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Creating to Learn: Implementing 21st Century Technologies to Teach the Common Core

March 2012 Amanda Blakley, M.S. Instructional Technology,
Technology Facilitator

Kathy Vandeventer, NBPTS, MLS,
Library/Teacher

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Contents
Introduction ................................................................................................................................ 3 Contact information .................................................................................................................... 3 Set-up and management of log-ins, passwords page ideas ....................................................... 4 Logins..................................................................................................................................... 4 Login Management ................................................................................................................. 4 Managing Classrooms ............................................................................................................... 4 Preparation Before a Project ...................................................................................................... 5 Designing assignments that empower students and motivate learning ....................................... 5 Be flexible and creative! ......................................................................................................... 5 Things to consider when designing and planning ................................................................... 6 Application and use of 4 main programs: Kerpoof, ToonDoo, Storybird, and GoAnimate for Schools. ..................................................................................................................................... 7 Kerpoof................................................................................................................................... 7 ToonDoo ...............................................................................................................................10 GoAnimate for Schools, an animation program with virtually no learning curve. ....................15 Storybird ................................................................................................................................18 Building student ability and confidence by scaffolding ...........................................................22 Providing opportunities for students to evaluate and analyze information in order to develop ideas and products. ...............................................................................................................24

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Introduction
We are the Media Specialist (Kathy) and Technology Facilitator (Amanda) from Dillard Drive Elementary school. We have worked very hard to co-teach, combine classes, and to create a “Learning Center” environment instead of a Media Center and Computer Lab within our school. In general, we create project learning based experiences for our students and constantly try to live outside of the fixed schedule box. We have found that this rejuvenates us and gets kids excited about learning.

Contact information
Kathy Vandeventer Media Specialist, Dillard Drive Elementary kvandeventer@wcpss.net www.kathyv.com

Amanda Blakley Technology Facilitator, Dillard Drive Elementary ablakley@wcpss.net livetechknowlogy.blogspot.com
www.blakleytech.com

This session will cover
1. Set-up and management of log-ins, passwords, and class groups. 2. Designing assignments that empower students and motivate learning. 3. Application and use of 4 main programs: Storybird, GoAnimate, ToonDoo, Kerpoof. 4. Building student ability and confidence by scaffolding the learning of technology & information skills. 5. Providing opportunities for students to evaluate and analyze information in order to develop ideas and products.

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Set-up and management of log-ins, passwords page ideas
Logins
K-3 students- In general, we use our school’s name and mascot in some form to give usernames to our K-3 students. We come up with a pre-set password that everyone in K-3 uses. (So far we have not had a problem with one student messing with another student’s account) For our 4th and 5th graders, we create their logins using their first name and their homeroom teacher’s last name. On a large scale, this helps us keep track of which kids are in which class. On some occasions we allow students to come up with their own passwords, as long as it is relatively easy for us to re-set. Overall, we do not have to re-set many passwords. This teaches students to be responsible for their own online access at a safe level.

Login Management
K-3 students are given a laminated index card with their login information. These cards are kept in a box accessible to students in either the media or technology lab. This information is also kept in a “K-5 passwords & login binder” so that if cards are lost, we still have the student’s login information. Since 4th and 5th graders have to use their first names, we don’t have much to manage. The most difficult thing we come across is students continually enrolling and needing to be added in order to participate. If you have multiple classes (middle school & high school teachers), students could use the period they have that class as their last name and their first name as their username. This would still allow you to identify students online.

Managing Classrooms
Hard and Fast rules with zero tolerance (We’ve learned this the hard way!). Trash talking, bullying, and just being mean to other students will get you booted out of a project. This may result in losing computer and Internet privileges, practicing EOG questions in our class for several weeks, or doing the project with paper & pencil. If you witness someone being cruel, mean or just nasty you must report it or risk being penalized yourself. (This is not tolerated and results in, at minimum, a phone call home and a write-up.)

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NEVER post personal information, or allow students to create accounts without their parents’ permission. As the teacher, you can create class accounts, but you never know what personal information a child might put in if they “sign up” on their own.

Preparation Before a Project
Depending on the size of the project, give yourself time to plan and gather materials and resources. We normally give ourselves 2-3 weeks for this. This ends up letting us feel more relaxed throughout a project rather than constantly feeling behind.

Preparing your Students
Digital Citizenship- Before starting any project, we spend at least 3 weeks (6 class periods total) to review how to work in groups, the definition of cyberbullying and how to report it, and time spent looking at really successful stories that get the kids inspired (this leaves much less time for trouble). We combine resources from NetSmartz (Goes from K-2, 3-5, 6-8 and 9-12), “The Adventures of Captain Kara and the SMART Crew” online videos (K-4), and other websites to educate students on cybersafety. Here is a link to my YouTube playlist “Internet Safety 2-3”. Younger students need to make the connection that just as their mouths (talking) can get them in trouble, so can their fingers typing(even with education on Internet Rules it took them a bit to make the connection). We tell them that their fingers are “talking” for them on the Internet and could result in punishment.

Designing assignments that empower students and motivate learning
Last year we had 1 grade level doing projects at once, this year we have 3. It takes time to get comfortable, so allow yourself to make mistakes and know that this process is NOT perfect. It is easy to get wrapped up in the quality of the projects, and while that is important it is the process itself that you are trying to teach. Setting high expectations for yourself and your students is important. You will be surprised how quickly you and your students begin to meet and exceed expectations.

Be flexible and creative!
Don’t be afraid to teach outside of the box: Our 4th grade students were assigned a North Carolina research paper, in their general education classroom, this past fall. Each student was

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given a letter of the alphabet. The student then had to research a word that had to do with North Carolina. For example, one student had to do a 5 paragraph essay on the Dogwood, the state flower. We had kids come to us crying because they could not come up with 5 separate paragraphs about a tree using the who, what, when, where and how process and how it was linked to North Carolina. By the end of the project, none of the kids wanted to talk about North Carolina, much less research it. When we found this out, we definitely were worried. Last year it was easy to get the kids excited about Blackbeard and North Carolina ghost stories. So this year, we had to make some changes before we started, or it would be a very long and likely unsuccessful project. We expanded our topics to a wide range of historical places, outdoor adventures, myths & legends, famous North Carolinians and notable athletes. Our assignments/projects are designed to inspire and motivate students to go through the creation, research, or writing process from beginning to end. Since projects can take up to 9 weeks, we really need the kids to be highly interested and engaged throughout the whole process.

Things to consider when designing and planning
Here are some important things that we have found to make a project more successful: Give Choices Show examples (inspiring videos or examples from Ted Talks, YouTube, etc.; from students in previous years, from other kids in the class who have done a great job) Share ongoing work - it often generates a shot of new energy. Offer to edit with students on an interactive board. Students learn editing skills while waiting for their turn, how to take criticism, and often leave to reexamine their own work. IF products can be created to be relevant in a public venue students are more engaged. 5th grade creating a digital story with an author’s purpose for a specific grade level. Wrap up project by introducing themselves and their story to prospective teachers with a written letter and setting up a time to read to their class. Morning Show examples: commercials, infomercials, show student work and conduct brief interviews Websites like Weebly or Google can be used to post student work.

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Share your expectations and rubrics at the beginning of a project, so that the students and parents know what to expect. MAKE SURE YOU HAVE TAKEN THE CYBERSENSE TRAINING THROUGH WAKE COUNTY BEFORE POSTING ANYTHING.

Application and use of 4 main programs: Kerpoof, ToonDoo, Storybird, and GoAnimate for Schools.

Kerpoof

Program Description: This site is owned by Disney and it is FREE! You can create accounts for your class, allow students to send messages to each other, and save and publish student work. Still want to know more? Click here to go to the official site.

Img. Captured from Kerpoof site

Here are the activities that they provide: Spell A Picture- Add pictures to your landscape by spelling the items correctly. Make A Movie- Create a basic animation that includes adding characters and programming a variety of movements for them, adding music and text bubbles. Make A Card and Make A Picture- self explanatory :) Make A Drawing - Kids can save their drawings and insert them into other activities (Make A Movie, Tell A Story)

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Tell A Story- Kids can create a digital story by selecting backgrounds, characters and objects to tell their story. There is plenty of space below the scene for students to type their story.

How to Use
Create a teacher account. Trick- You have to create a Kerpoof login before creating a teacher login.

Class Assignments 2nd grade- The first assignment for the students was to create a digital story using the Tell A Story section. We didn’t put any restrictions on the students for what they needed to write about, just focused on going through the writing process. This included showing additional instructional videos on punctuation, grammar and basic writing conventions, as well as writing with a focus, and using descriptive words and the 5 senses. The second assignment, which we have not finished yet, is for students to create a movie using the Make A Movie section. Students will be expected to create an animation with at least 3 scenes, use captions, insert music, and program characters to move from one point to another. Students can also modify their avatar, send each other messages, and purchase items to add to their inventory as they earn coins and complete work. These are some of the most appealing features of the program for students.

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Kerpoof Rubric

Level 4Above Expectations Excellent

Level 3Meets Expectations Good

Level 2Below Expectations (1 area) Satisfactory
There are a few lapses in focus. Readers remain interested. Problem seems to be resolved but solution is unclear.

Level 1Far Below (2 or more areas) Needs Improvement
Story is unfocused and often off topic. It is difficult to understand the problem. In general it is hard to figure out what is going on, the reader loses interest.

Focus Problem

Maintains a clear focus from beginning to end. Problem is logical and efforts to solve the problem move story forward. Explains new concepts and information in own words. Characters, and settings engage readers. Punctuation is used throughout story to clarify meaning and purpose.

Focus and/or problem established early in story, but resolved too quickly. Or message becomes unclear. Characters, storyline, and setting support purpose, but story ends abruptly.

Punctuation

Few punctuation errors. Punctuation errors do not affect the flow of the story.

Several punctuation errors cause the reader to reread but interest is maintained. Four or more capital letters are missing.

Punctuation makes reading the story difficult and interrupts story.

Capital Letters

Capital Letters are used in all the right places throughout story. Words chosen make the story more interesting and add depth. Similes and describing words are chosen carefully. *Generates and uses synonyms for overused words.

Capital letters are absent in no more than two locations. Words are not re-used within the same paragraph. There are descriptions that engage the reader and add to the story.

Little punctuation throughout story.

Language/ Applies Strategies to create written/visual texts

Language meets the basic requirements for keeping the story readable and interesting. Word choices could be improved.

Words are repeated throughout story. It is difficult to understand characters and their motivation throughout the story.

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The Pros: Introductory “social” program for students in a safe environment. Kerpoof allows students to save and share their work (if they have a login) Reward system- students are rewarded for their completed work with Kerpoof coins. Students can use their Kerpoof coins to purchase accessories or items for their “inventory” to use when working on a story, drawing, or movie. Create class logins The Cons: Sometimes it can be slow Can’t create assignments

ToonDoo

Program Description ToonDoo allows users to create cartoons, cartoon books, create characters, draw items onto backgrounds and characters and import pictures into cartoons. It also has a messaging component called Soshiya.

How to Use It I set up the homepage using easy to follow directions, and imported my graphics. The graphics needed to be sized down, be aware that time will be wasted trying to use any ornate or detailed pictures or illustrations. The last touch to the homepage was to make and embed a cartoon to welcome students. Next, I went into the character galleries and removed the more risqué ones. I set-up user accounts in a bulk set-up. That was VERY easy. This seems to be the biggest difference between paid and unpaid programs. The set-up is made much easier by having money- isn’t everything? The screenshots on the next page show the top of the home page of our domain.

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This is where students select their activity. COMIC STRIP CREATOR- Students select one, two, or three box cartoon strips in which they will create cartoons. BOOKMAKER- It is here that students insert multiple cartoons to create toonbooks. TRAITR-Individual and original characters can be created here and added to the gallery. DOODLER-It is here that, mustaches and/or other items they can be drawn and added to cartoons. IMAGINER- Pictures can be imported, edited, and used in ToonDoo cartoons.

Pricing Since we were low on funds we purchased 130 accounts for 10 months at a cost of $246.00. You may put your account on hold and resume at a later date at any time. We are going to go on hold in June and not resume until September to extend our subscription as long as possible.

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This link provides information and demos on anything you could want to find out about ToonDoo, including pricing. http://www.toondoospaces.com/demo/

Class Assignments The assignment to 3rd graders: 1. Create cartoons with a common character or theme. 2. Combine at least three of their cartoons to create a Toonbook that must be edited and submitted for a grade. 2. Put together an original character in the TRAITOR and save it to the gallery. 3. Use the DOODLR to draw something that can be added to one of their cartoons in the Toonbook. 4. Use Imaginr to import a picture into one of their cartoons. 5. Use Soshiya Map to send an appropriate message in the ToonDoo program

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ToonDoo Rubric

Level 4Above Expectations Excellent

Level 3Meets Expectations Good

Level 2Below Expectations (1 area) Satisfactory

Level 1Far Below (2 or more areas) Needs Improvement

Action

Action makes makes sense from one panel to another Characters are believable in all panels. Captions are well written and edited for punctuation, grammar, and usage. Comics chosen for Toonbook have a clear purpose and/or message. Throughout comics a common theme unites the book into a complete product.

Most of the action makes sense from one panel to another. Characters are believable in most panels. Captions make sense and are edited for punctuation, grammar, and usage. Comics chosen for Toonbook have a purpose or a message. Throughout comics a general theme unites the book into a complete product.

Some of the action makes sense from one panel to another. Characters are adequate in some panels. Captions may or may not always make sense; some are not edited for punctuation, grammar and usage. Comics strips are of good quality. The theme is vague but it is still an entertaining Toonbook/product.

Action does not make sense from one panel to another. Characters are not believable. Captions don’t make sense and are not edited for punctuation, grammar, and usage. Comics strips are difficult to understand. There is little to no meaning or purpose.

Characters

Captions

Message and/or Purpose

Adapted from http://readwritethink.org Y/N
1. Create cartoons with a common character or theme. 2. Combine at least three of cartoons to create a Toonbook it must be edited and submitted for a grade. ______________ ______________

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3. Put together an original character in the TRAITOR and save it to the gallery. 4. Use the DOODLR to draw something that can be added to one of the cartoons in the Toonbook. 5. Use Imaginr to import a picture into one of the cartoons. 6. Use Soshiya to send an appropriate message in the ToonDoo program.

______________

______________ ______________ ______________

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GoAnimate for Schools, an animation program with virtually no learning curve.
Program Description A child-safe animation program that allows elementary students to begin understanding the animation process. This program allows students to create animations using backgrounds, creating characters, text-to-voice and record their voices live.

How to Use It This animation program is extremely easy to use. We took a hands-off approach with our students and let them “explore” the website in order to figure out how to use it. For more complex tasks (moving objects forward or behind, adjusting effects, etc.) we stepped in and helped the students. Overall, everyone had the program figured out within a couple of class sessions. We created several videos for our school morning show as a way to provide announcements and get the kids excited about the GoAnimate program.

Class Assignment 4th graders- Big Idea: Research SOMETHING in North Carolina and create a video animation about it. The animation can be either fictional with non-fiction elements or completely non-fiction, depending on how the student decides to use their information to create a story. The animation must be a minimum of 1 minute and tell the complete story, or be long enough that the snapshot they are recreating leaves the viewer satisfied. Students have access to an NC Resources Livebinder that has reliable websites that we have gathered with plenty of interesting information to research. Once students gather information, they are required to plan out their stories using either a storyboard or a pre-writing graphic organizer.

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GoAnimate Rubric

Level 4Above Expectations Excellent

Level 3Meets Expectations Good

Level 2Below Expectations (1 area) Satisfactory

Level 1Far Below (2 or more areas) Needs Improvement
Information is loosely related to North Carolina. Purpose and focus are unclear for most of animation. Research was discontinued before enough information was discovered. Action does not make sense from one panel to another.

Content / Accuracy / Engagement Factor

Information is related to North Carolina. Facts are accurately represented. The purpose is established and focus is clear early in the animation. Video is engaging. Action makes makes sense from one panel to another Characters are believable in all panels. Dialogue is well written and edited for punctuation, grammar, and usage. Voices and audio are true to character’s personality.

Information is related to North Carolina. Facts are accurate. The purpose and focus is maintained for most of the animation. Video is interesting. Most of the action makes sense from one panel to another. Characters are believable in most panels. Dialogue makes sense and is edited for punctuation, grammar, and usage. Audio is efficient at conveying information.

Information is related to North Carolina. Purpose and focus are clear by the end of animation. Video contains an unusual fact or other points of interest. Some of the action makes sense from one panel to another.

Action

Characters

Characters are Characters are not adequate in some believable. panels. Dialogue may or may not always make sense; some are not edited for punctuation, grammar and usage. Audio is okay. Dialogue doesn’t make sense and is not edited for punctuation, grammar, and usage.

Dialogue / Audio

Y/N
1. Locate area of interest and research N.C. information for video. 2. Use a Storyboard to map out details of animation. ______________ ______________

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3. Create an animation with focus and purpose of informing. 4. Develop an engaging video with authentic and interesting characters. 5. Work until story is complete and length is appropriate to depth of story. 6. Add audio that is clear with character voices that add to story and give necessary information.

______________ ______________ ______________

______________

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The Pros: The cost has dropped dramatically- We paid about $1.20 per student. It is HIGHLY motivating with options to create your own, add your own voice, and even upload your own pictures as backgrounds and props. Students have learned how to do research and then use GoAnimate for Schools to reenact history. Students have begun to scrutinize the information they are reading to look for the facts that would make their animation more interesting or reveal little known facts. There is a chat feature that will allow students to have a monitored introduction to social networks. Export to YouTube or embed video on your website Provide comments and feedback directly to a video (like on YouTube) Can organize classes and easily keep track of students. Easily add students, re-set passwords. The Cons: Some limitations with the animation software. Some of our higher level users run into walls with what they want to create. (This is a small number out of the majority). You can’t moderate some of the students’ messages/videos. It’s either ALL or NONE.

Storybird
Program Description Storybird is a website that provides a venue for online storytelling.

How to Use: Click here to view Storybird training tutorials on YouTube (created by techteacher18). These videos will help you get your class and assignments set up with step-by-step directions.

Grade/Class Assignment 5th grade (although you could use this with 2nd-5th) Write 2 stories

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1- Indentify a grade level that will be your target audience. (This means that the story will be appropriate and entertaining to this age group of children.) 2- View the various illustrators’ art and select an artist for your story. 3- Create a fictional digital story using your imagination, the sky is the limit! 4- Edit your work and have it reviewed by at least one teacher. 5- Practice reading your story aloud with expression and fluency. 6- Write a letter introducing yourself and your story. Provide your name and some information about you, a brief summary of your story, the time when you are available to show your story on the teacher’s LCD projector and read it aloud. 7- Give the teacher the assignment rubric so that you can gather information about your project and performance while you teach the class. 8- Use this form to help you fill out your self-evaluation. 9- Fill out the self-evaluation form and turn it into Ms. Blakley or Mrs. VanDeventer. (WE FILL OUT THE SAME RUBRIC AS THE TEACHER AFTER WE RECEIVE THE STUDENTS SELF-EVALUATION.) 10- Create a story with non-fiction elements OR create a story that is completely nonfiction. REMEMBER: You need to make sure that your story has correct punctuation and grammar before you publish it and turn it in. When you’re writing, focus on creating a story using descriptive words, avoid commonly used words and try to “write with your senses”.

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Storybird Rubric

Level 4Above Expectations Excellent

Level 3Meets Expectations Good

Level 2Below Expectations (1 area) Satisfactory

Level 1Far Below (2 or more areas) Needs Improvement
Unfocused story and confusing problems make story hard to understand. In general it is difficult to figure out what is going on, the reader loses interest.

Focus & Problem

Maintains a clear focus from beginning to end. *Problem is logical and efforts to solve the problem move story forward. Explains new concepts and information in own words to develop story through plot, setting, major events, and characters. Punctuation is used throughout story to clarify meaning and purpose. Grammar and capital letters enhance reading and understanding and interest of story. Story is appropriate for

Message and/or problem established early in story, but resolved too quickly. Or message becomes unclear. Characters, storyline, and setting support purpose, but story ends abruptly.

There are a few lapses in focus, but the story remains fairly clear. Word choices give readers enough information to maintain interest. Problem seems to be resolved but solution is unclear.

Punctuation, Grammar, and Capital Letters

Few punctuation errors. Punctuation errors do not effect the flow of the story. Grammar is not perfect but does not impact understanding and interest of story. Story is appropriate for

Several punctuation errors cause the reader to reread but interest is maintained. Grammar causes reader to reread but ultimately understand story.

Punctuation makes reading the story difficult and interrupts story. Grammar and capital letters negatively impact story.

Target Audience / Content

Story is complete with occasional

Story is not appropriate for

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grade level for which it is written. Content is interesting and engaging. Language/Applies Strategies to create written/visual texts Words chosen to make the story more interesting and add depth. Similes and describing words are chosen carefully. *Synonyms replace overused words.

grade level. Content keeps attention of reader throughout story. Words are not reused within the same paragraph. There are descriptions that engage the reader and add to the story.

lapses in information which slightly confuse reader. Ending brings it back together. Language meets the basic requirements for keeping the story readable and interesting. Word choices could be improved.

target audience. Content/story is confusing and does not make sense. Words are repeated throughout story. It is difficult to understand characters and their motivation throughout the story.

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The Pros: It is easy to use and there are no storage issues since the site stores their work for free online. It provides high quality illustrations that provoke thought, stimulate imagination, and engage learners in the creative process. Teachers can create 75 free student accounts. Teachers can create multiple assignments with due dates, assignment descriptions and requirements. The Cons: Once you select an illustrator you must stay with that artwork. You cannot deviate and mix art work from multiple artists. Reviewing stories can be time consuming. We struggle with this. Overall, we see two classes for 2- 45 minute periods a week. In all we have approximately 60 fifth graders a day in the same 45 minute span. Sometimes it can freeze up or take extra time to save. Normally this isn’t a big issue for us.

Potential Ideas that haven’t been proven but might be useful: Assign groups to a certain day of the week or date. At that time those students need to come up and have a writer’s conference with the teacher. It would be great if this could occur on an interactive board. Students have begun to scrutinize the information they are reading to look for the facts that would make their animation more interesting or reveal little known facts. Within this process they have become more careful and aware of plagiarism. Having experienced it firsthand with some of their own work being borrowed made it a personal affront!

Building student ability and confidence by scaffolding
On a large scale, designing and implementing projects that scaffold the learning of technology and information skills over a period of kindergarten through fifth grade has decreased our work load. In grades K-2 we prepare students with a base knowledge of skills and tools that will be built on further in depth in grades 3-5. By doing this, students are more ready to begin problem based learning projects and complete them independently. We have also found that it is easier to identify students that have knowledge gaps or are struggling.

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What does this mean for a classroom teacher? Well, scaffolding actually seems to make differentiation easier. Also, you can look at it as a spectrum, where students are continually adding and expanding on what they already know. Students seem to have more of a sense of meaning when they can see that one skill they have connects to a new product they can create. Each facilitative method used is chosen as an individually tailored instructional tool. The tools we utilize the most in scaffolding student learning are: Breaking the task into smaller more, manageable parts. Using think alouds’ or verbalizing thinking processes when completing a task. Cooperative learning, which promotes teamwork and dialogue among peers. (Say: This has been a great surprise because as they have become proficient in different areas they have started to complement each other when they are helping one another. The respect for each others’ work is obvious) Concrete prompts Questioning Coaching Modeling Referencing similarities to previous activities to activate background knowledge. For instance students are taught to upload images and use audacity and save them. (Say: while they may not be completely engaged as if they were working on a project it provides a recent background experience/knowledge). Giving tips and sharing strategies Using consistent cues Teach procedures It is vital that we remain mindful of keeping the learner in pursuit of the task while minimizing the learner’s stress level. When it becomes obvious that a student is stressed and frustrated it is usually necessary to: Rethink, Reteach, and/or Remodel tasks. By the end of 5th grade most of our students know how to: Create presentations with pictures and transitions, type various word processing documents and insert pictures, create animations, Animotos, create digital stories, add audio, create avatars, distinguish which program is most appropriate to use, e-mail, instant message, blogs,

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wikis, create hyperlinks, embed html code, explore and identify valid resources, upload and download files, fluent in technical vocabulary,

Providing opportunities for students to evaluate and analyze information in order to develop ideas and products.
This has been the most challenging area, because even though we like to think we are outside of the box- the box has been bigger than we originally thought. We have had to become more attentive to process and less attentive to the final product. It has forced us to reexamine the structure of our assignments and to allocate time for students to reflect. In our assignments we are trying to provide an outside evaluation of the product and then allow students to use that evaluation to examine and analyze their work and the success of their original goals and intentions. We have been very successful at doing this in our 5th Grade Storybird project. Students are using the feedback they get on a rubric they give the classroom teachers who allow them to present and read their digital story in their classroom, and use their own opinions and thoughts to fill out a self-evaluation. A couple of the comments students have made are: “I thought my story was really funny, but no one laughed. I guess I am going to have go back and work on it some more.” And “The students were paying attention the WHOLE time!” Having a real-life assignment has opened up a whole new need for evaluation and analyzing. Another adjustment we have had to become accustomed to, is allowing projects to go on for a full 9 week period. THE PROCESS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANY ARTIFICIAL DEADLINES WE COULD IMPOSE. Developing ideas and challenging students to stop thinking that there was a magical right answer has been easier than we thought. Exposing students to thought provoking books and Internet resources has been invaluable. With a little guidance into the area we are heading, and a bit of leg work in finding cool or interesting sources, the door has opened. It seems that under all the A B C or D answers there are still kids dreaming up ideas and imagining what might or might not be possible. RESOURCES WE USE: Wonderopolis Commercials Invention books/Cultural books NCWise Owl Ted Talks You Tube PBS Learning Media

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