all benefit!