Friday, August 13, 2010

Space Technology Unit

The latest technology unit I have written is on Space. The focus of the unit is to understand that several models need to be made and tested before a prototype can be created.
Click on the Full button to see this document in full screen.
The Juniors are going to be making Origami spaceships and the Seniors will be creating spaceships according to their own specifications.

The Seniors will be looking at Richard Bransons 'Spaceship Two'

The seniors also have a PowerPoint with links to the websites and movies that will help them with their tasks.
The assessment for the Seniors is to itemise the steps that it has taken to get to the final design of Spaceship Two.

As an Extra...
These students worked on the Volcano eruptions last term so suggesting that they animate the orbiting of planets around the sun was not a difficult task for them to achieve. They were able to apply the same techniques they used with animating 'Erupting Volcanoes'.

Which of course lead to them wanting to animate spaceships.

Students can create their own 'Spaceships/Rockets' in Paint or Artrage. These are then animated in PowerPoint or Keynote.

We used Artrage to create backgrounds.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Lifting Student Achievement with Technology

This is a presentation created by a teacher to present to the Board of Trustees. This teacher is a self confessed Luddite who two years ago did not like working with computers in her classroom. Now she is totally sold. What is so wonderful about this presentation is the evidence the teacher has to how computers and the use of the 'mimio' have 'significantly' lifted student achievement in her class.

Younger Students and Computers - you need to teach them how

Teachers of younger children tend to not let their students use the computers for independent activities, mainly because
  • the children have no mouse skills
  • they don't know how to single or double click
  • they don't know how to navigate within the website or the game
With the younger ones and the ones that not so able, use the math activities as a teaching tool, rather than as an independent activity. This way students will learn how to do the activity with you modelling and coaching them. I always talk through what I am doing with them. In the  example to the right, I would show them how to open the file, I would have spare keyboards available and when we are ready to type the answer into the square, I would say
"How many suns are in this circle, lets count them, see how I'm moving the mouse pointer over each sun. So what is the answer? Now we will type the answer into the square below, but first we must click in the box, now we type the answer." Then we would repeat that process but this time I would be asking, what is the next step we have to do, once they have the idea I would then hand the activity over to the children. After a while of demonstrating whilst teaching, students will be able to do the activities independently. This is the ideal time to teach troubleshooting as you will see what children have difficulty with.

In the example below I would teach children how to open up the PowerPoint file, what button to click to turn it into a slideshow and then how to get the PowerPoint pen. If you have an IWB or mimio, then you can save the file as a PDF and then import into the notebook software so that the notebook pens can be used.
View more presentations from Jacqui Sharp.

Don't ever assume that young children know how to use the tools or the buttons, they need to be taught by you demonstrating it.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Make a Poetry file

I remember many years ago as a student teacher having to create a poetry file for an assignment. I cut up cardboard, used fancy felt-tips, wrote a different poem on each cardboard sheet, illustrated took hours and hours.
When I visit junior classrooms, I often see blown up Poem Cards that teachers are using with children. I advise teachers to make IWB notebook files of their poems. Once they have made their poetry files and saved as a single document, they can use them in conjunction with their Poem cards.
They can use all of the tools such as 'highlighter, shapes, pen tool' to teach conventions of text and poetry. The blown up Poem Cards are still used as independent reading activities.

If you do not have an Interactive Board, but you do have a projector than make your poem files in PowerPoint or Keynote (or Google Presentation) files.
Use your whiteboard markers to teach conventions of text and poetry.