A Few Ideas for Course 5….

File_000 (5)

When I started trying to think of a final project for course 5 there wasn’t one thing that really popped out yet as a definite choice (but I made this silly picture anyway). There have been moments when I have had ideas, but to be honest I am not yet set on what I want to do. I have chosen to outline a few of the ideas I have had for my grade 3 class below, and answered the questions posed by COETAIL. Hopefully after doing so, I will come to a decision on what I would really like to pursue.

Option 1: Human Exploration

Describe the project: What will your students do?

So the first project I have been thinking of aligns with a Unit of Inquiry I do on exploration. We ask students to examine how exploration has impacted human society is various ways. As a summative project for this unit I would like to have students work in pairs to complete research online (using various search engines like Kiddle and KidRex) about an explorer of their choice. They will then take this research and make a timeline in Padlet of their explorers life.

In addition to their Padlet timeline they will make a short presentation for the class using iMovie where they will do a mock interview of their explorer. One student will act as the interviewer and one will be the explorer. They will let their creativity fly by creating interesting questions and thoughtful answers based on real events and observations.

How does this project reflect your learning from COETAIL?

This project reflects my learning from COETAIL because it integrates technology in a meaningful way into a unit of inquiry. The tools that we will be using are a mix of some I knew about already, and some I have picked up along the COETAIL journey. I am hoping that in using the tools I have chosen, students will have an even wider range of opportunities to express themselves and come to a deeper understanding of the concepts covered.

What goals do you hope to achieve with this project?

I hope that by the time we get this project going that students are effective in their research and are able to search safely using the tools provided to find useful information. I aim for students to be truly collaborative in the process of creating the timeline.I also hope that when students are working together to make the interview using iMovie that it opens them up to be even more engaged and creative during the process.

Why do you think this unit is a good possibility for your Course 5 project?

I think it would be a great option for course 5 because it allows for students to collaborate outside of the classroom through researching and posting though Padlet. It also has them showing presentations skills in a new and creative way through iMovie. It provides students with a lot of choice,not only in their choice of explorer, but also in their interview since they are creating the content (with help from a rubric), and the way that it’s communicated (styles, music, editing).

What are some of your concerns about redesigning this unit?

I don’t have too many. I think the main concern is providing differentiation for students with different needs while still using the same or similar forms of technology. In the past I have had to remove tech from some projects for certain students due to the skills required in order to use them. They still met the learning goal, but were limited in their choice of how they completed a project I will have to be extremely thoughtful when creating the groups, and how I introduce the technology used beforehand so that it is successful for students of all abilities.

What shifts in pedagogy will this new unit require from you?

I think the more I gather experience in the PYP program, the more I am shifting to a student centered approach to learning. I know I will need to spend some time introducing and providing direction for this project, however it is less about explicit instruction and more about inquiry and discovery. I will not be providing students with answers, but rather have them bring information to me and to each other. I will have to ensure that I am keeping students accountable while facilitating their learning and creativity.

What skills and/or attitudes will this new unit require from your students?

We have been working on doing research in both my class and in media studies class so this will be an extension of what they have been learning this year so far. Using Padlet for collaboration will be a new experience, but I think a welcome one. It’s an extremely user friendly site so I have no hesitation about using it. We have not used iMovie in a project yet, so I have yet to plan out how to introduce using it.

I think I will use classes where I have smaller numbers of students in class while others go to religious studies to introduce it. Then I will use those students to help introduce it to others. I often use periods when I am left with half my class to have them get more familiar with learning tools. Then when I have a full class I have some “experts” to help in the teaching.

Option 2: Digital Story Telling ASA for grades 3-5

So my second idea is the my After School Activity. I have eight weeks, with one hour each week, to deliver an ASA of my choice. In the past I have had the opportunity to do a technology club, but it had no central focus. This time I was thinking of doing a digital story telling ASA with a focus on story telling through animation.

Students will use materials in the classroom (clay, paper, objects, photographs) to tell stories of their choice connecting to an overall theme. I am not set on one central theme yet, but I am thinking of things like travel, the universe, or healthy living. I may even have a few different themes depending on how long the stories take to make and potentially one where they get to choose their own. As for the stories,they may be original, or adapted from favorite stories they feel would connect.

How does this project reflect your learning from COETAIL?

I think it’s reflective of the types of new technology I have been introduced to. It’s also a new and innovative way to communicate with one another and feel that overall COETAIL has taught me that communication and connection are central to why people use technology.

What goals do you hope to achieve with this project?

Since it’s an after school activity I think my main goal is that students get inspired to show their creativity. If I have a group of little people excited to use the technology they have to share and grow with one another I have done my job. I also hope it develops their skills in a way that allows them to be used to further their learning in other subjects.

Why do you think this unit is a good possibility for your Course 5 project?

It is extremely student centered and allows students to make their own choices for what they would like to work on. It also meets several of the ISTE standards including the following:

  • Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
  • Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

 

What are some of your concerns about redesigning this unit?
As it stands, I am not re-designing a unit but rather creating a program from scratch to support student creativity outside of the normal classroom. The main concern that comes to mind is that since I cannot predict which students will sign up, I may get a really diverse group of skills and abilities. This can be a positive thing, but also has the potential to bring down the level of work we are able to do if they are not familiar with using the tech tools provided. It may effect the time we have to work on the digital stories, while more time will be spent teaching how to use the tools.
What shifts in pedagogy will this new unit require from you?
For me, this will be a shift to using a new batch of resources for a product I have never produced before. I have always had an interest in animation, but this will be the first time I have worked with it as a teacher. It will be a learning curve, but I plan to be well prepared to provide students they support they need by researching how to introduce it properly and what steps to take to get amazing finished products. Some of the sites I have already looked up for inspiration are here and here….and here!
What skills and/or attitudes will this new unit require from your students?
This question automatically made me think of the PYP learner profile attributes and attitudes. Collaboration will be a large part of these ASA so I think that students should have a mindset of cooperation and respect for one another. They should also show that they can be risk-takers with their creativity. I aim for them to be confident in trying new things and developing strategies for storytelling.
In Conclusion….
I am excited about both of these options. I may be slightly more excited about the ASA idea since I love the open concept, but I welcome feedback or ideas that those reading this may have. I look forward to it!
|
One comment to “A Few Ideas for Course 5….”
One comment to “A Few Ideas for Course 5….”
  1. You have two really good options, Tanya and it’s obvious you have thought through both carefully. I love your ASA option, but I just wonder if you will really have enough time with the kids in that setting to get all the documentation you would need to create your video and actual final project. Seems like you might, and if your ASA is a smaller number of students than your regular class, that might help with the individual attention aspect as well. Good luck with whichever option you choose!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *