Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Podcasts in the Classroom

Podcasts are so popular and I am obsessed with so many that I wanted to find a way to bring them into the classroom. You may be thinking about the popular true crime podcasts and wondering how you could ever bring something like that to students. Well, keep reading because I have a couple of ways that I am so excited to tell you about!

Just in case you haven't jumped on the bandwagon, let me tell you a little about them and how to listen. First, there is a genre to suit anyone from true crime to radio shows to teacher learning, it is all there! You probably never even noticed the purple icon on Apple devices but it unlocks the magic! Spotify has joined the crazy and has a platform to listen as well as places like Google and Stitcher.

There are many ways podcasts can be used in your classroom. Just be warned, once you get students listening, they will want more!

1. One of my language arts teachers was looking for something to engage her students in that tricky time between testing and spring fever. A podcast was the answer! She spent two weeks doing pretty much everything you would do for a novel study, but for a podcast. We used the serial podcast Six Minutes. We did all the things you would do for a novel study: summarize, character development, plot, conflict, author's mood, point of view, and theme. Students were able to imagine the characters and it was great for listening comprehension. It also allowed for deep discussions because it didn't matter what reading level students were. Students were so eager to hear the next chapter each day that predictions and inferences were happening naturally and they were loving every minute of it! Here are a few of my favorites with one for adults thrown in for fun!

The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel
Welcome to Night Vale
Six Minutes

Up and Vanished

2. My Creative Writing teacher, who also fuels my creativity, had a vision of her students sitting around an old fashioned radio and listening to shows. She wanted them to experience what it was like with no television to help with their writing. As unthinkable as it seemed to students, it would be a great way for them to hear stories and use their imagination! I knew immediately that podcasting would be the perfect way for them to tell their stories! It took a couple weeks of tweaking and bouncing ideas around to come up with the logistics since she teaches six sections of Creative Writing. We knew we wanted a series and originally tried to have each class add on with an episode of the same story but that worked out easier in our plans than real life. We settled on a series of different murder mysteries and Ms. Grant's Middle School Mysteries came into existence! Students were grouped together and wrote their own murder mystery complete with computer sound effects. Then they stepped into the "recording studio" to record their episode using different voices and their sound effects. Students enjoyed taking a day to listen to their classmates episodes after the series was published. Here is the link to their podcast!

I am always looking for ways to build the community and schoolhouse relationship. I want families to feel like they are a part of the amazing things happening around campus by getting a look at the day in the life of their students. Over the summer, I began researching what it would take to have a school podcast. I told you I love them oh so much! There were so many things to consider: equipment, recording software, finding a media host, the focus of the podcast, guests, the list went on and on! I came up with an interview wish list. I thought of all the people that could have something to say about our community and what we would talk about. It was a lot of lists! But Toros in the Middle THE PODCAST became a reality and all the prep and recording and lining up guests was worth it. I have loved the way it brings voices into the community and the feedback has been very positive. Well, except for my teacher who said, "I have prayed all quarter you wouldn't ask me to be on the podcast!" Ha! She did an episode for me and it was great! Listen to a couple of our top episodes.

Podcasts are an amazing asset you can incorporate into your classroom or schoolhouse. I encourage you to take the plunge and listen to a few and I promise the ideas will start flooding in! 

© No. 2 Pencils | All rights reserved.
Blog Design Handcrafted by pipdig