VocabularyI occasionally like to invent classroom games which will enhance or spice up the learning quotient among my students. The lastest one is Zingo! (I originally called it "Ding!" but the students decided "Zingo!" would be better.)

The game goes like this: I to slip one of our vocabulary words past them by using it nonchalantly in casual classroom conversation. If they take note of that word, they are to say "Zingo!" and they get a point on a chart I made -- two points if they can define the word.

A second aspect of this game occurs when a student can use the word in classroom discussions -- for which they will get two points.

I've also used other standard word games to help students learn that words can be fascinating. A number of these games can be found online such as classic word jumbles and Boggle. You might have other favorites such as Scrabble or crossword puzzles.  Others are more board-like games such as Balderdash.

Also, check out Wordnik.


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1587 Map of the World

mappityAn extremely rare and massive 16th-century map has been been fully assembled and digitized for the first time ever.  The three-by-three metre map, the largest map of the world made during the Renaissance, brims with mystical beasts and elaborate drawings. It was created in 1587 by little-known Italian geographer Urbano Monte. Check out the details HERE.

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Curriculum Mapping

course mason

"Curriculum mapping is a process for collecting and recording curriculum-related data that identifies core skills and content taught, processes employed, and assessments used for each subject area and grade level."

Would classical Lutheran education find any value in identifying core content and skills (emphasis on the content)? Or is education much more organic than an objective classification of academic instruction?

Course mapping has been very popular in many educational circles which wish to standardize or objectivize education -- which can be a rather sterile approach to learning. However, since the software or cloud-based services are rather expensive, classical Lutheran educators haven't had much opportunity to review it or try it (or devise criteria for what makes education particularly "classical" and "Lutheran").

Course Mason, however, is a free, cloud-based course mapping utility which will allow classical Lutheran educators to check it out . . . and even to peruse and review the Common Core standards contained therein.

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Mind Mapping

WiseMappingOn one hand, mind mapping might just be another distraction created by progressive educators to make students look like they're doing something when in fact they are wasting time when tried-and-true classical methods would do just as well if not better. On the other hand, mind mapping might be a way for disorganized students to learn a step-by-step method in a visual way -- who can then move on to outlining and the proper format of paragraphs.

There are ways to do mind mapping with pencil and paper which may serve either to outline an essay or as a variant form of note-taking. A simple Google search can turn up many resources and YouTube videos such as Ten Mind Mapping Strategies or Using mind mapping as a memorable fact-retention tool.

There are mind mapping programs which can be installed on computers or cloud-based services often cost money which frugal classical Lutheran educators have learned to do without. With WiseMapping.com, however, you (and your children or students) can determine whether cloud-based mind-mapping is a useful tool or just another distraction.

Have  you used mind-mapping successfully and can offer some sample classical lesson plans? Do you have outlining and paragraph-building exercises you'd like to share?

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TED . . . and Classical Education

indexTED lectures run the gamut from liberal to conservative. One can even find some lectures on classical education. You may enjoy watching What If Everyone Had a Classical Education? There are also numerous YouTube videos which may provide some grist for your mill like Classical Education vs. Common Core.


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