Please enjoy the presentation of my final project. All comments and feedback are welcome!
Write up of your lesson: I taught my planned lesson to my fifth-grade son this week. I do not currently have a class and so I used him as a guinea pig to see how the technology I planned would work with his age-level.
It turned out that I had to modify things as we went along, which isn’t so different from a regular lesson in any classroom – things come up and, as teachers, we have to make them work as best we can.
My original plan had a very broad, open format using the Internet in finding reading resources to write about. That was a little too overwhelming and open-ended for us. I found it much more effective to direct him toward a specific source for finding something to read and view. Also, I had planned this to be a written response format, but decided to open it up to an oral format that included the same requirements in order to play with a different technology tool – VoiceThread.
In the process of doing the VoiceThread, I wanted to help with the organization and content, so I found another new online tool, Workflowy. It is basically a technology-based outline creator that helped give structure to the VoiceThread piece.
Artifact from your student:
Here is the VoiceThread that my son created for this lesson.
Visualization demonstrating impact on student learning:
Here is a rubric for this assignment, completed based on the VoiceThread that was created.
Reflection of what you might do differently:
I think it was clear that the original lesson was much too broad and open. It was probably more appropriate for a high school-aged student who is comfortable using the Internet as a research tool. If I were to introduce this assignment to a fifth-grade class, I would provide specific place online for them to gather their resources. I would also take much more time to work with the technology-based tool that they chose for their response. It would need to be a very supported, intensive project.
How will I demonstrate impact on student learning as a result of my differentiated lesson?
I see on the instructions that the learning impact does not have to be with a pre/post test and I would like to do something where I compare an old writing sample to the one generated with this assignment. I just don’t know, yet, how I will portray this using a graph.
My lesson plan is finished:
Differentiated product using technology
Grade 5 Reading standards
Standard 7. Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or personal appeal of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem). Standard 9. Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g., mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and plot development.
Grade 5 writing standards Standard 1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with fact- or text- based reasons and information. a. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose. b. Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details. c. Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically, most of all). d. Provide a concluding statement or section that reinforces or restates the opinion presented.
Goal: Read two pieces about a single topic that include a visual element each; write a comparison of the two pieces using a blogging format and incorporating the specified elements.
The students will learn about a self-chosen topic by reading and viewing information from two pieces found online. They will learn how to write a comparison of the two pieces, incorporating specific elements but allowing for individual choice of delivery.
Step one: Introduce the students to the Scribd website. Allow them to explore the different topics and resources available. Inform them that they will need to decide on a particular topic and read two selections about that topic from Scribd. The choices are self-directed, but must contain some visual elements as the assignment will be writing a comparison between the two pieces, including the impact of the visual elements on the piece and topic.
(30 minutes of class time – students may continue their searching during other times or as homework)
Step two: Read/view selected topics and start a blog using WordPress.
(30 minutes of class time – students may continue their searching during other times or as homework)
Step three: Go over rubric for the assignment, answering any questions that the students have about the different writing requirements. Emphasize that they can be creative with their blog entries, utilizing written and visual elements, as long as they fulfill all of the assignment criteria.
(self-paced, allowing for working time throughout the school day and homework as needed)
Special note about classroom management and assignment-specific concerns: This assignment heavily utilizes technology. As a result, before students begin work online we will review proper use of Internet resources including citing, quoting, and plagiarism. We will also review the need for good judgement when choosing the reading selections and, if there is any doubt about the content, ask the students to consult with the teacher for approval.
Student Assessment (How will you know if the students have met or are in the process of meeting the objective(s)?
In order to assess student learning for this assignment, I will compare a previous writing sample with the writing sample produced for this assignment.
Regarding the classroom management issue for this week, I had an interesting interaction with a retired teacher this week: She taught early elementary for years here in Sitka and was helping with the SBA test administration at the high school, as was I. She brought up the topic of making the tests computerized in coming years and how difficult it would be to monitor students and prevent cheating. As an example, she spoke of a student that she had worked with who, with access to a computer, could toggle between screens so quickly that she couldn’t keep up. My thoughts were that technology is advanced enough that adequate security could be built into the test to prevent accessing outside resources. Also, kids would benefit from using computers in these types of tests because it would prevent “pencil fatigue” connected with the writing and bubble-filling, hence the quality of writing would be more reflective of ability because it would be easier for students to reread what they have written and make editing changes using word processing tools. If the point is to measure student ability, shouldn’t the tests be more reflective of society?
In researching classroom management I came upon this article about technology in the schools. It’s a couple years old and may have already made the circuit of tech savvy educators. But, the points made by the author merit repeating. Technology shouldn’t be viewed as “special” or restricted by schools. It is the wrong perspective to make teachers the “police” or “regulators” of technology access. Instead, something that has crossed my radar multiple times throughout this semester is the idea of schools teaching the proper use of technology – in social networking, resource citing, copyright issues, and digital imaging. Kids today need to learn how to integrate technology in safe, responsible ways. Part of that learning process are the natural consequences that occur when kids over share online, miss meaningful social interactions because they are distracted by phones, or spend too much time engaging in video games instead of completing assignments. My philosophy is that these are things kids need to learn through trial and error and some kids need more time in learning than others.
Of course, there are those students who are incredibly fast learners and to insist that those students stay in “lock step” with the rest of the class defeats the individualization made possible with technology.
So, my perspective with regards to classroom management and technology is to take a more preventative, teaching approach by focusing on good digital citizenship versus trying to ferret out those who would use technology to cheat or avoid work.
In researching tools for the final project, I have been exploring the Scribd site, seeing how it could be utilized in a classroom for a reading/writing assignment. I’m thinking of using it and a blogging format to drive this assignment. My thoughts are that Scribd would allow for students to differentiate the content of their reading by selecting a topic of interest to them. In differentiating the product, a blog allows for sharing through writing, images, or recordings or incorporating these elements in a creative way.
I know part of this assignment is adding classroom management views with regard to technology to Pearltrees. I will continue to try to add my resources about digital citizenship that I have wrote about in this post. I’ve been having some technical difficulties with it to date…
I wasn’t able to attend the meeting on Thursday, but I did find some time to view the recording. I enjoyed listening to the discussions about technology access – it really brought the reality of technology use alive. I’ve said before: it is frustrating not to have a class to use during the assignments, but I might be frustrated if I did have a class and lacked the technology to bring really cool lessons to life. At least right now I can pretend that we all have access to everything out there.
There were some really good points made about management and technology. Love the idea of having control over other computers. When I was substituting in the technology class, I used the Promethean board as a guide to show the students how to get where they need to go, or how to complete an assignment. It was really handy that they were sitting there with the same computer screen that I had and could follow along, step by step.
By and large, I am thankful that I was able to watch this video when it was convenient to my schedule. Technology has made this handy.
Takeaway: To provide examples of different levels of work and provide feedback about progress.
For this project I am looking at fifth grade standards for reading and writing – specifically these standards:
Grade 5 Reading standards
7. Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or personal appeal of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).
9. Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g., mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and plot development.
Grade 5 writing standards
1. Write opinion pieces on topics or texts, supporting a point of view with fact- or text- based reasons and information.
a. Introduce a topic or text clearly, state an opinion, and create an organizational structure in which ideas are logically grouped to support the writer’s purpose.
b. Provide logically ordered reasons that are supported by facts and details.
c. Link opinion and reasons using words, phrases, and clauses (e.g., consequently, specifically, most of all).
d. Provide a concluding statement or section that reinforces or restates the opinion presented.
Unpack the relevant aspects of these standards:
• Read at least two pieces in the same genre that incorporate visual and multimedia elements
• Make observations about how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or personal appeal of a text
• Make observations about the similarities and differences between at least two stories within the same genre
• Develop a viewpoint in writing
• Defend the viewpoint with facts and details
• Have a clear introduction to the topic
• Have a clear conclusion to the topic
• Use transition words effectively in writing
Toward this end I have created a rubric to evaluate the finished product.
This week I have been reading the blog entries for last week’s essential question and attended Tuesday’s Twitter session. I also used the Web EX program for the first time to attend the meeting on Thursday about our final project. It was comparable to Google Hangout. These communication methods are pretty cool. I’d like to try a Google Hangout with friends or family just for fun.
Regarding the final project: I am planning to look into Scribd. I have been substituting in the middle school technology lab (how fortuitous for this class!) for about a month and adopting ideas the instructor has been using with the students. Actual access to the same technology in a typical classroom is much, much more limited. It isn’t really realistic to expect the same level of access to technology tools. However, I will suspend reality and attempt to create a reading and writing assignment that integrates technology meaningfully.