I have learned a lot through COETAIL (though I still get stuck on minor techie issues) and I have done some really cool projects such as The Little Ideas Swap Blog where my students blogged what they were learning and what school was like to other students in different parts of the world. I honestly don’t think I will be able to top something like that! I have tried to recreate it with a friend in the states, but it seems to have fizzled out.
So off to the next big project and my final project for COETAIL. I struggled with ideas for this project. In course four, I learned a great deal about Project Based Learning (PBL) and even discussed my thoughts in my blog PBL…Great Ideas Popping Up Everywhere! I knew right away I wanted my final project to be a PBL project.
The next step was to find a unit that I will be doing with my students. I decided to tackle a new unit title “The Stories my Grandparents tell” discussing the past/present as well as needs and wants. Picking this unit and making it a PBL unit while finding ways to integrate technology became trickier than I thought as discussed in my final blog in course 4. Trying to think of ways to make this more inquiry based and not teacher centered was hard since the children were not around in the past and needed some background information. I figured I could use pictures, videos and a variety of different books to introduce the unit. However, if I look at the SAMR Model, using technology in this way was only meeting the substitution strand of the model.
To add more depth, inquiry and higher and use more strands on SAMR I figured it may be fun for the children to come up with some questions to ask people that are older than themselves about the past. The children can interview high schoolers, their parents and grandparents to determine how different life was. They can as about toys, technology, tools, etc. The interviews can be taped for later reference.
At the same time, I am hope to teach the students how to use the the Book Creator app so they can create a short story of their grandparent or parents’ childhood. They can use pictures from their parents or use the website Kiddle to find different pictures to add to their short stories. These stories will be shared with their parents as well as put in their digital portfolio.
While discussing my ideas for this unit with my colleagues, we realised that we will be teaching “How to” books at the same time we do this social studies unit. It may be fun to bring in older toys (slinky, etcha-sketch, jump rope, jacks, etc.) and have the students learn to play the games and work with partners to create a “how to play…” using the older toys. They can them share their “how to” on Seesaw as well as create an ebook (if time permits).
I’m excited to give this unit a try and see if things change or are adapted along the way. Of course things do not always go as planned but I may be surprised at how this unit develops when actually doing it. I have learned through my years of teaching as well as during this course to sometimes have fun experimenting with new things with the kids and learn along side them so if anyone has any ideas of something that may be fun to try or may work better, please let me know!