One way I would use podcasts in my classroom is as an engaging way to deliver content to my students. To provide a break from always hearing direct instruction from me, I could use educational podcasts to introduce new concepts to my students. In order to ensure that my students remain active listeners during a podcast, I think it would be appropriate to give them some type of graphic organizer to fill out to ensure they grasped key information. After listening to the podcast one time, students would have the ability to go back and listen to all or some of the podcast again if there were certain concepts they didn’t grasp the first time. This adds a nice element of differentiation because students can work at their own pace, as opposed to me standing in the front of the room deliver whole group instruction where the student only has one chance to listen to the information.
I found a series of podcasts created by “Grammar Girl” which focus on writing rules and tips. One particular podcast from “Grammar Girl” that I could use with my students would be the one titled, “How to Avoid a Common Comma Error.” I selected this particular podcast because it focuses on when it is and is not appropriate to use a comma. In fifth grade, many students often get “comma happy” and use commas instead of periods. This podcast discusses how commas are not used to join two independent clauses and then it also gives appropriate uses of commas. To use this podcast in my classroom, I would give students a graphic organizer which is divided into 2 columns – “When to Use a Comma” and “When Not to Use a Comma.” Students would be instructed to add examples to their graphic organizer as a result of listening to information in the podcast.