Fourth grade students study planets (Georgia Standards of Excellence-Science S4E1. Obtain, evaluate, and communicate information to compare and contrast the
physical attributes of stars and planets) They chose a planet or spacecraft to research and write a script to record using the app, Chatterpix. Limited to 29 seconds students have to carefully consider what information to include about their topic. Recording themselves is an important skill as they can hear what they actually wrote and they can then edit their writing (they realize their errors as they try to read their own writing).
I prepare a Livebinder of resources in order to supply them with credible resources and to speed up the process. The whole process still takes about 3 plus library visits for each class in order to record all of the students.
I upload the videos to YouTube to give the students’ work a wider audience and the opportunity to share with parents and fellow students.
Link to one of the classes uploaded Chatterpix videos: https://goo.gl/WXqfK4
We celebrated National Poetry Month with all grade levels. Second grade students wrote a “Never” poem which features repetition and alliteration. We used a template I found on WriteShop.com (https://writeshop.com/writing-a-never-poem). The students used dictionaries & thesauri to find words if they got stuck for ideas.
Recorded Poems on Flipgrid
I used Flipgrid so the students could record themselves reading their poem. This gives them an authentic audience and practice reading aloud. I also shared this on the school’s Facebook page to further widen the audience and let parents see what their children are doing.
Check us out! https://flipgrid.com/876d05
By the time our students get to 5th grade some of them have made a PowerPoint. I surveyed them again this year and although about one third said they had made at least one, once we got into this project I noticed that their skill levels were pretty low. This reassured me that this was an important skill for me to cover in the library.
Our students have tablets which are very tricky to use to create PowerPoints without the use of a mouse and keyboard.
In order for them to have some topic for their PowerPoint I decided that I would cover website evaluation in the 2 weeks before starting the PowerPoint. I used an outline I got from Kathy Schrock’s 5 W’s of Website Evaluation (http://www.schrockguide.net/uploads/3/9/2/2/392267/5ws.pdf). I gave each student a copy of my adaptation of Schrock’s 5 W’s and suggested that they take notes on this paper so that they would have something to say in their PowerPoint. Of course some students didn’t write down anything and others took plenty of notes. Then when we got ready for them to create their PowerPoint those who hadn’t taken any notes came up short as they didn’t have any details to fill out the outline.
We spent 2 library visits working on their PowerPoints and I created a rubric so they would know the expectations (ie. minimum of 7 slides, 2 images, etc.) in advance.
I gave them minimal instruction on how to create the PowerPoint as I knew the students would share their knowledge and help others to problem-solve. I circulated around to help them out.
This was a successful instruction/learning experience and the students were very enthusiastic about creating their PowerPoint. I know they will use their newly acquired skills in years to come.