Posted on 29 March 2013.
First grade students imagined that they were Christopher Columbus. As an explorer, they needed a way to sail across the ocean to discover new lands. They were instructed to use limited resources to design, plan, and construct a ship. Then they would test their ships in an actual water race where they selected the type of force they would use to get the ship to move. At the start of the project, the students were told to find 1-2 partners. They did research in the library using books and websites to find out how ships are constructed and how they move as well as answering other questions they had. Next, they conducted an experiment on Sinking/Floating to see which materials would work best for constructing their ship. Once they had selected a design and their materials, they drew a labeled diagram using Pixie. Then they built their ship with the help of the art teacher. They tested their ships in the water table to see if they would float and if they could achieve straight motion with the type of force they had chosen. They made adjustments to their ships based on their reflections and comparisons with the other voyagers’ experiments. Finally, we had the Great Ship Race where students raced their ships in a gutter full of water. They documented the race with the iPad video cameras. They rated their own and each others’ ships using a rubric. They also shared their ships with other first grade classes.
This project scores in the Ideal/Target range of Research & Information Fluency.
-Students created their own questions to assist with research.
-Students used a variety of resources: books, websites, etc.
-Students evaluated the resources based on appropriateness and quality to their project using a rubric.
-Students used various types of experts to expand their questioning and revise their projects.
-Students conducted experiments to test the designs of their ships and made adjustments accordingly.
This project scores in the Ideal/Target range of Communication & Collaboration.
-Students chose their own groups and assigned each other roles.
-iPad videos and interviews were used to get ideas from other groups.
-Students collaborated to research (using websites/videos), design (using Pixie), and construct their ships.
-Students’ reflections were communicated through Pixie, iPads, and rating themselves with rubrics.
-Students were able to use the media specialist and art teacher as expert sources.
-Videos and pictures of their projects were posted to the classroom blog and their diagrams were posted to Comemories.
This project scores in the Ideal/Target range of Critical Thinking/Problem Solving.
-Students conducted a floating/sinking experiment prior to construction to plan their design.
-Students regularly revised their ideas based on updated information.
-Students were presented with a real-life problem related to Social Studies and Science.
-Students were required to choose from a limited number of materials (or they could trade with each other).
-Students reflected on their experiences individually and with their partners using a rubric.
-The class reflected on the entire project and reviewed the answers to the questions posed.
This project scores in the Ideal/Target range of Creativity/Innovation.
-Students created their own boats using materials they chose and decided what type of force to use to make their ships move.
-Students were encouraged to take risks and try new things that would help their ship succeed in the race.
-Students were creative in managing their resources since they could only select 5 or they could trade with other students.
-Students evaluated the creative process afterwards using a rubric.
- Lesson Plan (Word)
- Reflection Questions (PDF)
- Resource Evaluation Rubric (PDF)
- Supply List (PDF)
- Ship Race Evaluation Rubric (PDF)
- Copies of student boat diagrams
Posted in Comm/Collab - Target, Creativity - Target, Critical Thinking - Target, Elementary School, Info Fluency - Target, Math, Project, Science, Social Studies
Posted on 20 March 2013.
This school is implementing the “Leader in Me” character education program, so for this project, students studied a famous American and predicted how that person would show the 7 Habits at their school. Students were grouped into pairs and decided which famous American they wanted to research (Helen Keller, Jackie Robinson, Martin L. King Jr., Abraham Lincoln, George Washington or Susan B. Anthony). The students then used PebbleGo, BrainPop Jr., biographies, or any other source to gather information. They notated and evaluated their sources, then they took their research and completed a four square planning sheet for their presentation. Next, partners decided what digital program to use to present their research online. Pixie and Comic Life were their top choices since those were the two programs they had learned so far this year. The students took turns putting their research into the comic strip or Pixie. They had to include the famous American’s contribution, one new fact, how that person would be a leader at the school, and any other interesting facts of their choice. The finished projects were presented to the class and published online via Flipsnack. Afterwards they evaluated how well they worked as partners by filling out a Partner Work Reflection Sheet.
This project scores in the Approaching range of Research and Information Fluency. The teacher modeled how to read a book and gather research about a Famous American. Students worked together to gather research from multiple sources (online and print) to fill out a four square organizer in order to make sure they had all of the necessary information. They also recorded and rated their sources.
This project scores in the Approaching range of Communication & Collaboration. The students worked together in pairs choosing what famous American to research and what type of digital program to use to show their research. Their work was published online for others outside the classroom to access. Students reflected on their roles using the partner work reflection worksheet.
This project scores in the Developing range of Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. Students had to think of how the 7 Habits from the “Leader in Me” program were displayed in the life of their famous American. They had to apply what they have been learning in character education to a new historical situation and predict how their person would be a leader at their school. Their project was authentic because reinforces the school-wide “Leader in Me” program, and it will be used as an example of how the school is implementing the “Leader in Me” program.
This project scores in the Developing range of Creativity and Innovation. Students could choose which digital tool they wanted to use to display their information. They were able to select their own pictures and special effects. They predicted how their character would respond in a new situation.
Posted in Comm/Collab - App, Creativity - Dev, Critical Thinking - Dev, Elementary School, Info Fluency - App, Social Studies
Posted on 20 March 2013.
The objective of this lesson is for small groups of students to collaborate to create layered rhythm vocal ostinatos (repeating rhythm phrases) using puppets, based on a topic of their choice. Students will create ostinatos using repeated words or sounds in synchronization with puppet movements to create layers of sound patterns that compliment and contrast with the others in their group. During the course of this activity, students will become more confident and creative in their performances as shown through better voice projection, increased complexity of rhythms with movement, and increased sharing of ideas within their groups. They will plan, practice, perform and share these performances using various technology devices. Their performances will also be posted to Vimeo.
This project scores in the Developing range of Research & Information Fluency. The students used a reliable professional source (the symphony website) as well as each others’ projects to get ideas and improve upon them. The lesson builds on their research of rhythm using the symphony website and prior experience reading and playing rhythm patterns in instrument groups. Students have the choice of using various technology tools to record their performances, including iPads, Flip cameras and laptops.
This project scores in the Approaching range of Communication & Collaboration. Students worked in collaborative groups to create their ostinato vocal rhythms and puppet movements. They evaluated their performances and revised them in order to make them more complex. They chose what digital tool to use to record their performance and they posted the video of their projects online.
This project scores in the Developing range of Critical Thinking & Problem Solving. Students had to think about ways to make their ostinatos more complex by adding additional layers, turning simple words into longer phrases, and adjusting their puppets’ movements. By studying the recordings of their performances, students evaluated each other and themselves based on many applicable criteria: creativity, balance, contrast, rhythm, teamwork.
This project scores in the Developing range of Creativity & Innovation. All groups created the same product (puppet shows), but they were encouraged to think of new rhythms and topics for their ostinatos, making more than just one. This lesson provides multiple opportunities to plan, create, perform and share. It synthesizes the talents of students with different learning styles and abilities to create a new group experience. Each group performs for the class numerous times resulting in significant growth in the areas of rhythm, technology, teamwork and creativity.
Posted in Comm/Collab - App, Creativity - Dev, Critical Thinking - Dev, Elementary School, Info Fluency - Dev, Music, Project
Posted on 19 March 2013.
In groups of three, students chose a topic from the science curriculum that was taught during the first semester. Students individually researched their sub-topics, developed a plan using 4-Square, and wrote an expository paper. Students then collaborated with their group to plan their presentations on their topics. Students recorded the information that they would share during their presentations on note cards and worked with their peers to develop an appropriate visual display. They then presented their information to the class. They evaluated their projects and presentations with a rubric.
This project scores in the Approaching range of Research & Information Fluency. Students constructed questions to guide their research, they selected their own research tools, they rated their sources and research skills using a rubric, and organized their own information in a meaningful way.
This project scores in the Developing range of Communication & Collaboration. Students worked in groups selected by teachers. They chose their topics (within the scope of our science curriculum for the first semester) and worked together to create a presentation for the class using a digital tool of their choice.
This project scores in the Developing range of Critical Thinking & Problem Solving. The students used technology to come up with a new and creative way to present their information to the class. Several students used more than one program to create the visual components of their presentations. For example, students used Garageband to add sounds to their Keynotes. Students also had to decide which information was important to share and what order the group members would share their facts. Students evaluated their presentations using a rubric.
This project scores in the Developing range of Creativity & Innovation. Students chose the information they wanted to share with their classmates, and they also chose the tools they would use for their presentation. They created an interesting, entertaining way to review the semester science curriculum with their class. They also rated their creative process using a rubric.
- Lesson Plan (Word)
- Assignment Guidelines (Word)
- Research Guide (Word)
- 2 Evaluation Rubrics (PDF)
- 3 Examples of Student Papers (PDF)
- 3 Examples of Student Projects (Keynote)
Posted in Comm/Collab - Dev, Creativity - Dev, Critical Thinking - Dev, Elementary School, Info Fluency - App, Science
Posted on 19 March 2013.
Students review various computer programs. Students read various traditional fairy tales and fractured fairy tales. Students get in groups to write their own fractured fairy tales, following the steps of the writing process. Groups choose which program they would like to use to present their writings. Groups create storyboards on construction paper to plan out their presentation. Students use their chosen program to create a presentation for their writings.
This project scores in the Developing range of Research & Information Fluency. Students researched fractured fairy tales that had been selected by the teacher and the school media specialist. They analyzed and extended the ideas in those stories to create their own fractured fairy tales. They also evaluated and rated the stories using a rubric
This project scores in the Approaching range of Communication & Collaboration. Students worked in collaborative groups to decide which type of fairy tale to create and which digital tool to use to effectively communicate their fairy tale to an audience. Fairy tales were published online and classmates provided feedback. Students reflected on their group work using a rubric afterwards.
This project scores in the Developing range of Critical Thinking & Problem Solving. Students had to work together to decide which elements of the fairy tale could be changed and which ones needed to remain in order to keep the core narrative recognizable. Students evaluated their own, as well their classmates,’ fractured fairy tales using a rubric.
This project scores in the Developing range of Creativity and Innovation. Students were given the opportunity to choose which fairy tale to adapt and which digital tool to use. They were given creative license to change whatever aspect of the fairy tale they wanted as long as their new story retained certain recognizable features. They published their creations online and evaluated their creativity with a rubric.
Posted in Comm/Collab - App, Creativity - Dev, Critical Thinking - Dev, Elementary School, Info Fluency - Dev, Language Arts
Posted on 14 March 2013.
Families visiting Three Lakes Park have an interactive way to learn more about the animals they see in the nature center thanks to third graders down the street at Chamberlayne Elementary. The third graders researched native animals in the park and created virtual guides that can be accesses via QR codes at the park’s exhibit. The students were required to include a description and facts, but were then given the choice of what other technologies to use to help the public learn more about the animals. The self-guided group work resulted in content rich InstaBlogg sites that include creative movies, keynotes, quia games, polls, thinglinks, beeclips and pixie projects. Students were required to use the background knowledge developed during our animal studies unit to create a product that encourages the community to learn more.
The students were working in the Ideal range for Resarch and Information Fluency. This project was a culmination of our animal studies unit so students were already familiar with terms and megafauna. They were challenged to put their knowledge of animal relationships and adaptations to use in a relevant way so that others could benefit from their learning. Students were given a guide sheet and worked in groups to research the animal. They chose their own groups based on what animal they were interested in researching. The students used books from the library and Internet search sites such as OneSearch, DuckDuckGo and Pebble Go to find information about their animals. Because students were already familiar with content vocabulary and concepts from learning about the world’s various environments, they were able to hit the ground running. Most groups finished the required research and continued to find additional facts beyond the requirements. The facts that came from their own curiosity proved to be the most interesting for them and the ones they highlighted the most in their final product. One group, for example, learned that the large mouth bass has an amazing sense of smell. They were so proud of this fact in their video that their enthusiasm seemed to better engage the rest of the class when they watched the video. Groups also did some field research when they visited Three Lakes Park to view the animals up close and figure out where the best place was to put their QR codes.
Students worked in the Ideal range of Communication & Collaboration as they took on new roles in this activity. They became the experts and needed to create an interesting site to engage community members and encourage them to learn more about the animals in their back yards. Students were asked to teach about their animals in the most interactive way that they could using a blog which could be accessed by visitors to Three Lakes Park via a QR code. With that goal in mind, some groups worked on a video, others created “fact or fiction” games that reflected a fun way that they like to learn, and others created pixie pictures to illustrate life cycles. Many groups delegated tasks and were able to create more than one technology project to enhance their site. They used what they liked from their favorite websites to make their blog more interesting for others. Because they had the editing link, their sites would often look different in the morning. This was because students were going over to each others’ houses and working on their sites at home. They continue to make edits to improve their sites and better serve the community!
Students worked in the Ideal range of Critical Thinking and Problem Solving. With so many choices regarding their information and how to present it, students had to decide which facts were best to include and how to effectively communicate those ideas to the public. As they worked on their projects, the students needed less and less teacher assistance. They were taking advantage of shortcuts on the keyboard, dropping photos and videos into their folders for future use, and applying their knowledge from former Keynote lessons to perform advanced skills, like transitions and builds, on their own. They gained a better understanding of the pros and cons of each type of digital tool and made decisions based upon those insights. One of the goals of the project was to persuade visitors to protect the animals and preserve their environment, so students had think of ways to do that as well. This challenged them to apply the facts they learned to a new and specific situation at Three Lakes Park. Students also had the chance to help design the QR code poster that was displayed at the park. As a class they named important elements to include on the sign. Since they wanted to get people’s attention and make it easy to read, they realized the importance of font and color choice. Each group worked on a design and voted on the final poster as a class. Throughout the project, students were presented with challenges that had more than one solution. At the end of the project, they evaluated how well they performed each step of the process using a rubric.
Students worked in the Ideal range of Creativity and Innovation. They enjoyed making things that were different from their classmates and that would “WOW” their audience. One student really wanted to make a game. Each day he would ask how to make a game, so the teacher introduced him to Quia and gave him a brief overview of how to program the game. He produced an amazing game and the questions reflected a strong understanding and ability to extend the knowledge. He created “distractor” choices that were tricky, unless you read his group’s site. That’s just one example of how students went beyond the basic requirements for the assignment and took risks. It was exciting to see what they came up with. Everything was left up to individual groups and each page reflects the diverse ideas in the class.
Posted in Comm/Collab - Target, Creativity - Target, Critical Thinking - Target, Elementary School, Info Fluency - Target, Project, Science
Posted on 14 March 2013.
Students created their own blogs about an animal of their choice using Instablogg and a variety of other web tools. Topics included on the blog were the animal’s adaptations, habitat, diet, and fun facts. The students had 2 class periods to complete their research using the Internet and books from the library. As part of their research, students found an online photo of their animal to import into Thinglink. Thinglink allows users to create an interactive image with hotspots that can be clicked for more information. The students created a Thinglink image of their animal incorporating 3 adaptations (hotspots) and telling why they were beneficial to their animal. Students then created a video about the animal’s habitat using Photobooth and a background they selected so they appeared to be standing in the animal’s habitat. The video also included a variety of “fun” interesting facts. Videos were uploaded to Vimeo so students could post them to their blogs. Next, the students used Audacity to record an audio description of the diet of their animal. Those audio files were uploaded to Blabberize along with another photo of their animal, so it appeared like the animal was talking about its diet. The final step was to create a poll that asks visitors a question about their animal. Students embedded the Thinglink, the video, the Blabberize, and the poll onto their blogs. All blog links were posted to one page for easy access.
This project scores in the Approaching range of Research & Information Fluency. The students chose an animal they were interested in and used Duck Duck Go (Safe Internet) search engine to acquire their information. They also searched for and selected their own books from the library. The accuracy and reliability of the sources was discussed. To guide their research, we talked about what people might want to know about the animals and the class developed 3 categories that they needed to research.
This project scores in the Developing range of Communication & Collaboration. Students did not work in groups to conduct their research, but they did collaborate to produce the final product using a variety of digital tools. Their blog posts are online for others to view and interact with outside the classroom.
This project scores in the Developing range of Critical Thinking & Problem Solving. Students worked together to figure out what questions they had about their animals and what categories they wanted to learn more about. They collaborated to answer some of the essential questions that they came up with together. They determined what was important to include on their blogs and how to divide the information based on which web tool would best convey that information.
This project scores in the Approaching range of Creativity & Innovation. The students chose their animal, the information, and the pictures they wanted to use. They were introduced to a variety of web tools and were able to choose 3 of them to use to present their animal information on their blogs. They created useful, interactive, and entertaining sites for other people to learn more about their animals.
Posted in Comm/Collab - Dev, Creativity - App, Critical Thinking - Dev, Elementary School, Info Fluency - App, Project, Science
Posted on 13 March 2013.
This project requires students to research an inventor or scientist, create a multimedia presentation to share their research findings, design and create an invention or experiment in collaboration with other students to answer a specific question about helping an egg do something “eggstraordinary”, graph their trials/data, and write a story based on their “Eggs” adventure. Students were encouraged to use a variety of resources to research, develop, and present their projects.
This project scores in the Approaching range of Research & Information Fluency. Students were challenged to use multiple digital resources to learn about an important scientist or inventor of their choice and create a digital multimedia presentation. They were provided with a list of possible websites to use as well as questions to answer about their person. They cited and evaluated the helpfulness of each website they used. For the experiment phase they conducted their own research by testing their designs and recording the data.
This project scores in the Approaching range of Communication & Collaboration. Students chose their own groups according to teacher’s guidelines and expectations. As a group, students had to decide on one of six questions for the focus of their experiment. Groups had to communicate to plan what materials to bring in to create or design their final products, and they worked together to run trials and record data. At the end of their project they evaluated how well they worked together.
This project scores in the Approaching range of Critical Thinking & Problem Solving. Working in groups, students had to choose an egg challenge (such as making it bounce, roll, float, drop, or hold weight). Then they had to design and create an invention that would solve the challenge. During the trial and error stage, groups had to generate new questions regarding the outcome of their “eggs,” if they were unsuccessful. Students were given the choice to present their findings using a variety of digital tools such as graphs which require them to interpret their data. At the end of the experiment, students were asked to individually reflect upon their experience throughout this process.
This project scores in the Approaching range of Creativity & Innovation. Students were given many choices including the inventor they wanted to research, the digital tool they wanted to use, and the egg problem they wanted to solve. They were also encouraged to take risks with their invention and develop original ways to solve the problem. Their creative writing assignment was also open-ended to encourage original ideas. Finally they reflected on the creative process at the end.
- Lesson Plan (Word)
- Project Guidelines for Students (PDF)
- Student Creative Writing Sample (Pages)
- Student Comic Life Sample
- Student Keynote Sample
- Five photos (PNG) of student projects
Posted in Comm/Collab - App, Creativity - App, Critical Thinking - App, Elementary School, Info Fluency - App, Language Arts, Math, Project, Science
Posted on 11 March 2013.
This lesson was designed to enhance cross curriculum skills. Oral Language, Reading, Writing, Science, and Technology SOLs were all met throughout this class project. The students chose an animal to research in the library by using the Internet, encyclopedias, and nonfiction text. They used a graphic organizer to record the facts they found. Each student then used those facts, in two lessons with our school’s ITRT, to create a slide presentation using Keynote or a comic using Comic Life. In the end, the students presented their finished projects to their peers in class, and they were published online.
This lesson scores in the Developing range in Research & Information Fluency. Students chose an animal to research. Classroom teachers and the librarian helped students pick appropriate animals. Students learned about The Big6 Research method. The school librarian guided students through a Promethean Board lesson on organizing their research. Classroom teachers modeled how to complete the Animal Facts Graphic Organizer. Students used resources in the library to record facts about their animal on their graphic organizer. Classroom teachers and the school librarian monitored and supported students with finding facts and completing the Animal Facts Graphic Organizer. The students were required to find certain facts but they were also asked to find one “fun fact” of their choice.
This project scores in the Developing range of Communication & Collaboration. Although students worked individually on this project, they did present their projects to the class, they evaluated their presentations using a rubric, and they published their work online for others to see outside of their classroom.
This project scores in the Approaching range of Critical Thinking & Problem Solving. Students chose type of digital tool they thought would best convey their information (movie, slideshow, comic). They were also asked to solve one of two real-life problems: (1) Your animal is endangered and becoming extinct. How will you inform others about your animal. How will you encourage people to help? (2) If you were a zookeeper, how would you create a habitat for your animal to survive at your zoo? Finally, students evaluated their own work using a rubric.
This project scores in the Approaching range of Creativity & Innovation. Students could choose whether to make a movie, slideshow, or comic to present their animal research. They added their own ideas to solve an authentic problem. They also reflected on the creative process through their self-evaluation rubric.
Posted in Comm/Collab - Dev, Creativity - App, Critical Thinking - App, Elementary School, Info Fluency - Dev, Science
Posted on 11 March 2013.
After completing our unit on Virginia’s native people, students chose a current Indian tribe of Virginia to research in self-selected groups. This correlates with VS.2g: The student will demonstrate knowledge of the physical geography and native peoples, past and present, of Virginia by identifying and locating the current state-recognized tribes. They found answers to given essential questions through the use of printed materials and online resources. They also came up with at least three additional questions that they felt would be beneficial to answer in their presentation. The students had the option to create a Keynote, iMovie, or website to compile their research. If they felt they could best present their research in another way, they were given the opportunity to submit their ideas to the teacher for approval. Using the digital tool of their choosing, students created a resource for other students to use in learning about these Virginia tribes. The projects were published on the class blog after completion.
This project scores in the Developing range in Research & Information Fluency. Students were given questions to guide their research, but they also came up with their own questions. They were provided with several books to use if they chose to do so. While two websites were recommended, the students were also given time to use the search engine “Go Duck Go” to do their own searches.
This project scores in the Approaching range in Communication & Collaboration. Students were able to choose their own groups and the Indian tribe that they decided on together to research. They had a choice of three tools to compile their research. They also were required to do a reflection at the end of the project evaluating their involvement in the group and how the group worked together.
This project scores in the Developing range in Critical Thinking & Problem Solving. Students were expected to answer a set of questions to guide their research. If they choose to do so, they could also add additional information that they thought was of value. To inform others about the tribe they researched, they choose the product they felt would best help them communicate their findings.
This project scores in the Developing range in Creativity & Innovation. Students were asked to design a product that informs others about the tribe they researched. The teacher recommended three different types of products which they could choose from. However, if the students thought another way would help them better communicate their information, they could present it to the teacher to be approved.
Posted in Comm/Collab - App, Creativity - Dev, Critical Thinking - Dev, Elementary School, Info Fluency - Dev, Social Studies