There is a GREAT website called wordless news that generates an image, without words, that relates to some sort of current event.
What a great way to engage students instructionally!! Students could ask questions and collaborate to figure out the meaning or interpret the pictures. They could write a narrative or informative piece based on an image. The possibilities are endless!
If you haven't already checked out wordless news, be sure to give it a try!
Check out these related posts from the past...
As promised in these posts, here's the first grade research on rainforest animals. These videos are what will be included in the 4th grade wiki articles. The collaboration to research and create these informative videos is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!
Two super fun collaboration projects to share this week!
1. 5th graders at DJ are connecting with a 5th grade class in Texas! After meeting their buddies, they began to write a narrative piece together. Using the 5th grade elements of narrative writing, the buddies got to work! The pair of students worked simultaneously on a google doc as they typed to each other using the comment feature! The level of productive collaboration blew us teachers away!
2. Our 4th graders are buddied up with 4th graders in North Carolina! Today, our students solved a math problem on a digital whiteboard. They took a screenshot and inserted it on a shared google slide deck. Their southeast friends will then take a look at their work, evaluate it, and respond based on their thinking! The kids are excited for the opportunity to work cross country.
How can we make the writing process more fun and exciting but still keep the traditional elements of writing an integral part of the experience?
Expository, or informative, writing remains essential for students to practice. With the 21st century teaching and learning shift towards creativity and critical thinking, sometimes teachers hesitate that if they stray from the traditional paragraphs, sentences, or structure of writing, they'll lose what they know the students need to acquire in order to grow.
One of the fourth grade writing topics revolves around a layer of the rainforest. They used to write the traditional five paragraph essay. However, this year, they are going to write a wiki-article. The five paragraphs will stay the same, but hyperlinks, videos, and images will all be added. this makes their writing interactive and exciting while allowing for creativity and critical thinking. finding and analyzing media and external sources are, in addition, valuable skills that will only enhance their work!
Look for some examples coming your way soon!
It's hard to believe that we are about half way through the school year! There is lots to be proud of- and also lots to look forward to!
Something I want to celebrate is the teacher and student embracing of "show what you know" in a fluid, creative way. This is a big shift from the traditional test or project with a given structure or outline. teachers must give up the control of knowing exactly what they're going to get. Students must grapple with the unknown and find a way to share their understanding in a way that is exciting and best for them.
At the beginning, teachers build off of the standards or objectives. Expectations are made clear, but the process and product are in the hands of the students. Students feel empowered and take ownership of their learning when given opportunities like this. Some students may choose to write, others draw, while their classmates record. the possibilities are endless!
"If you assign a project and get back thirty of the exact same thing, that's not a project. That's a recipe."