Tuesday, December 23, 2008
Most of my classes are connecting with at least one class somewhere in our country or around the world. I wanted a way to show all those connections in one place.
The Map Outside My Room
I've been doing a lot of cleaning and tossing of things at home. We are working on selling our house. At the beginning of September I found a National Geographic world map. I had the principal laminate it and I hung it outside the computer lab.
It was a pretty lonely map for most of September and October. I had joined a project with Lisa Parisi called Time Zone Experiences. We had a dot on Long Island, New York and another in West London, England. Next, I joined a Winter Wonderland project. My Kindergarten, first, and third graders created some movies with winter images created in Kid Pix. We have been viewing projects from other classes and leaving comments on the discussion tab on the wiki.
This past week, I needed a couple of quick projects for my fourth and seventh graders. Over on the Elementary Tech Teacher's ning, I saw a message from Vicky saying that her fourth grade students created some Christmas tongue twisters in Voicethread. This was a great opportunity to show the fourth grade what a Voicethread was and how they could contribute. It really didn't take too long to explain how to choose their identity from a list I had preset in my ed.voicethread account. I set up a ten dollar education account last year so that I might have an easier time showing the site at public schools. Now I understand that this may be the only way to sign multiple students on through the same account at the same time.
As a follow up activity, I'm going to have the fourth grade create an image for their avatar in Kid Pix.
I used Voicethead with the current seventh grade when they were in my sixth grade math class last year. They already had avatars and identities. This year, I just had to remind them how to make a comment. They added to Silvia Tolisano's What Could It Mean Voicethread. It was a great activity for Christmas week. They left their ideas on what the images could mean if they lived in a different country or a different part of our country. When we return from vacation, I will assign each image to a group of students. They will have to decide which answer of all the responses could best describe the image. Finally, we'll review the actual answer.
Finally, our sixth grade students will be joining Linda Nitsche's students on a math collaboration. I found it via Lucy Gray's Global Education Collaborative ning's project database. Having taught middle school math for four years, I know there is never enough time to do all you would like with getting students to talk about math. This project will give us four opportunities over the course of the year to work on a data analysis, geometry, number operation, and measurement challenges.
This leaves two grades waiting for collaborations. My eighth grade students do not have a project in the works as of this time. My second grade students will be participating in a monster exchange. It is on the monsterproject.wikispaces.com site that Anna Baralt and I worked on last year. I am really looking forward to the project this year as I do more work in advance on adjectives in the second grade. If you'd like to join us this year, please let me know. We'd be happy to include your second or third grade class.
Ann Oro 23 December 2008.