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WHERETO with Technology

WHERETO with Technology, a Learning by Design course for the Parkway School District


 Day 1 Presentation  Day 1 Summary

Group Work on 'W'

Group 1:  Pre-assessment for the present tense, investigating Moodle as a way to deliver assessments more regularly
Group 2: Investigating Senteo as a formative assessment tool
Group 3: Created a Smart Notebook page that works as a tool for self-assessment.  Students use this towards the end of learning a concept in order for teachers to identify which students need more help before moving forward.  
Group 4: Worked on the same tool  as Group 3.

Group Work on 'H'
Group 1: Looked at ways to "be less helpful" in the chapter on the subjunctive.  For this hook, students are asked to create a skit that includes dialogue they don't know how to formulate in Spanish.  The challenge provokes questions that the subsequent lessons begin to answer.
Group 2: Looked at math lessons created Smart Notebook by other Parkway elementary teachers for inspiration, as well as at exchange.smarttech.com . Translated existing paper-based performance task (how many arrangements of the room are possible?) into an introduction to the unit, where students actually rearrange the desks of their own classroom.
Group 3: Created a 'birthday party' hook that will act as a touchstone for math concepts as they occur.  Each time students acquire a new skill, they will build onto the story of the 'party' they are planning.  
Group 4: Re-examined the order of math concepts as they are presented by the textbook and created a question as their hook for the upcoming unit: "How can we think faster than a calculator?" - a focus on developing mental math capabilities

 Day 2 Presentation  Day 2 Summary
Group Work on 'E'

Elementary: Our group discussed ways to connect students to real people around the state, the nation, and the world through Skype.  We also investigated ways for students to interact with one another virtually through Edmodo and Wallwisher.  

Secondary: Our group discussed various ways to engage students with the SMART Board in the language classroom.  We reviewed how to use the SMART Board in tandem with the document camera, discussed what manipulatives in the gallery were especially effective when helping students acquire another language, and shared Notebook files we've used with students.  We also looked at how students might benefit from international exchanges using Skype, ePals, VoiceThread, and Vimeo.

Group Work on 'R' 

No work on 'R' this session - 'E' was just too engaging!

Day 3 Presentation

Day 3 Summary 


Group Sharing
Tech Tools:
  • Delicious - social bookmarking site allows teachers to create folders of resources, accessible from anywhere
  • Discovery Education - Assignment Builder allows teachers to push video and interactive resources to students on topics of science, social studies, and more.
  • YouTube movie trailers - great way to introduce recognizing setting in a reading unit
  • Khan Academy - math resources to reinforce or supplement information from the classroom
  • Symbaloo - visual "app-like" shortcuts to online resources.  A teacher can set up a Symbaloo page as a starting page for student research.
  • Quizlet - Online flashcard tool - two articles about using it in the classroom can be found on my blog - a guest post from a social studies teacher and an overview of the set-up process and important features.

Large Group Discussion on 3 of the Six Facets of Understanding
  • Perspective - What does "perspective" look like in your classroom?
    • Confusion.  Students ask "Why do they do it this way?"  Visuals help.  Students demonstrate a need for rules, but gradually become comfortable with the idea that rules aren't clear cut. (Foreign Language teachers)
    • Concrete thinkers struggle.  Videos help, especially in discussions about body language.  Role play combined with video allows students to act and then analyze the interactions of others. (Special Education teachers)
    • Students are moving out of the ego phase, and they respond enthusiastically to questions.  "What are the British thinking?", and other questions pique their interest.  History is approachable, especially with primary source documents. Keep in mind the selection of texts - these students are forming conclusions without the teacher's knowledge.  "Would we send cockroaches?" - a student question about what aid to send to Africa - is an example of how limited knowledge can contribute to stereotypes (Upper Elementary teachers)
  • Empathy - How do you help your students move from recognizing someone else's perspective to empathizing with others?
    • During read-aloud time, connect personal experiences.  Allow students to share their own experiences, and allow yourself to be vulnerable by sharing your own.
    • Ask students to play "devil's advocate."  Use debate as a way to assign students the "unpopular" opinion in order to build understanding of both sides of an issue.
    • Word questions to the class using language that encourages "feeling" and not just cognitive recognition.  
    • Take time "off the grid" with an activity like a "magic circle", where students share their perceptions and feelings according to a protocol that establishes trust and promotes understanding.  
    • One of the Habits of Mind is empathetic listening, a skill that students (and their teacher) can practice.  
    • Sharing the Circle of Friends diagram can help students understand social dynamics affecting their peers who have special needs.
  • Self-Knowledge - What practices do you employ in your classroom to help your students grow in their metacognitive understanding?
    • Formative quizzes have been helpful to students, especially one last area on each quiz: "Thinking about Your Thinking" where students must identify which questions they felt most confident about their answer and which they felt weakest, and then they must describe why they felt that way.  (Foreign Language teachers)
    • Students receiving special education services are learning how to keep their own data and learn from it.  They rate their understanding, as well as how effective different teaching strategies have been to their learning. Example data sheets from Stacey Schuler include a student goal worksheet, task analysis template, student goal planning worksheet.
    • A "Metacognitive Day" where students must pause at random moments throughout the day to check their thinking process allows an opportunity for recording and, later, analysis of patterns that affect student achievement.  Asking students to both record and analyze their own data increases their ownership of their own behavior.
    • Ask students to apply a rubric or continuum to their work as they progress (like this Responding to Text Continuum from Pierremont Elementary) 
    • Encourage self-advocacy through an exit slip with questions about general experiences of the day as well as general "learning" for the day.  


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