Many lessons involving technology are awesome, but today, I facilitated one that was not so great. One thing after another seemed to go wrong. I am totally taking responsibility for this, but more than anything,I really see it as a learning experience.
Our first graders were to create mathematical screencasts to explain their thinking. Lofty task? YOU BET! However, I know that it was possible and could be achieved. The Google Draw Manipulative template was a great idea in theory, but the base ten blocks didn't quite "group together" as needed in order to move a group of "tens." Instead, as they moved, the individual blocks were all over the place. Chaos ensued. The classroom teacher was super flexible and we made the best of the situation.
Moving forward, I now know that Google Draw wasn't/isn't the best platform for the task at hand. With Screencasting, the nice thing is that you can "Screencast" over ANYTHING! The kids will use the NUMBER PIECES manipulatives from the Math Learning Center next time. They're pregrouped and can also use the pen tool to write a math equation on the whiteboard.
IT CAN ONLY GET BETTER FROM HERE!
CHECK OUT THE IMAGES BELOW- WHAT NOT TO DO AND WHAT TO TOTALLY DO!
These websites are TREASURED GOLD! ENJOY :)
1. What's Going on In This PIcture?
The New York Times takes powerful pictures and removes their captions. What a great invitation for students to critically think and communicate!
2. National Geographic photo of the day
Pictures are worth 1,000 words! Consider having students generate questions around these first class images!
Live and learn, right? Last year, we began GEnius Hour with our Fifth Graders. It was a great experience and we were so glad we tested it out, but there were definitely some big takeaways (Based on both teacher evaluation and student feedback) that we could hold onto and change for the following year.
Fast forward one year. We are ready for GEnius Hour, round two now. some of the tweaks and changes we made to improve the project include:
Stay tuned for updates...They're coming your way :)
Many people inquire about how we teach Digital Citizenship to our students. Of course, there's a time and a place for some explicit instruction on the very important topic. However, I've come to realize that the best bang for our buck comes when it's seamlessly embedded into the other instructional work that the kids are doing.
A recent lesson reminded me of the power of authentically teaching Digital Citizenship to our kids. Students were annotating math work in order to reflect on their problem solving skills. Labeling their work involved inserting images, symbols and text bubbles (see the previous post titled "December Portfolios- Analyzing Math" to learn more). The 4th and 5th graders were introduced to the AMAZING resource, The Noun Project, to find and download symbols from a library. If you haven't checked it out- you must! In order to do so, they had to create an account. Therefore, We were able to talk about:
All of these pieces totally fit with what we were doing but also definitely resonated with our students. If we can teach them early about safe internet behaviors and such, it could make a big difference for them as they grow older and engage in the scary world wide web. Embedding Digital CitizenshiP into our daily teaching and the daily learning for students is the way to go!
Khan Academy is such a great resource for our students. It's an often occurrence to see students watching their tutorial videos for instructional help.
We decided to have our students try to create "khan style" tutorial videos to show their understanding of math concepts.
Students used the video editor, WeVideo (one of our favorite tools) to screencast their thinking over the AWwApp Digital Whiteboard (also one of our favorite tools). They talked and explained as mathematicians as they drew their work. Once completed, students published their videos and inserted them in a shared slidedeck. They watched each other's videos and gave feedback to their peers.
The students definitely took this new experience by the horns and rocked it! They always rise to the given challenge and push themselves to reach new heights! Talk about growth mindset :)
Want to learn more about screencasting in weVideo?