Just a quick thought on student exemplars/MODELS! More recently than ever, I've found the immense value in providing student exemplars for our students as they work.
Not only do they keep students on track, but the expectations are visually clear for everyone. When students can actually see what the goal is, they find more success along the way.
Now, there are a few things to note with this realization...
When working on our digital portfolios, student and teacher chosen pieces tend to be ELA related, even science and social studies get some attention too. However, Math is the content area that isn't necessarily the "GO-TO" in this situation.
Therefore, our December focus was exactly that- math! Students took some of their math work (whether it was digital or written on paper) and had the opportunity to reflect and analyze through the use of annotations!
YAY for more awesome tech skill integration! Students interacted with shapes, symbols, emojis, text boxes, and more to really think deeply about their thinking-- metacognition in action! The kids were given sentence stems for reflecting and then had the autonomy to analyze and annotate to their liking.
The younger students copied and pasted symbols and shapes from a bank and the older students were introduced to the NOUN PROJECT. If you haven't checked it out-- it's totally worth a look. I love the way the site embeds copyright for our kids and the library of items to download is AMAZING. Below is the student exemplar!
We have high expectations for our students with this portfolio task and are excited to see what they fashion!
With each first grade lesson, I try to incorporate many "tech-based" skills- everything from right clicking to dragging and dropping.
This week's lesson involved one of the math skills and standards that was being addressed in instruction- creating and analyzing graphs. In terms of technology integration, we always begin with the goal in mind, not the tool. Google Docs ended up being a tool that met our purpose here. Nothing super fancy or extra needed.
First, we looked a pictograph and engaged in some "math talk" as we analyzed the data. Students activated prior knowledge and warmed up for our activity.
Then, we taught the students how to insert emojis (not as images, but rather as special characters) into their graphs to represent ice cream flavor choices. It was important for them to access the insert menu and then change the keyboard option to be emojis. Afterwards, we taught the kids how to fill boxes/cells of a table to, in essence, make the graph. The kids found great success with clicking in the cell, then finding the paint bucket, but struggled with holding down and dragging to highlight multiple cells.
So... needless to say...highlighting in general will be incorporated into the next lesson with these kiddos! Either way, this is a lesson we would totally recommend... full of content and tech skills for our students (and teachers :))!
As you may or may not know, many of our teachers have our students collaborating with other kids across the country. The authentic audience and global connection makes for some pretty powerful learning.
Recently, a fifth grade teacher from South Dakota (shout out to Mrs. Hojer) and Mrs. Guido from DuJardin worked together to create an awesome thanksgiving themed project for their math classes.
Students wrote narratives about a balloon's route in getting to New York for the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade. Then, they used Google My Maps to create a map based on their narrative and shared it with their collaboration buddies. Their buddies then were able to calculate the total number of miles traveled and answered many different math questions based on their journeys.
It was such a neat experience for the kids. Writing narratives for a math purpose was fun. In addition, using Google My Maps was a new tool for our fifth graders- and one that they can hopefully use in other ways- throughout their education and beyond. The math involved was challenging and pushed our students to take ownership of new skills. After all, their work was being seen by their buddies... so they wanted to do their best!
These are the kinds of learning activities our students remember. Our Goal- more of these invaluable opportunities for the kids!
Check it out in action!