Well, here I am at the end of course five with my final project now completed! I have learned a great deal throughout my COETAIL journey and I’ve established a very large PLN group that I will continue to seek advice from long after everything is done.
For my final project, I used the unit from my Course 4 final unit plan Stories My Grandparents Tell. I had originally attempted to make the unit plan as inquiry and project based as much as possible. I did find this to be a bit challenging, but while completing the unit with the students, I found realized how many questions and the direction the students wanted to take so we had a lot of fun! The children were very interested in the different toys from the past and they had a lot of fun interviewing other students as well as their parents.
We also created ebooks which was much more challenging than I expected. I taught the students basic research tools and how to create their ebooks. The children that learned the technology quickly became great teachers and helped other students that needed more support. It was very cool to see the children helping and teaching each other! Now that the children are more familiar with creating ebooks and using Kiddle to do research, I am hoping that we will create another ebook that is longer for their unit about plants and animals.
The students also enjoy using Seesaw to share their work with their parents. I have no really used it as a portfolio as much, but more as a means to share work with parents. The children decide what to share and how often they want to share. It has become more of a portfolio and has given me the opportunity to see how the children are doing. There are still so many things I would like to learn and do more with Seesaw, so I am hoping to continue to try new things and learn through others.
Some of the unit changed as we were completing it. We were originally going to have parents come, but that did not work out. However, we were able to include our “how-to” writing unit with this social studies unit. The students created “how to use an old toy” book with actual toys and they had the opportunity to teach the third graders how to use the toys. It worked out very well. The students had a lot of fun and I am very happy we were able to integrate writing with our Social Studies unit.
With the unit complete, and fairly successful (despite the changes made). It was time to create the video. I had a harder time doing that because I am using one of the school’s Chromebooks and couldn’t find a way to make videos. I finally settled on using WeVideo, but I did have to pay for it. The video wasn’t easy to create and it isn’t super fancy but it’s ok. I will probably not make videos very often, but who knows. It may be something fun to try with the students in the future.
All in all, I really feel much more confident while using technology in the classroom and I have a new appreciation for trying new tools with the kids. My view of technology has changed a lot and know realize the importance of providing the children with the necessary tools to be technologically literate.