With the availability of our 5th grade Android tablets, students have more responsibility and flexibility in math class. Students decide when they are able to forego the lesson of the day and work in small groups on problem solving skills. Often, this involves students needing to utilize the internet to look up formulas or unfamiliar terms. Students can do this on their own as others receive direct instruction from the teacher. This opportunity for self-directed learning engages students in math and provides incentives for students to think about their learning and progress. In order to reduce our impact on the environment, students are also able to view problems on the Android tablets instead of using paper.
As April comes to a close, so does a six-month long independent study of basic typing skills.
In October, students in 5th, 6th, and 7th grade were required to begin an extensive unit on typing basics for a technology grade. After researching a number of online typing programs, Mr. Nelson decided it was best for students to complete these activities using TypingClub.com
Students were directed to a private URL, which only middle school students at ASFG had access to: asfg-mx.typingclub.com. Students learned about the proper techniques of typing, including using the home-row, the F and J keys, as well as the best posture for using a computer keyboard, prior to beginning the unit.
During bimester two and three, students completed two online typing assessments, which were not evaluated based on their score. However, students did learn how to read their Words Per Minute (WPM) score, and if they were improving. Then in March, students were required to complete a third test which was evaluated, based on their WPM score.
After analyzing the data from these three online typing tests, each student gained on average 5 to 10 Words Per Minute in speed and accuracy. Also, in the computer lab, students are beginning to use the skills they learned from TypingClub and applying them to their regular class work.
Since this TypingClub program was such a success, students in 5th and 6th grade will again complete the TypingClub program next school year, and the goal is for all students in middle school to know and use the proper techniques for Digital Literacy in the 21st century.
Over Spring break 5th graders in language arts class had a Spring break reading challenge! To share our reading life and our vacations, students took a selfie of themselves reading, and wrote a one sentence book review of their good fit book to post on their class padlet page. We are doing lots of great reading in ELA 5th grade and remembering good readers create a BUZZZ about the books they love! Take a look!
En quinto grado en español leímos juntos un poema escrito por Sor Juana Inés de la Cruz. Enseguida escribimos una estrofa parecida usando el tema de las hierbas aromáticas y finalmente lo grabamos usando la herramienta WeVideo. Practicamos la fluidez lectora, la precisión en la pronunciación de las palabras al leer un poema, escogimos imágenes que coincidieran con los textos y subtitulamos lo que se escuchaba. Ver las videos sobre Lavanda y Citronela.
En la evaluación se tomó en cuenta la ortografía y el uso de figuras retóricas como la rima consonante y la comparación. En la clase de technology se evaluó el uso del programa y que los alumnos lo hubieran sabido publicar usando sus cuentas en Google Apps.
During the 4th bimester, students in social studies learned about the Industrial Revolution. For their final project, students chose one 19th century invention to investigate independently, such as the telephone, the airplane, or the steam engine.
The goal of the project was not only to research an important invention, but also create an advertisement, in order to convince their audience how their lives have changed today because of this important invention.
First, students learned a little bit about modern advertising by completing a free online quiz using Kahoot.com. Afterwards the class discussed how modern advertising includes iconic images, and catchy slogans, and then began to design their own advertisement using Piktochart.com.
The requirements for the project included creating an advertisement that not only utilized a catchy slogan, but also included iconic images with text that revealed the invention's importance. Students were also required to upload one copyright free image, with an in-text citation of the original source.
I invite you to view the 6th graders amazing work in advertising and graphic design. If you'd like to use this project in your own classroom, contact Nelson Taylor.
Students uploaded their videos to a shared folder so their peers could have access. Finally, students compiled each other's videos into one, well-edited and thoughtful piece. As you can see in the video featured here, students were engaged in thinking about ways they can reduce their impact on the environment and enjoyed creating the videos.
Recently, 26 eighth grade students visited New York for the biggest middle school Model United Nations conference. Students prepared for the conference by collaborating on position papers using Google Docs. These position papers represented extensive research into their assigned country's views on different problems the global community faces today. Students were motivated to engage deeply with the culture and society of their country to learn how Jordan or Botswana would recommend solutions to problems from clean water to equal access to education. During the conference students were not allowed to use computers or technology for additional research, and instead needed to rely on their position papers, knowledge, and face-to-face communication to persuade other representatives to support their resolutions. Outside of the conference, this trip provided students experiences from a wide range of transportation, architectural and communication technologies during subway and ferry rides and visits to the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn Bridge, Times Square and Rockefeller Plaza.