So often our go to is text. We constantly have our kids engaging with text. Don't get me wrong, evaluating and working with text is very important. It's a necessary skill for our students. However, especially in today's world, analyzing media is just as significant! I have to remind myself to give both my teachers and students many opportunities to interact with media. Yes, questioning, evaluating, reflecting... you name it.
Technology has afforded us with so many resources that we must take advantage of. check out some of my favorite sites as powerful media sources to have your students dive into:
After all, "A Picture is worth 1,000 words." Videos too!
What are your favorite sites housing great media sources to help skyrocket student learning?
Ever since I presented at a conference two years ago with a student, I have yet to do another presentation without one. The student perspective is the most valuable piece of our work. We want to hear from them, understand their thinking, and get inside their heads so that we can make learning exciting, applicable and authentic!
Earlier this week, along with the differentiation specialist (shout out to Mrs. Gruzynski) and a 5th grade student, I presented at the Illinois Council of Instructional Coaching Conference in Naperville. our session title was "Color outside the Lines with the 4Cs." In a world where the jobs our students will have do not yet exist, it's even more important to help foster skills such as the 4Cs for all students.
Here's the perspective our our young and wise 5th grade friend on each of the 4Cs. Pretty cool!
COMMUNICATION & CREATIVITY
Walking around, looking at the Chromebook screens of our fourth graders gave me goosebumps! The students were working on displaying their understanding of the events leading up to the American Revolution.
In a traditional setting, teachers may have administered a quiz or required students to write a paragraph about their understanding. However, in the this classroom, the teacher had the kids creating a comic illustration to share their knowledge, using our district's newly purchased subscription to Storyboard that. Kudos to the teacher for the great idea!
WOW! The tool's library within the platform gave our students full creativity reign to synthesize information, design, and map out their thinking. Even though the basic events were the same leading up to the war, each student's interpretation and visual was unique. Furthermore, the kids LOVED this formative assessment activity. MUAHAHAHA... the best is when the students don't even realize the level of assessment that's occurring because they are so wrapped up in awesome creation.
Check out a few of them below... got goosebumps?
It remains the little things in life that make us smile, right? Something as simple as changing the canvas or page size (in Google drawings or google slides) can do just that!
We are not as limited as we may think when using these creative tools! Our 5th graders are designing advertisements right now and we stretched the canvas to be landscape and much larger. We are even able to print them on legal sized paper to then hang in our hallways. Our 4th graders created ebooks, but the generic default slide size doesn't lend itself nicely to the visual appearance of a book. There's the ability to change the size of the slide/page to fit the purpose!
Check out the tutorial video below created by a student expert in addition to examples of student work- and smile!
When we first hear the words technology and distraction together, we tend to immediately think of video games, cell phones, etc. as a distractions from the important things in our everyday lives. While this may be true, i'd like to touch upon a different kind of technology distraction- one from an instructional lens.
We must always, always, ALWAYS bring ourselves back to the goal of our lesson! take this first grade example- teachers wanted a formative read on where students were with adjectives, or describing words.
So, students were given a bunch of images to choose from and then had to label the different objects in the image using hotspots through the technology program called thinglink. NOTHING against thinglink (I love using it with the older grades and have found a lot of success with it), but the signing in process, downloading & uploading the image, creating the hotspots and saving/sharing the images totally took over the lesson. no longer was the focus on adjectives, it was more about struggling through the different parts of the tech tool for the students.
After some reflection, we decided perhaps this savvy and cool looking tech tool was more of a distraction than anything else. if the goal was to get a feel for student knowledge of adjectives, was there another more effective avenue for us to assess this?
The answer was yes! Instead of using Thinglink, we created a template on Google Draw (our students are very familiar with the Gsuite apps). Students still were able to choose a picture and then could drag and drop the appropriate adjectives onto the objects in their pictures in addition to create some of their own describing words. This was much more efficient, effective, and the goal was met :) Flexibility and reflection are key. After all, the glitz and glamour of new tech tools can sometimes end up taking away from our purpose!
Portfolio Night is in May and even though it's only October, all duJardin Students (Grades k-5) are rockin' and rollin' with their digital portfolios. The philosophy is that the portfolios are collections of both work and reflections throughout the year. each month, students will add to their masterpieces and have incredible portfolios by the end of the year! get excited :)
Each student's portfolio should be unique and represent him or her. After all, the most important element of the portfolios is student choice. students have the ability to choose which pieces they include. As they insert their work, they are acquiring new grade level appropriate, advanced tech skills that they can then apply throughout their year (in other presentations, etc). But beyond the work choices, Kids have the full reign to design the way the appearance will be. ultimately, they take complete ownership of their portfolios!
We are really looking forward to sharing the portfolios with our families!
Here's just a taste...