Saturday, April 12, 2008

Mnemograph Diary Day 1

I decided to have the sixth graders do a comprehensive timeline on Titanic history using Mnemograph. There are 16 of them and they are working without a net. My co-teacher and I are giving them no help. I gave them a piece of paper with a tiny message in the middle

After they read the assignment I asked if there were any questions. There were a few which, of course, I wouldn't answer. Sam, a member of his school's student council seemed to be an expert on Robert's Rules of Order and set out to elect a leader. Carolina won a majority of the votes, the count taken by Sam with all heads down on tables. She immediately took charge, which for Carolina wasn't hard. All the kids gathered around the chalk board and started throwing out ideas. They decided to break the work up into sections which included The Building of the Titanic, The Voyage, The Sinking, The Rescue, The Inquiries, The Salvage, etc.

Ben took it upon himself to figure out Mnemograph, which he did with great interest. He called me over to see that the program had the capability to mesh Wikipedia with our timeline. My comment? "Waaaay too much information!!" Sam and Quinton are in charge of graphics and Jason is editor. Wonder if that is a good choice since Jason is not one our strongest spellers!

It's fun watching them get organized (which they did) and it's hard keeping my mouth shut (which I almost did). When they are finished the timeline may be posted on the Mnemograph site and will find a prominent place on our project website, Titanic in the Classroom.

I blogged about the timeline on our student blog, A Really Differentplace, and the first response from Chloe mentioned that she had never done a project in school that was not teacher directed and organized! That was a reminder to me because I've taught gifted kids for 25 years!! Note to self--step back.


Aaron said...

Thanks for the idea. I am starting a project today with my 11th grade US History students using mnemograph. I am excited about the possibilities. Great application.

nbosch said...

We have found some glitches (or things that could improve) and we are sending them to the company. My 6th graders are really good, let us know if you run into any problems and they'll help you out. N

EHT said...

It is amazing what students will do when you allow them to make decisions on their own.

I want to use this application in my room and plan to pilot a couple of projects on my own first, so I'll know how and what to plan when I introduce it with students.

I can't wait to get started.

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Camilo said...

I stumbled upon your blog looking for an application that can easily create multiple simultaneous timelines in order to show relationships. From what I have found, no such thing exists. Anyway, I'm a MS history teacher who strongly believes in the collaborative use of primary sources so thanks for the links and ideas!

Anonymous said...

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nbosch said...

Thanks Joannah, thanks for stopping by--I'll try to post more often this summer.