A short reflection on the Holocaust

Recently in the History Society I asked students what they would like to study. A huge amount of students asked to study World Wars and in particular the Holocaust. The reason for this was the promotion and coverage of the Holocaust Memorial Day on the news and over social media.

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The amount of coverage of the Memorial Day is noble as it does raise the hope that mistakes made can ensure people are aware of the injustices that occurred in history, and not to be repeated again.

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However, despite this report it does well to view recent FBI reports that it is the Jewish community that still the most persecuted religious community in America (reported attacks). To realise and hear that the Jewish community is still being persecuted despite the atrocities committed against the Jewish community highlights how we may not be learning from our past mistakes.

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When teaching about World Wars or the Holocaust it is important to remember that there is still injustices occurring the world despites our best attempts

Friendship

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Friendship is an important and valuable thing that is key in any school. In school students make many friends over the years.

At current parent teacher meetings there is always the questioned asked and is she settling in with her friends? Does she sit with her friends? Humans are social creatures and it’s important to remember that there is the other side to school beside grades. Though they are the focus of learning students are social human beings.

One such example was the recent news article on Primary School Headmasters sending out a letter accompanying primary school results to reassure students that there are other Primary school things in life you can be good at besides exam results.

However, if the media is reporting on primary schools being stressed we should spare a thought for secondary school students who are under tremendous amounts of stress. One such article I have come across recently was a report done by the Nuffield Foundation. Comparing how society has changed over the past forty years and how their is an increasingly demand and pressure to do well in education due to the simple fact that more people are employed based on their education results is raising the stress levels for students.

In light, of these increasing pressures and stress on students it’s important to allow them to have a social aspect in schools which can help them cope through the stress of schools.

A few ideas for schools which can be done to help students cope with the pressures they are under.

Healthy Eating

Promoting Healthy Eating in the school is always a good way to keep students healthy and happy. Have healthy options in the school – have fresh fruit in the school shop, have bottles of water, have water dispensers, discourage the selling of sweets. One example I saw recently was having tea and hot chocolate in the school. Though it may seem like an odd choice to have in a school a lot of students I observed opted for tea and hot chocolate to keep warm and motivated during school hours. Also, after chatting to a few students over it they said they much prefer tea and hot chocolate over fizzy drinks anyway.

Exercise

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Exercise is important in students lives and having P.E. classes keeps students fit and active. Even looking at the recent BT Young Scientists Winners this year we can see students are having a mental and positive effect from exercising – if not physically but mentally.

Another example is a Dublin school holding early morning raves to wake up students and promote active school week.

Random acts of kindness

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Having the students do small random act of kindness promotes well-being and positive atmosphere throughout the school .

 

 

 

Refugee Blues – W H Auden

Can be used as a stimulus in the classroom.

Refugee Blues         W H Auden

Say this city has ten million souls,
Some are living in mansions, some are living in holes:
Yet there’s no place for us, my dear, yet there’s no place for us.

Once we had a country and we thought it fair,
Look in the atlas and you’ll find it there:
We cannot go there now, my dear, we cannot go there now.

In the village churchyard there grows an old yew,
Every spring it blossoms anew:
Old passports can’t do that, my dear, old passports can’t do that.

The consul banged the table and said,
“If you’ve got no passport you’re officially dead”:
But we are still alive, my dear, but we are still alive.

Went to a committee; they offered me a chair;
Asked me politely to return next year:
But where shall we go to-day, my dear, but where shall we go to-day?

Came to a public meeting; the speaker got up and said;
“If we let them in, they will steal our daily bread”:
He was talking of you and me, my dear, he was talking of you and me.

Thought I heard the thunder rumbling in the sky;
It was Hitler over Europe, saying, “They must die”:
O we were in his mind, my dear, O we were in his mind.

Saw a poodle in a jacket fastened with a pin,
Saw a door opened and a cat let in:
But they weren’t German Jews, my dear, but they weren’t German Jews.

Went down the harbour and stood upon the quay,
Saw the fish swimming as if they were free:
Only ten feet away, my dear, only ten feet away.

Walked through a wood, saw the birds in the trees;
They had no politicians and sang at their ease:
They weren’t the human race, my dear, they weren’t the human race.

Dreamed I saw a building with a thousand floors,
A thousand windows and a thousand doors:
Not one of them was ours, my dear, not one of them was ours.

Stood on a great plain in the falling snow;
Ten thousand soldiers marched to and fro:
Looking for you and me, my dear, looking for you and me.

Glogster

Glogster  is a new Web 2.0 technology that allows students and teachers to make multimedia posters.

Glogster is an excellent Web 2.0 Technology ties into the NCCA Key Skills as well.

  1. Glogster encourages students to think critically and creatively as they have to create a multimedia poster but use relevant information.
  2. They have to process information to make the multimedia poster.
  3. When making a multimedia poster they have to communicate with their teacher and fellow classmates when making a multimedia poster.
  4. If the teacher uses Glogster in class, students will have to think what they want to do, how they want to create the poster and how much information they want to put on the poster and can they achieve their plan in the limited amount of time they will have.

An example of some Glogster Posters!

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Additionally, it’s great for students as there is already made templates and examples for students full of media which can help them get ideas.

It’s also free and easy for students to use as well as being safe.

For more information on Glogster try looking at Glogster Twitter Page: http://ncca.ie/en/Curriculum_and_Assessment/Post-Primary_Education/Senior_Cycle/Key_Skills/Key_Skills_Framework.html

Web 2.0 – History Hub

http://historyhub.ie/

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Another great history resource is History Hub.

History Hub is a great resource for senior cycle history and even an undergraduate standards.

It has excellent resources for Junior and Leaving Certificate history and with the 1916 Rising coming up listening to Podcasts is an excellent way to engage students in the classroom and get them motivated in helping commemorate 1916.

Additionally, one feature of History Hub which I enjoyed is their From the Archives section of their website. More and more it’s noticeable that students are losing out on engaging with primary and secondary sources as we are teaching for an exam. Though true it’s great to be able to use primary sources from archives whereas possible.

(Images of the 1916 Rising aftermath)

Additionally,for T.Y. and senior cycle history students can use the website to get ideas for Research projects and topics.

Another simple fact about History Hub which makes it worth checking out is it’s updated regularly and they have a mailing list which you can subscribe to. I found this idea appealing as I sometimes forget what website I saw a great resource on but if I’m on their mailing list a quick search of emails usually turns up what I was looking for.

Look up?

 

In today’s world we are completely immersed in technology. Recently, while reviewing Web 2.0 tools and looking at how to incorporate new ideas into the classroom. For example I used the star wars and arcade generator off classtools.net. Though these web 2.0 tools are marvelous to use and explore it’s easy to forget how immersed in technology we are becoming.

It’s sometimes easy to forget to look up at the world around you. One prime example of people forgetting to look up at the world around us is at the Bus stop.

 

While we stand at the bus stop we are all culprits of having our phones out and checking our phones for updates and news.

Though I see the benefit of the being immersed in technology I think it’s wise to remind ourselves of how to put away technology, even for a brief period in time.

 

 

Free online Irish history class

 

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Earlier this year Trinity launched a free online history class which drew the attention of thousands of people – over seventeen thousand to be exact!

The MOOC is available for anybody with an internet connection and five free hours a week. The course can be taken at the student’s own pace with video, assignment and online discussion with other students and will also offer the opportunity to purchase a Statement of Participation on completion of the course. Students can also use the hashtag #FLirishlives to interact with other learners. (Ciarán Brady)

http://www.irishcentral.com/roots/history/Thousands-expected-to-join-Trinitys-free-online-Irish-history-class.html

Sharing resources

Sharing resources is possibly one of the best ways to learn and build up a portfolio of lessons.

I know some teachers do not like to share which is understandable as sometimes you have it tailored to your class and your style of teaching.However, some teachers are fantastic at sharing resources and helping other teachers with resources and ideas.

A few website which are full of teachers who share ideas and resources which are free to download (for the most part) are as follows:

  1. tes.co.uk
  2. History association of Ireland
  3. History Ireland
  4. TED Talks education
  5. blogging websites
  6. Twitter – try #edchatie or #edchat (refer to my previous blog post for specific related subjects)

 


 

Since publishing this blog – this weeks #edchatie was all about sharing!

Some amazing resources were shared and a huge amount of teachers and educators took part in sharing many web2.0 tools and resources. I will post the transcript to this blog when it is published tomorrow!