Tuesday, March 30, 2010

EDIM 508 The Synthesizing Mind

For my Digital Media class at Wilkes University, I was asked to "share a classroom strategy (e.g., project, activity) that incorporates the use of digital resources in an interdisciplinary approach."

Last year, I worked with a school based-technology coordinator to support an interdisciplinary team of 5th grade teachers and students who worked on a project comparing careers in the colonial times to current 21st century careers.  This project managed to involve the following disciplines:
  • Social Studies- Students learned about the colonial life and times in America.
  • Mathematics- Students compared the salaries of a doctor from the colonial times to the 21st century physician and analyzed the cost of living during both periods.
  • Workplace Readiness- Students compared the educational and professional development requirements of the colonial doctor to the 21st century physician.
  • Technology- Students compared the equipment and tools of the colonial doctor to that of the 21st century physician.
  • Language Arts Literacy - Students created  a 1st person narrative script that simulated the life and times of  a colonial physician.
The use of technology was evident throughout the entire project.  The educational team worked to provide students with ample opportunities to develop  "the ability to knit together information from disparate sources into a coherent whole".  (Gardner pg. 46) The teachers worked collectively to establish the essential question and develop the curriculum map using the curriculum mapping software endorsed by Heidi Hayes Jacobs. Students conducted and edited an video interview with a 21st century physician using a digital video camera and Windows MovieMaker.   Students also utilized their 1st person script to create a podcast depicting the life of a colonial physician using a headset with a microphone and Audacity.  The interview and podcast were embedded in a multimedia PowerPoint presentation that students used to present their final project to their peers, parents, teachers, and Heidi Hayes Jacobs during our annual district-wide middle-level conference.

Gardner, H. (2007). Five minds for the future. Boston: Harvard Business School Press.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Illuminations Presents: Calculation Nation

Created by the National Council of the Teachers of Mathematics, Calculation Nation, allows upper elementary and middle school students to challenge themselves and others across the nation in the arena of arithemetic. Calculation Nation provides 8 interactive games that address various concepts such as:
  • Perimeter
  • Factors
  • Fractions
  • Multiples
  • Angles
  • Symmetry
  • Sums of 1
  • Coefficients and Variables

Using an ePals email account, students can log in to challenge others.  If your students don't have ePals accounts, they can enter the nation as a guest and challenge have the computer serve as their opponent.



Tuesday, March 23, 2010

EDIM 508: Flips, Slides and Turns with Discovery Education- Great for Grade 3

I had an assignment for class to select a video segment about a topic I may teach. I chose flips slides and turns. This video is a tool I can use with third grade students to help them gain a better understanding of flips, slides, and turns.


My goal is to help 3rd grade students gain an increased understanding of the mathematical (geometrical) terms: flip, slide and turn. I chose this topic in particular because according to our district's assessment data, our students are having a difficult time grasping geometrical concepts.

There are several different ways we can use this digital media link in the classroom:
1. It would be a great tool to use as an anticipatory set during whole group instuction.

2. I can embed this video on a blog to share with my parents to demonstrate what we worked on today as a class. Our parents can use this tool to equip themselves to help their children with the evening's homework.

3. I can also embed this video on my student eBoard. During center time, my students can view this video as reinforcement of the concept and create examples of flips, slides and turns on a teacher-created PowerPoint Slide template (linked to the eBoard note), using autoshapes and the move tools.

4. If a student was absent on the day I taught the class, they can use the video to catch up on the learning. To assess their understanding, I can have the student re-create a similiar "video" in his/her own voice using Tux Paint, a mic, and Camtasia (Jing).

5. I can have a cooperative group, view the video and prepare a "lesson" for the rest of the class. With guidance,we can work together, watch the video and have the cooperative group teach their peers flips, slides, and turns. The video would be a part of the lesson to the whole group of course.

Other components I would include in the lesson in addition to the video:
-mathtrain.tv - I would have students create videos in their own voice to explain the terms: flip, slide, and turn and find real examples in the classroom, design and art (i.e. classroom layout, Fendi, Gucci, Escher). Once the videos are created, we would submit them to this site for approval. Children teaching children may make a difference.

-Cha Cha Slide - This song is a favorite with my students. After performing the cha cha slide, we would discuss where the math terms we are learning apply. This would appeal to my kinesthetic and musical students (that would be most of them...)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Share Tabs - A neat way to share your favorite websites.


This website allows you to share multiple websites with your colleagues and students with ease.  Essentially, you copy and paste the urls of all of the websites you want to share and you will get a single link to all of the sites in a convenient format.  Once you share the link, which would be in the form of a customized url, your links will  display as thumbnails and as tabs on an internet browser.

Here's an example sharetab site with social studies resources: