Monday, May 31, 2010

Kids as Commentators

More and more students are being invited and given access to online discussions, forums and comments on blogs. This is wonderful, the classroom walls are open and children have the freedom to make observations and remarks on other student's posts.

Consequently, it is important for teachers to train children in the 'art' of commenting. There are several rules of netiquette they need to follow. They have to understand that this is an extension of the classroom walls and that rules that they follow in the classroom cross over to their behaviour in online environments.
Here is guide to start students off as online commentators. Use this as a springboard for talking about the type of comments we make, what are good questions and answers for forums and discussions, and most of all how this is a fun, engaging, collaborative extension of our learning.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Volcanoes, computers, animations - Authentic Context

One of my schools are studying Volcanoes at the moment, and as we live in the city of Volcanoes (Auckland), this was a great opportunity to link our learning to an authentic context.

ICT component: View this slideshow, click on the links and follow the instructions on the slide.
Work through the PowerPoint file 'Making a Volcano'
  • watch the animation on how a volcano erupts
  • Look at the Shake, Rattle and Roll site, take notes on what the animations look like
  • Look at the animations on Weather Whizz kids and take notes
  • Look at the different types of Volcanoes on Volcano Explorer, build your own virtual Volcano and see how it erupts
Follow the animation steps in the Animating objects PowerPoint and practice making an animation.

Once all of the students have made the animation, share them with the class and talk about if the animations are in the right order. Revisit Volcano Explorer and look at all of the different volcanoes and identify the different ways the volcanoes erupt.
Ask the students can they identify what type of volcano they have, and if the order of eruption correct. If not then they can work on their volcanoes to  make the necessary adjustments.

Further Activities:
  • Select one of the Volcanoes in Auckland, take a photo or find a photo, crop it, identify what type of volcano it is and create a volcanic eruption simulation
  • create a volcanic simulation of your local volcano, upload to Slideboom, embed in a Glogster poster explaining the type of volcano it is 
  • Read 'Under the Mountain' by Maurice Gee (a fantasy fiction based some of the volcanoes in Auckland) Create a map showing the positions and type of volcano,  create a simulation for the 3 different volcanoes