Grade 6: Feudal Systems in Europe and Japan/Persuasive Writing
Last year we integrated technology by having students create a digital presentation of their persuasive writing piece related to a role in a feudal system. I would like to look at expanding the use of technology in other aspects of this unit, especially now that we are 1:1 iPads in grade 6. Some possibilities might be the use of Google Docs for collaborative note taking, Popplet (or other mind mapping apps) for organizing information and Skitch for taking and annotating images of persuasion. Additionally, I’d like to try out the ‘flipped classroom’ with my students gathering information to share with the class. I’ve done this more with my grade 7 students and would like to incorporate some opportunities for my grade 6 students.
Grade 7: Plagues and Pandemics/Cause and Effect Writing
This is my first year teaching grade 7 Humanities at my school and we have been reworking the current curriculum throughout the year. We have already been integrating technology in a variety of ways including wikis, Google Docs, info graphics and flipped classroom. Since we have a focus on speaking and presentations this semester I would like to see students become more proficient in creating quality presentations including aspects of Presentation Zen and visual literacy. I think both the topic and the writing genre would lend themselves to the use of impactful visuals to communicate information.
Grade 6 and 7: Independent Reading
We set aside time each week for DEAR time (Drop Everything and Read) and students have time to read texts of their choice and do some journaling and reading responses. I’d like to have my students do more than just a standard ‘book report’. During Course 3 I was interested in the topics presented in Week 6 regarding transmedia, transliteracy, multimedia and remix. I would be interested in having my students dig deeper into a text they enjoy and also using the text to be creative and . It would also be an opportunity to delve into the responsibilities connected with remixing and copyright.
I have to consider the impact making changes to lessons has on my co-teachers. I co-teach both grade 6 and grade 7 Humanities with two amazing educators. They are both open to new ideas and integrating technology into our classes. And even though we all have our own methods and strategies for presenting content and skills to our students, we do have to have a sense of continuity in our purpose and goals for our classes. Because of this important partnership I have with my co-teachers, I would have to factor them into my decisions on how I approach and carry out the changes I would like to make to our lessons.
I have concerns with taking on too much at once. There are a wide variety of possibilities to integrate more technology into these lessons. But how do I choose what to do without overwhelming my students and myself? How do I make sure the content doesn’t get lost in the technology? How do I balance providing the support my students need and pushing them to be more independent and creative? Will there be enough time to make some changes and address the curricular expectations? I realize these are questions I constantly ask myself as a teacher. And I will need to continue to constantly reflect on the decisions I make and make adjustments as I go, just as I always have.
Whatever I decide to do and how to do it (which will be very soon), I will just need to jump in a try. There is stress and worry when trying something new in the classroom but the it will be a learning experience for all involved, no matter the outcome. I am also very fortunate to be in a supportive educational environment with students and colleagues that allow me to take risks and try new methods in an effort to provide positive learning experiences.
It’s hard to believe I started this journey with COETAIL just a year ago and I’m already headed into the last stretch…here we go!
“When you have completed 95 percent of your journey, you are only halfway there.”