Monthly Archives: December 2016

4th Grades “Explore” Prezi

prezi1prezi2Our fourth grade students are required to learn six explorers according to the current Georgia Performance Standards in Social Studies: SS4H2 The student will describe European exploration in North America. a. Describe the reasons for, obstacles to, and accomplishments of the Spanish, French, and English explorations of John Cabot, Vasco Núñez de Balboa, Juan Ponce de León, Christopher Columbus, Henry Hudson, and Jacques Cartier.

I designed a project where the students researched an explorer so that they could create a Prezi which would be an advertisement to persuade viewers to join them on their expedition.

Livebinders Guided Research

I gathered resources for each explorer using Livebinders to expedite and streamline the research process.  The students used a graphic organizer I created to guide their research.  By answering the questions, the students would have sufficient information to write their advertisement.  The students conducted their research independently and then worked with a group to create one Prezi per explorer for the class.livebinders

Prezi

I reviewed the groups individual graphic organizers to ensure that among all of the group they collectively had sufficient (and correct) information to write their advertisement. Students were not familiar with Prezi, but they were very excited when they saw how it worked.  I modeled it briefly and we discussed writing in the first person, as if they were the explorer.  Some go the hang of that quicker than others, but it was good practice.  Before they could add any images, they had to have written all of their text.  I have found that they get so excited about the pictures, that the text falls to the wayside!

Here are a few of their projects:

http://prezi.com/o_-zzqpytn7c/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy&rc=ex0share

http://prezi.com/-ikl-dtnsm9d/?utm_campaign=share&utm_medium=copy

 

Images and Giving Credit

I collected images for each explorer ahead of time, saving the image and renaming the image with the sources’ name.  This saves the students time.  I try to get this project done in about 4 library visits, so anything that saves a bit of time is helpful.  I created a folder for each explorer with sufficient images that they could pick and choose.  They had to give credit to the owner of the image (creating a text box in the frame with the image) and they picked up on that right away.

Citing our Sources

The last frame of each Prezi had to include the website addresses of each website that the group used.  We didn’t do MLA or any official format.  At this point I wanted them just to be aware of citing their resources.

Reflection via Flipgrid

These fourth grade students really enjoyed thinking outside the Power Point box, although most of them had only made one or two Power Points before this year. Reflecting on their learning is a big part of the International Baccalaureate program, so I had the student use Flipgrid to record their written reflection.  They love to see and hear themselves!

Check out some of their reflections: https://flipgrid.com/57a659

Students used Flipgrid to record their reflection on the explorer Prezi project and process.

Students used Flipgrid to record their reflection on the explorer Prezi project and process.

 

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4th Grade Map Skills & Tablets

I had already had the fourth grade students practice their map skills by using atlases and recording their findings with their tablets. I asked them to find several cities that they are required to know for their state social studies standards.

They used the index and photographed it with their tablets and then found the location on the map in the atlas and also took a picture of their partner pointing to the city. When they finished they brought their tablet to me and we just swiped through the photos to prove they had completed their assignment.  No trees were destroyed in this activity!  They love using their tablets (we are a 1:1 school).

Students using their tablets to locate natural features.

Students using their tablets to locate natural features.

Google Maps Meet Laminated Maps

These students are also required to be able to locate some natural features such as the Great Basin, Death Valley, the Great Lakes, etc.  I found that many times the atlases don’t list these features in the index!  I tried to think of a way for the students to show me they could locate these places.

We have a large stack of laminated maps, with the U.S. on one side and the world on the other.  Partner that with a dry erase marker and a tablet and we have a fun hands-on activity.

I modeled using Google on my large screen to find a map for one of the features.  I asked the students how they could figure out what state the feature was in and at least one student per class  told me to zoom out by clicking on the minus sign (not all of them knew that, however).  Then we made a mark on the spot and labeled it with a dry erase marker.

I paired them up and they took their tablet, a map and a marker.  I listed the locations they needed to find on a large white board.  They really had fun with this activity.  I don’t know if it was using their tablet in the library or the dry erase marker!

Used laminated maps of the U.S.A. to label the locations.

Used laminated maps of the U.S.A. to label the locations.

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2nd Grade Use Atlas & Tablet

Reference tool introduction continued when 2nd grade students got to utilize not just an atlas but also their Dell ProVenue tablets (we are a 1:1 school).  They love to use their tablets!

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2nd grade students documenting their find in the atlas.

Social Studies Curriculum Tie-In

Again, I chose a topic the students have some background knowledge of. They have been learning about James Oglethorpe, so I chose 2 locations related to this historical figure.  I asked the students to find Georgia and London, England in an atlas.

Model the Process First

I modeled the activity first, showing them how to use the index to find a location.I used a tablet to photograph a student pointing at the words in the index.  We then went to the correct page in the atlas, used the map reference and located the city.  Again, we used the tablet’s camera to show the student pointing to the correct location.

Success!

The students were able to use the atlas’ index to find the 2 locations and photograph the process.  Documenting the process with the tablet added a different flavor to our usual practice of paper and pencil to show their activity.  When they said they were finished, I just swiped through the photographs on their tablets.

In addition to learning and applying information literacy skills, using the tablet gave the students opportunity to handle their tablets and practice using the camera.  When we started the lesson several of the students didn’t know where the camera was (indicating a lack of use of the tablet in the classroom), but their fellow classmates helped out here.

I’ll definitely try to figure out ways to incorporate the tablets in more library instructional activities

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2nd Grade Dives into Reference Books: Dictionary & Encyclopedia

Second grade students come in with very little experience with reference sources, so we usually kick off with dictionaries. I try to give them an opportunity to use them near the beginning of the year.  We kick off our lessons about reference tools with a traditional paper dictionary.  They were assigned a word that related to Jimmy Carter, one of the historical figures they were studying in their unit of inquiry.  They looked up the word and I asked them to copy the definition.

Guide Works-Necessary Skill

I had them practice using guide words the previous week with some laminated guide letter pages and actual words.  After an overview of how dictionaries are arranged and a review of alphabetizing words the students work in pairs, receiving 3 words which they put in alphabetical order.  They then proceed to the guide letter sheets which are spread out on low book shelves.  That’s all we do that week.

Guide letter sheets and words

Guide letter sheets and words

A teacher snapped this photo of me.  She said there are never any pictures of me as I am always the one behind the camera!

A teacher snapped this photo of me. She said there are never any pictures of me as I am always the one behind the camera!

Using the Dictionary

The next week, we reviewed the form and function of dictionaries.  I had them work in small groups again, as they looked up the word and chose one definition.  They indicated the part of speech the word they were looking up was and proceeded to write down a definition.

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Graphic organizer for dictionary lesson

Graphic organizer for dictionary lesson

Encyclopedia

We moved onto encyclopedias the next week.  Once again I chose an historical figure they were studying, Tomochichi, as our subject.  We used the online version of World Book Encyclopedia, as they can all be looking up the same subject and we are only limited by the number of computers we have (or tablets they bring with them).   I asked them to search for Tomochichi and read through the article (only 3 brief paragraphs) which is on an appropriate reading level.  They then decided which fact to record on their sheet.  I also added a spot for them to record which source they were using (they just had to write, World Book Kids or World Book Encyclopedia), as I want them to get in the habit of citing their sources.

Encyclopedia graphic organizer

Encyclopedia graphic organizer

2nd grade students using our World Book Encyclopedia online subscription

2nd grade students using our World Book Encyclopedia online subscription

Next week we moved onto atlases.

 

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