Today was a good day.
I started teaching at 8:00am, and I saw half of the 5th grade class for 50 minutes. Today, we created Glogster posters. The students had to become residents of the original thirteen colonies and convince others not to follow or participate in the Stamp Act of 1765. My requirements were that they had to have three to five factual statements backing their claims, and they had to embed at least one photo on their posters. Many of the students also embedded video into their posters as well.
At 8:50am, the sixth graders came to the lab, and I showed them how to use Google Forms. They saw the form itself, the answer form, and the resulting spreadsheet. They were told they had to utilize at least three of the question types (for example, essay, multiple choice, checkbox, fill-in-the-blank…). They went through Chapter 10 of their social studies books, and they created their own ten-question quizzes. After they created the quiz, they had to send it to the sixth grade group address. This gives each student a copy of the quiz. With at least 30 students in the class, that will end up giving each student a 300-question study guide before their test next week.
At 9:40am, the eight graders, led by one of their classmates, began compiling their research, pictures, and scripts about how computers work. They each researched the different parts of a computer, drew pictures, and wrote scripts about it all. Together, they will film what they’ve learned, and it will be shown during the last week of school to the Kindergarten through seventh grade classes. Because the computer lab is moving to a new building over summer, we’ll have no access to the computers during the last week of school as they get packed away. The “leader” of this project is an 8th grade member of the technology club I run on Mondays after school, and he is, hands-down, a great kid who has incredible skills.
Unfortunately, 7th grade was on a field trip today, so I missed seeing them. Students were assigned different explorers, and they’ll present (their choice of media) the information with graphics, video, and text. I’m sure they’ll knock my socks off… They’ll finish their work on these early European explorers on Thursday.
During my prep time, I listened to the technology coordinator share about the webinar she attended on PowerSchool earlier that morning. We discussed different scenarios, website integration, staff/teacher training, and lots of other great ideas. I did some research for my budget next year. I also looked at Chromebooks again; this time, I was looking at them for the faculty.
Right before lunch, I looked at my lesson for Kindergarten for tomorrow. The teacher wanted me to help them with recognizing and identifying money (coins, mostly). I went into Kidspiration and created an introductory activity, and I found a non-linguistic (mostly pictures) game for them to play to identify and count coins. It will help them with their counting and adding, but most importantly, it will give them more mousing, fine-motor, and hand-eye coordination to practice. Score!
After lunch, the first graders came to the lab. Their teacher wanted them to work on their knowledge of comparative and superlative adjectives. For those who aren’t familiar with the terminology, comparative is between two things (in the case of the word big, an item would be bigger than another); superlative is among many (three or more) and has -est added to the end of the word (biggest, in this case). During lunch, I asked the primary teachers (K-4) to give me adjectives. I wrote down as many as I could (about 40), and I took the list with me to the lab. Each student picked a word from the list, and in Kidspiration software, they wrote the adjective in its regular form, the comparative form, and the superlative form. One first grader blew me away with her tiny tree, a medium-sized tree, and a large tree with the labels near, nearer, and nearest. AMAZING. The first grade teacher received 30 different adjectives with comparative and superlatives in a nice unbound booklet.
This was a good day, indeed. It’s days like this that I absolutely love my job, and fortunately, 99% of my days are like this one.