Although this is the first term that's I've met with each teacher to collaborate on a tech class semester plan, I'm increasingly enchanted with the results. Here are just a few of the projects that are in the works.
Need a Good Book?
Jeff Scott, a fourth grade teacher, worked with me to create a voice discussion board full of book reviews. His students wrote a synopsis of the book they were reading and then selected a "golden passage", a passage that they felt gave a good taste of the book. They rehearsed reading the passages, focusing on the reading skills he'd been focusing on in class. Then they were ready for me.
The first week I introduced students to Blackboard, our CMS. They learned to find their way around and to use the Wimba Voiceboard module that we have installed.
The next week, they went into the book review voiceboard. They created their own post. They put the book's title in the subject line. In the body of the message, they typed their synopsis. Then they used the voiceboard's recording tools to make an audio recording of themselves reading the gold passage.
Now the students are enthusiastically using the voiceboard to find good books. They keep a log of books they want to read and they are eagerly using the voiceboard to find good books to add to their list. The project is now independent. The students will be able to come in any time and add another post. Jeff is not sure how often he will require them to post.
Jemma Hooykaas has her fifth graders immersed in higher order thinking to create movie trailer style book teasers. She worked closely with me to design the assignment and create the rubric. She worked with the students to select their books. I created a movie resources form to help them gather their photos and record the photo information for their movie credits.
Jemma started students using a storyboard form she created. Students were challenged to identify the tone and important elements of the book they read, and then to find images to set the tone and represent those elements
I taught students about Flickr and Creative Commons. I introduced the FlickrCC image search engine. I modeled how to use that website and the form I gave them to gather their photos and record important information about the photos to include in their credits.
This past week, students were to bring in their photos so we could use Windows Movie Maker to create the movies. As we expected, not all students had all their photos, but this gave us time for individualized instruction as needed.
One exciting discovery was to see how much some of the students remembered about Movie Maker from last year. All of those students worked on a powerful Poetry Cafe project last year with their homeroom teacher and they are now our movie making experts.
This coming week, I'll show students how to access our school library of royalty-free music to set the tone of their movies.
The final products will either be posted in our school web photo gallery or on our school's YouTube channel.
There are other great projects in the works. I'll try to write about them soon.