Skip to main content

The Weeks AFTER State Testing

Our state testing is a week earlier this year leaving us with four full weeks to remain academically engaged after our state testing (or as one teacher pointed out this morning - only four more Mondays!)

Some teachers teach mini units that they weren't able to get to during the year (I know one teacher is teaching a unit about Pirates...in the context of Social Studies and ELA...and another is doing a science mystery unit where students have to lift fingerprints, test ink...in the context of scientific inquiry)

I personally liked to do four weeks of projects where children can work at their own pace (as long as at the end of the month they completed the projects). I did it while I was in the classroom and enjoyed the self paced atmosphere of the classroom and the fact that everyone knew what they had to do. I basically served as a facilitator and occasional "task master." I usually played my Kidz Bop CD's while they worked and on Friday I declared it "educational TV" day where students could bring in snacks and drinks and we would watch "Plant Earth" videos, "World's Best" videos (on Streamline), or I would tape something interesting on Animal Planet and we would watch it.

All students started with the first project together (ABC book within their notebook) then they moved through the others (at their own pace). The projects can be anything you want them to be (finished people can work in pairs with some of the other projects):

- Design and put up a hallway display depicting one of the units we studied
- Using magazines create a science collage on the front of your notebook
- Create a unit review using one of the online game review sites
- Design an interactive poster depicting a scene in history
- Rewrite a popular song with educational lyrics, film it, and edit it using Movie Maker Live
- Using recycled materials create an animal and make a museum display box for it with an informational card.

It is nice to give students a choice board so that they can pick what kind of project they want to do. As the tech coach I am working with a fifth grade class who will be doing something similar after their state test. As children work through their projects they will come to me in the computer lab and create an Animoto of a person they had to do research on (sample Animoto can be found above). The main teacher will stay in the classroom and supervise the students who are not at the computer stage while I take the students who are ready to move on.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Moon Phase Box

I happened to walk into a fourth grade class the other day and they were hard at work making moon phase boxes. They were totally adorable and the kids were completely into it. The teacher very kindly let me take some pictures (thank you Mrs. Parker!) and add to my blog.


Students would need a shoe box and they need to cover the inside and inside lid with black construction paper. Using fishing wire they would hang a ping pong ball in the center of the lid so it is suspended in the center of the box. They then take a flashlight and trace the light end on one of the short ends of the box and then create viewing flaps in the middle of every side (including the one with the light bulb (but that might be slightly off center). It is important that the viewing areas are flaps and not cut directly out (you need to keep the light coming into the box blocked as much as possible).


The teacher used a box cutter to cut the flaps and flashlight hole for the children. I probably would have had studen…

Google Classroom Headers (and Bitmojis)

I recently taught a class on how to use Bitmojis in the classroom to increase student engagement and help with classroom organization and management.

One fun idea was to use them to make custom Google Classroom headers. The idea came from Alice Keeler's blog and she even provided a template for her header.


My computer settings weren't the same as hers so I had to tweak my version.

This got me thinking about how the headers could be changed out frequently, as something new for students to look forward to, when they opened up Google Classroom. In my head I was thinking they could be changed out weekly (38 total headers needed) if time permitted. 



I have several other ideas, templates, and instructions linked in this presentation.



I would love to see other custom Google Classroom Header ideas! Please feel free to post a comment or tag me on Twitter at @techcoachlife.




Cookie Moon Phases

I've seen these cookie moon phases before (click here for a description of the activity on Science Bob's Blog) and wanted to share my "Moon Phase" cookie story.


After seeing these online I thought it would be fun to do it in class as part of our Astronomy unit. I decided to make these at home. They turned out adorable. Then I decided to eat them (justifying that I would let my kids eat them in class :) It quickly became apparent that 8 Oreo cookies was way too many to eat (I definitely felt queasy). I went back to the online directions and found out that I was suppose to use "mini Oreo cookies" (which made much more sense).


A note of caution, the mini Oreo cookies may not be as cost effective with large groups of children (when I taught middle school I had 80+ children). It is definitely cheaper to buy the generic chocolate sandwich cookies. I would just provide a snack or sandwich baggie so the kids could take the leftovers home.