I love 8th graders!!! And that probably puts me in a weirdo category...but you ask them something and because they're old enough, they can rise to the occasion.
In our Edmodo chat about bringing back extinct species, I challenged students to go and do some of their own research (beyond the articles and websites I provided). If they found something really good, I asked them to send me a note and recommendation....I promised to consider adding it to the library of credible resources for the whole school.
It also puts me in a position to be co-learning with my students. As they find things that interests them, they can share it with me. It makes us more about what they are learning and less about what I am providing. This is what I just wrote about in my book and is a good example of what I mean by getting students a voice in their education.
Here's what I received from one student.
Hey Mrs. Ratzel! I was researching a little further on the topic of de-extinction and I found a Ted Talks video on bringing back extinct animals. This video is mostly talking about bringing back animals which humans had driven to extinction especially the passenger pigeon. I thought that this might interest you and although it is quite lengthy the class might like it too. There is even a short video clip of a now extinct animal at 3:13. There is also some clips the bucardo (which was in the ScienceWorld article that we read "Back from the Dead"). I just thought you might like this even though it kind of strays away from our topic of discussion. Here it is: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XKc9MJDeqj0
Amazing isn't it.
And I also got another message from a student who apologizes for their length response.
Sorry for making it so long I just wanted to express as much information as possible.
This is a student who will barely talk in class. Open the conversation up in Edmodo and he has a voice and LOTS to say. I think this could be proof of Gardner's multiple intelligences and that some of us learn in different ways.