Monday, February 23, 2015

Discovery Education Board Builder:

Recently, the students in my class read a self-selected novel or biography. As the students read the novel or biography they were instructed to think about the current events that the character or biography subject would have been interested in.  After completing the novel the students had to find online articles that represented their character or biography subjects interest.  Next, the students created a Board Builder in Discovery Education.  On their Board Builder, the students placed the links to their selected articles and then wrote a response for each article they selected.  For each response, the student had to explain, using textual evidence, why the character would have read the article and what the character's thoughts, opinions, and reactions to the article would have been.  

This task meets the requirements  for the redefinition portion of the SAM-R model.  The students  would not have been able to complete this task with out technology.  The students used various news websites, SC Discus, and other online sources.  Also, the students used technology to present their work.  All work was created, designed, and submitted through the use of Discovery Education's Board Builder tool.    

The assignment was also differentiated for my honors classes and my general class. Students in my honors classes had to select and respond to four articles and students in my general classes had to select and respond to two articles.  

Honors Assignment instructions 

General Assignment instructions

Student Board Builder sample one

Student Board Builder sample two

Student Board Builder sample three

Student Board builder sample four

Student Board Builder sample five

Student Board Builder sample six

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

iPad Picture Sudoku

Each week, my students read an online newspaper (News-2-You) about current events.  Accompanying the paper are worksheets to practice ELA and math skills.  In order to access the worksheets, we use the "capture" tool in SMART notebook to make the answers interactive.  My students complete the worksheets in class on the SMART Board and then complete an additional worksheet with a Peer Tutor prior to having leisure activities.  A fun, new way we can access our news is through the News-2-You app! It is interactive and allows the students to use the iPads to complete their worksheets.

Below are some pictures of the iPad app & a student working with me to complete picture Sudoku:


Thursday, February 12, 2015

Morning Meeting Personal Information Quiz

We begin our morning with a calendar-style lesson called "Morning Meeting."  During Morning Meeting, we go over the weather, make lunch choices, and complete morning meeting.  The weather component teaches students to graph weather, make predictions, read a thermometer, and we discuss what types of clothes to wear in different weather conditions.  A popular activity is our lunch count, where we view our lunch choices and make a decision for our meals.  During morning meeting, we work on calendar skills, money skills, counting by fives and tens, and completing personal information.  Our goal is for 100% Fridays!  If you make 100%, you make choose a prize from the prize bin.  Students are highly motivated to obtain the incentive!  Students' personal information quizzes consist of their name, address, phone number, DOB, age, and parent/guardian names.  Each student completes their quiz at a differentiated level based upon their skills and needs.

Below are photos of the differentiated quizzes:

Travel the French Speaking World!

Description of Student Work

For our French-speaking countries unit, students typically make a PowerPoint about a French-speaking country.  This new assignment pushed students to think like advertising agents, using technology to create interactive advertisement for the country of their choice.

Here is how the project was completed:

  1. Students used online research tools to answer the following questions about the French-speaking country of their choice:
    1. What can a tourist do in your country?
    2. Why should a tourist do this activity?
  2. Students collected information about different attractions and wrote descriptions of the places paying attention to using words that would engage the reader.
  3. Students used Google Drawing to make a collage from pictures they found of the attractions they chose.
  4. Students uploaded their collage into ThingLink.  
  5. Using ThingLink, students were able to create interactive advertisements for their country.
  6. Students then viewed each other's advertisements.
Examples of Student Work

How does this fit with the SAM-R model?

This assignment fits with the Modify definition of SAM-R.  While, in the past, students could create a travel document for a French-speaking country, technology helped students create an advertisement that could not have been made without technology.

Here are some ways technology helped improve this assignment:

  • Broadband Internet access and individual devices allowed students the freedom to choose whichever country they were most interested in.  Students were not limited to the countries that the school library had information about.
  • Google Drawing allowed students to create a collage with real pictures.  Students did not need to print pictures and cut and paste them together.
  • ThingLink allowed students to create an interactive image.  No  longer did the pictures require captions.  Lengthy descriptions do not detract from the overall image.  Students were also able to add links to more information about the attractions.

ELA Paragraph Completion

ELA Paragraph Completion:

During our News-2-You activities, students complete worksheets on the SMART Board.  By using the capture tool, picture answer choices may be moved around the board.  Students are given choices based upon their skill level.  For some students, they choose between two answer choices.  However, others are working to engage and interact with the board.  These students may be given one choice. The errorless learning technique allows these students to be successful and meet them at their level of learning.

These are photos of my students working on a paragraph completion worksheet with 8th grade Peer Tutors.  The news lesson was about a Braille printer:

Weather Videos en Français

Description of Task:

During our weather unit students worked to create real weather reports in French.  Here is how we were able to do this:
  1. Students watched the weather in French from this website: La Chaîne Météo.  After watching the video, students discussed what they understood and what elements made this like weather reports that we hear in English (talking about multiple days, talking about multiple places, an introduction, a goodbye)
  2. Students chose groups to create a weather report with.  Students used Météo France to read the weather in French.  With their groups, students chose multiple days and/or places to include in their report.  Students worked together to summarize the weather they read about in words they had learned.
  3. Students worked together to write a script for their project.  Students worked on memorizing this script.
  4. Students went to the library to work with the school librarian to find Creative Commons pictures to use in their videos.  Students learned how to collect pictures to share with a group by using Google Docs and Flickr.
  5. Students recorded their skits in front of a blue screen so they could insert the pictures they found behind themselves during the editing process.
  6. Students learned how to use WeVideo to remove the blue screen from their video and replace it with the pictures they found.  
  7. Students finalized creating their weather videos in WeVideo.  Students used a variety of elements including: transitions, words, and final credits.
  8. We watched all the videos as a class.  Students critiqued each other videos.

Example of Student Work:

How does this fit with the SAM-R model?

The use of technology allows for a completely new task to be created that would not be possible without technology.  This fits the Redefinition mode of SAM-R.

Some elements that allowed for the new task to be made are:

  • Online access to French weather and news.  Without broadband Internet and individual learning devices, students would not have been able to access the weather in French cities in real time.  Students would not have been able to choose whichever city they were interested in.  Without technology, students would have to use teacher-created materials or old resources.
  • Use of WeVideo allowed students to incorporate actual pictures into the project.  Without technology, students might have drawn pictures.  The use of technology gave the project a realism that could not be achieved without it.
  • Use of WeVideo allowed student work to be edit by the students.  By uploading the video to WeVideo, students were able to add transitions, words, and pictures to create a more realistic product.
  • Use of WeVideo allowed work to be shared.  Because the videos are hosted online, student work can be shared with parents.  Without technology, students would have presented skits to the class, something that parents would not be able to watch.

Digital Conversations

This is one example of SMAR because my students can go on to get creative juices flowing and to talk about assignments/everyday activities in a non judgmental environment.  My students are new to blogging and are just getting the hang of it ! 
This task falls into the redefinition portion of the SAM-R model.  The students  would not have been able to complete this task with out technology. Attached is a link to kid blog and also a screen shot of some conversation between students. 

Kid Blog 

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Digital Citizens: Book Challenge

Over the summer people across the nation were bombarded with the "Ice Bucket Challenge".  Many of my students watched the videos and some of them even created their own videos.  This phenomenon was a great spring board for my students to create their own"Challenge" videos.  We created "Book challenge" videos.  The students first selected a book they had enjoyed or were currently enjoying reading.  Next, the students had to think of someone within the school they thought might like the book.  From there, the "challenge" was on!  Students wrote a script in which they introduced them selves, called out the person they had selected to challenge, and gave a brief synopsis of the book.  The students then shared their videos, via email, with the person he or she had challenged.  Several of the videos were also shown on the Blythewood Middle School morning news show.

This task certainly falls into the redefinition portion of the SAM-R model.  The students  would not have been able to complete this task with out technology.  The students used Google Drive to write their script, they used a video camera and a green screen to record their video, and they put all the pieces together in WeVideo.  Also, by sharing the videos via email and on the morning news show it reached a wider audience.  

Student created "Book Challenge"

Student created "Book Challenge"

Student instructions

Thanks, Christy Brown!!

Special thanks to Christy Brown for creating this blog as a platform for sharing our technology ideas and implementation!!  Gold star for you!