Monday, 29 April 2013

Go Animate: Julius Caesar Revision

This week I'll be using Go Animate to set revision questions for my Junior Cert. English class. This year we studied Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare. Go Animate is a great online website that allows you to make animated videos from scratch or simply use templates (I've created examples of both below). The website also allows you to use automated voice actors so the shyer pupils don't have to give their voice to the characters. Of course, the more confident pupils can! Posted below are five videos depicting key moments and quotes from each Act.

(For pupils: The dialogue has been edited for the purposes of saving time. The videos are just a cue. Be sure to use your copy of the play for exact references/quotes.)

Q. 1) Why was this an important moment in Act 1? What did it tell us about Caesar's personality?
(10 Marks)
Caesar and the Soothsyarer  Julius Cesar Act 1 by NewEnglishBlog

Q. 2) How do men treat women in the play? Was it wise for men to treat women this way?
(10 Marks)

Julius Caesar Act 2 Sc.1 by NewEnglishBlog

Q.3) Name the men with ? faces and pick one theme that Shakespeare was developing with this scene.
(10 Marks)

Julius Caesar Act 3 Sc. 2 by NewEnglishBlog

Q.4) Are Cassius and Brutus friends in the play through love or necessity? (10 Marks)

Julius Caesar Act 4 by NewEnglishBlog on GoAnimate

Q.5 Overall, did you like or dislike the character of Brutus in the play? (10 Marks)

Julius Caesar Act 5 by NewEnglishBlog on GoAnimate

Animated Presentations - Powered by GoAnimate.

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Children of Men: Complete ShowMe Overview

Over the course of this year I have been creating a series of Show Me videos on the film Children of Men directed by Alfonso Cuaron. I have been using the film as a text for the Higher Level Leaving Certificate Exam 2013. We compared the film in class through the comparative modes of THEME and CULTURAL CONTEXT (the third comparative mode of Literary Genre is briefly discussed in different videos). Our theme was Persistence and the other texts we used were The Road by Cormac McCarthy and Macbeth by William Shakespeare.

Didn't do those modes or theme? Don't panic.I tried to create the videos in such a way that they would be helpful to pupils no matter what comparative modes you used or theme you had in your class. Each video discusses roughly 13 minutes of the film at a time. A major reason for creating the videos was that, I found, pupils experienced difficulty in recollecting key (no pun intended!) images and quotes from the film compared to their written texts. As such, each video looks at the key  visual images from that section of the film along with the key quotations from the characters.

Listed below are links to each individual video. I hope it might be a helpful resource to teachers in future years and make life a little easier for our stressed pupils in the middle of the revision season 2013!

1.    Video 1 and 2 -  Link to the introductory video and the first 13 minute analysis video. It might make the long revision process ahead a little easier!  
(Note: Spelling should read Foogies in video 1)

2.    Video 3 -  This video looks at some major themes from this section of the movie and the cultural context presented within the film. The end of the video also contains the major quotes from this section of the movie.

3.    Video 4 -  In this section: Julian dies, Kee is pregnant and dogs love Theo...there's lots to talk about! 

4.    Video 5 -  - Luke's rise to power. The development of Kee and Theo's friendship. Where are the Azores!? Patrick gets kicked from a car...again!

5.    Video 6 -Jasper makes the ultimate sacrifice.Theo finds a reason to go on.No schools in the future: a good thing? Does the Human Project exist at all !?

6.    Video 7 - Sid thinks Sid has a great plan but gets 'blocked' by Theo. Does baby Dylan completely change the cultural context of her world? Bex Hill: Refugee or concentration camp? Miriam's ultimate sacrifice: for the cause or for friendship? Or both? 
(Also hear what a complete mental block sounds like at about 1:45 into the video!)

7.    Video 8 -  People are essentially good. Theo shows what courage looks like. Luke has his Dunsinane moment. Soldiers love babies but love fighting more. Why does the movie end at sea? The Tomorrow.

I hope this helped!

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

Digital Identity and Six Sites to Begin Flipping the Classroom

(I'm writing this post to work in conjunction with a talk I am giving to a group of iNote English teachers but hopefully the insights discussed will still be helpful to teachers outside of that context.)

I began Blogging in February 2012. I had been teaching, at that stage, for 8 years and felt comfortable in how to deliver the English syllabus. I'd seen more than a full cycle go through the school and was no longer the 'new' teacher. I had, like most teachers, been dabbling with online resources and software and started to think a Blog would be an efficient way to tie everything together. The last 14 months have been so productive.

When you search online, particularly through Twitter, you see teachers that are full of passion and creativity. Trust me, creating a digital identity is the best CPD decision you will ever make. It can be overwhelming. But in a time when we are being asked to do more for less it's just the online water cooler you need.  There are so many teachers that have tried so many initiatives and created so many resources. Already tried and succeeded or failed. I advise creating a digital identity for work purposes as it allows for a healthy life balance. It's flexible. If you want to shut off and leave work at work you can. If you want to bring work home with you or collaborate/explore you can. It's at your fingertips.

The, slightly presumptuous, video above gives a good brief overview on the concept of the Flipped Classroom Model. There are so many more resources easily available online. Listed below are six sites that will help you to dip your toe into the digital ether. With J.C. English changes immanent and Leaving Certificate English changes presumably to follow, now might just be the time to try and deliver/create your content in a slightly different way.

The teacher-pupil paradigm is undoubtedly changing. The world is changing. Pupils have more direct access to knowledge than ever before. Plagiarism, copy and paste and that wonderful project that has just been lifted in its entirety from Wikipedia are already very real problems. The knowledge dam is burst: now it's about directing and controlling the flow of water. A popular theory in understanding this change in dynamic is the 'Flipped Teaching Model' outlined above. In my opinion, teachers through academic and life learning are still the central resource of a pupil's learning in the classroom environment. It's just that now the learning environment can be extended beyond just the classroom and just the teacher.

  1. G-Mail - The first step in creating a digital identity is to create an e-mail account. You'll be joining sites and downloading apps a plenty. My advice is to have a new G-Mail account from Day 1 for work purposes.
  2. Twitter - Amazing. I know your first reaction might be 'I don't care what celebrity xyz is having for breakfast' but in an educational sense it is so so much more. Demystify the phrase 'hash tag'!
  3. Edmodo - If you are planning on flipping your classroom you'll need a safe forum to communicate and share with your pupils. Edmodo is your answer.
  4. TES - If you don't have digital resources to extend learning outside the classroom don't worry, TES has you covered.
  5. Skitch - On iPad, Android or Desktop. Start creating digital content that won't take forever to create but can be an amazing visual aide.(Poetry Analysis)
  6. Quizlet - Collaborative peer learning outside the classroom at its best. (6th Year Gatsby)

Monday, 22 April 2013

#LCetips13 Weekly Update

Here are some highlighted tips from the past week on #LCetips13. Remember you can get involved if you are a pupil or teacher by simply adding #LCetips13 to any tweet that contains advice for the Leaving Certificate English exam 2013.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Transition Year Production

It's that time of year again....the TY Production!!  

On Tuesday 30th April, students will be transported to an ancient Chinese palace complete with an Emperor and of course a love story.  This is no ordinary tale, and to make it more intriguing it is relayed through the eyes of three Leaving Cert students.  Don't miss this comic but heart-wrenching narrative.  

Ms Murphy

Friday, 19 April 2013

Children of Men: Minute 80-Tomorrow

This is the last in a series of ShowMe videos looking at the film Children of Men as  Leaving Certificate Comparative text. I will be posting one more video to highlight some revision and teaching ideas in the comparative course in a more general sense. If you have any questions on the movie please don't hesitate to ask @NewEnglishBlog on Twitter. If there is enough I will include them in the final video.

Some highlights in the last video:
  • People are essentially good.
  • Theo shows what courage looks like.
  • Luke has his Dunsinane moment.
  • Soldiers love babies but love fighting more.
  • Why does the movie end at sea?
  • The Tomorrow.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Unseen Poetry for J.C. and L.C. English

Please find attached a guide to attempting the Unseen Poetry section in both the Leaving and Junior Certificate English exam. Most pupils find this section particularly difficult due to both the difficulty of reading poetry and the time pressure involved in an exam situation. More than anything else, my main advice is DON'T PANIC! You almost certainly know more than you think. Have a look through the seven steps on this SnapGuide. If you have an iPad/iPhone I'd suggest you download the App SnapGuide (it's free) and then download the file to have as a revision resource.

Check out How to Answer Unseen Poetry for Exams in 7 Steps. by Eoghan Evesson on Snapguide.

Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Leaving Certificate English Tips 2013 #LCetips13


With the Leaving Certificate exams just around the corner I was hoping to start an online conversation on what are some good tips for the Leaving Certificate English exam. I'm hoping people will post their tips on Twitter using the hash tag #LCetips13. At the end of every week I will then collect the tips and embed them on the Blog (like below). It would be great if teachers and pupils could share in the hash tag. And that is the key word, share. If you're looking for your next essay point on Elizabeth Bishop please don't use the hash tag to ask! Get working! If lots of people leave something great hopefully we'll all be able to take something away. If you're a pupil and don't feel like sharing that's fine but be sure to follow the hash tag for that bit of advice that might just make the difference on the day. Just some suggested areas the tips could be on:

  • Specific writers
  • Language types
  • PCLM
  • A specific part of Paper 1 
  • A specific part of Paper 2
  • Revision technique
  • Essay points
  • Helpful online revision site/links
Hope to see you in the online study hall!

Children of Men: Minutes 68-80

In this edition:
  • Sid thinks Sid has a great plan but gets 'blocked' by Theo.
  • Does baby Dylan completely change the cultural context of her world?
  • Bex Hill: Refugee or concentration camp?
  • Miriam's ultimate sacrifice: for the cause or for friendship? Or both?
  • Also hear what a complete mental block sounds like at about 1:45 into the video!