Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Final Projects

Well we've come to the end of the semester. Please post your Final Project below (before midnight 5/14) and also post it to the wiki: this way you will have your original draft locked into our blog and future participants will be able to add to, and improve upon, your project in the wiki. Your Final Projects will perpetually evolve, forever improving, changing, and growing.

It was a pleasure working with all of you. I will be sending you your semester grade asap.

Good luck, and as always, feel free to contact me if you ever have any questions.

Professionally Yours,

Dave Fontaine

Internet Librarian

National Board Certified Teacher

Educational Consultant


dgcap said...

Final Project Summary
I have just added my final project unit to my space on wikidave (

My unit was created around the focus of teaching my students about the state they live in [Rhode Island], which is part of our Fourth Grade curriculum. Though a series of lessons, they will learn about the history of our state, important historical figures, about unique and special landmarks, various towns and cities in our state and eventually about the other states in the United States.

Through my lessons, students are expected to use blogs, make podcasts, make vodcasts, use (along with other various other online resources), and make a Wiki (or class wiki actually).

Lesson 1 asks students to make an online KWL chart where they must use blogger to post their ideas and make comments to their classmates.

Lesson 2 asks students to research a historical figure in RI's history. They must then write a mock interview with famous historical figure. Using their interview, they then make a newscast podcast which will be added to our website.

Lesson 3 requires students to research a popular landmark (Lighthouse, mansion, etc), write a short report, make a model and then present their projects. Each students' project will be turned into a vodcast that will be added to our class website.

Lesson 4 hinges on participation from students across the USA. It starts with my students picking a town or city in RI and then researching its' history as well as some interesting facts. They then write a brief summary, which they add to our class USA Wiki under the link for RI. Next, students as a whole class write a letter to other fourth grade students around the United States. The letter will discuss what a wiki is, and invite them to view our USA Wiki and then add information about their town/state under the appropriate link. This way we can all learn about other towns or cities that are located in the other 49 states.

Anonymous said...

My final project is published through Google Docs at

It is a high school elective class about information literacy and technology skills. I will be teaching it next semester at the request of the principal, so this was a very helpful exercise.

Find it! Library Research and Tech Skills
High School Elective, 35 class sessions

Lessons include searching skills, alternative search engines, subscription databases, blogging, wikis, podcasts, VoiceThread, citation and plagiarism, website evaluation, peer review, books online, print resources

T Weinberg said...

Final Project Summary
Jane Wilson and I worked together on our final project, a unit about the Holocaust. I focused primarily on planning the information literacy lessons, while Jane handled the technology skills lessons, although we collaborated on all portions. We conceived the idea of using a wiki last year for this 8th grade social studies research project, but we barely progressed beyond introducing wikis to the teachers and using one to post links to websites. Since then we have had more experiences with wikis and other web 2.0 tools during EDC921 and work we have done on other projects, so we decided it would be interesting to use this final project to more fully utilize the wiki’s capabilities and add many other web 2.0 tools to the Holocaust unit. The unit lasts several weeks and is used as an assessment of research and information literacy skills. Students focus on learning about a specific individual during the Holocaust to determine whether one person can make a difference. Lessons include a review of research skills, website evaluation, and several technology lessons including using the wiki and posting to a blog.

We have used the wiki to host all the lesson plans, including links to graphic organizers and rubrics that we created for this project. This encourages collaboration between the teachers involved. As an additional benefit, if a student misses a lesson or requires reinforcement, they can use the wiki to review the materials. The wiki also contains links to all the web-based resources for the project, and students will be able to add websites that they have decided would be useful for other students. By including copies of all the forms in the wiki, students can download graphic organizers to take notes and record their citations on the computer if they are more comfortable working that way, so it is a form of differentiation. Further differentiation is created by providing print and online resources in a range of reading levels, and by allowing a wide variety of choices for the final project. As students proceed with their research they will be keeping an online journal of their progress in a blog. The blog will also be used to respond to questions posed by the classroom teacher. This provides many opportunities for students to write for different purposes.

The research project is only a portion of a multi-disciplinary unit that will include a correlated Language Arts project and classroom lessons related to the events of the Holocaust. further extensions include a presentation by a Holocaust survivor and a culminating visit to the Holocaust museum in Washington, D.C. Our wiki mentions these other activities, but does not attempt to thoroughly document all aspects of this unit. The wiki can be found at

J Wilson said...

Final Project
Since Tamara Weinberg and I work in the same middle school we decided to collaborate on a social studies unit together. We consulted with a fellow teacher and plan to work with him and present this unit to his class. We created a wiki which will serve as an instruction platform as well as a vehicle for collaboration among the three teachers and the students and a place for students to publish their work. We chose and for the most part it is very user friendly, but we found that the free features do not offer a lot of color and design options.
This is a living project and will continue to evolve over time. Some wiki pages are designated for the students to complete. During the course of the unit we are incorporating a class blog and other web 2.0 websites.
Creating the lessons and the graphic organizers and planning and constructing the wiki were quite an endeavor; however, I think the time will pay off when we begin the unit on the Holocaust with the students.
Our wiki is located at: tms-power-of-one

jfayne said...

Final Project Summary
I posted my final project on the wiki. I had a lot of trouble using Google docs. During the first half of writing, I had no trouble but the second half was horrible. It kept saying it couldn't save and I had to save to the clipboard, reload the page, then paste the copied version back. I kept losing all my work. I would check the version history and reload the version I wanted but the page would be blank. I finally just pasted it to WORD.
Back to my project. My fairy tale unit consisted reading, writing, and revising fairy tales. The lesson culminates with each student recording his/her original fairy tale on video and uploading this video to VoiceThread. The students also make a podcast of their reading of a fairy tale, post writing to a wiki, and edit writing on the class wiki.
I look forward to reading everyone's project to see many more great ideas.

Anonymous said...

Final Project Summary

For my final project, I decided to infuse technology into a lengthy introductory unit on Shakespeare, a part of the required sophomore curriculum at Fairview.

Beginning a unit on Shakespeare is always exciting and challenging at the same time: some students can hardly contain themselves from jumping into Romeo and Juliet, the well-known story of love, romance care, and concern, but some others hear "Shakespeare" and conjure the most negative ideas possible!
I believe I can more readily entice potential doubters if I add meaning to our studies with technology-based requirements; such experiences offer students the opportunity to explore Shakespeare's works -- an experience they may initially resist while using technology -- an everyday integral and enjoyable past-time.

In my unit, I make use of technology in presentations and offer a variety of technologies students must, or in some cases, may choose to explore. Thus, students will be exposed to many technologies in my unit as well as in their responses. I have tried to include a variety of these experiences, and, where possible, provided for choice so as to respond to differences in learning style and interests. Again, I think such flexibility will enhance the literature unit by giving students some choice / control in their studies.

In my unit, which spans several weeks, at least, I'm working, ultimately, to lead students into inding the right (perfect!) career for them.

The unit includes a variety of writing tasks, creative, critical, and research. It offers independent, small group and large group opportunities to react formally and informally to Romeo and Juliet. Technologies used include a blog, wiki, Google maps,Promethean Board, online tutorial, videos, cd's and dvd's as well as opportunities to respond by using or creating podcasts, vodcasts, posting to Wikipedia. Additionally,since I've provided students an "open ended choice," they might also turn to an alternative technology such as texting, social networking, etc (which would require approval from me), or to a musical based presentation or reading, or to a Power Point presentation, etc.

Overall, my goal is that students grow in their appreciation of Shakespeare & his writings, mature in their ability to respond to literature and to express themselves both orally and on paper. Also, I hope that they learn to work well both independently and collaboratively, in small or large groups. Finally, I hope that this unit will expand their awareness and competence in using a variety of technologies effectively.

Anonymous said...

Opps! Forgot to include my name! Previous post is from Pam Hurt.

pstevens said...

Final Project Summary
Pamela Stevens
My final project is a wikispace that I have created for our high school. The hope is that all the CFF teachers as well as other teachers, administrators, coaches, club advisors, and staff members will use the wiki as a collaborative space to post information for students, parents, and other employees to use to better navigate their way through their time in our school and our community.
I foresee teachers using the site to post videos, surveys, images, and other materials for or created by their students and parents. I have invited the administration to use the site to collaborate with staff members to generate meeting agendas, curriculum ideas, building improvement ideas, or other concerns and to publish photos of the student of the month, mentor of the month, new employees, or other events that are occurring in the school.
One teacher wants to publish her photography students’ stop-motion projects on the wiki. Look for those in the next week. Another wants to post her students’ creative poems on the site.
I have invited coaches to include links to PA sport statistics sites for their teams, let me help them include a “Player of the Week” page, and to investigate starting a streaming video of live games linked through the wiki. Another has asked that I show him how to include Google maps from our school to every school they play.
I am including “how-to” pages, tools for teachers (I plan to include a teacher rating system for these tools, too)
I really hope that the site gains much use and becomes a valuable resource, not just for our school but also for the entire community.
This project also is posted to the Dave’s wikispace at
Thanks so much, Dave and the other learners, for sharing so much. I have learned more about web 2.0 than I ever had even known existed!

Anonymous said...

Matthew Records
Final Project
EDC 921

My final project will revolve around five units, utilizing Wiki’s and
Blogs to support collaborative learning and effective communication to
my students, their parents and Cole Middle School faculty.

I currently see all seventh grade classes for 1 quarter which equals 8 weeks.

Unit 1 Intro to Blogging (2 classes)
Unit 2 Intro to Wiki’s (2 classes)
Unit 3 Microsoft Word (8 classes; 2 weeks)
Unit 4 Microsoft Excel (8 classes; 2 weeks)
Unit 5 Microsoft PowerPoint (12 classes; 3 weeks)

Wiki’s – Will be primarily used throughout the unit in the following

- On – line text
- Notes and information on all computer science topics covered.
Ex. MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Wiki’s, and Blogs.
-Posting assignments and having the completed assignment turned in as a
Wiki posts rather than printing and turning in a paper.
Students can read and examine past assignments, and use that
information to help them create their assignments with more proficiency.

Blogs - Will be primarily used throughout the unit in the following

-Twenty Four hour parent, faculty, and student communication on in
class happenings in Computer Science.
- Posting of assignments.
- Student reflection on current topics and information learned

Unit 1
Intro to Blogging
Lesson 1
Goals - The goal of this unit are to teach students what a blog is and
how they are used in different spectrums. (1 lesson)
Prompt: What is a blog?
Students will brainstorm ideas. Then a PowerPoint on blogs will be shown.

Lesson 2
Goals - To show and explain how the blog will be utilized in my class,
what it consists of, and how to use it.

Prompt: How will blogging be used in this computer science class?
Students will brainstorm ideas and they will be discussed as a class.
A demonstration of how to use the class blog and post comments will be given
to the students.

Homework: For homework students must post a comment before 12am that
night reflecting on what they have learned about blogging during the past two days and how they feel it will could help them achieve as a student.

Unit 2
Intro to Wikis
Lesson 1
Goals - To introduce wiki's and the positive outcomes of collaborative
learning. I want them to understand how wiki's pages are monitored and
have accurate information that can be used by students. They will
understand that I am alerted every time a person makes modifications to a
wiki page that I or they have created.

Students will be able to create a log in and password for my wiki's

Students will be able to post a text document to my wiki's page under
their name/account.

Prompt: What is a wiki? (I will show them an example of a wiki's page
after a discussion.)
Do wiki's pages have accurate information?
How is this information monitored?
We will discuss these questions as a class.

In class
Students will create a log in name and password to my wiki's page.

As a class we will navigate through a wiki's page. I will explain the
history link, its purpose and how I monitor information that is posted.

Students will create a document for homework called " All About Me "
In this document students will tell me about their year at CMS so
far. They will tell me their short term and long term life goals and what
their current hobbies are

Students must also post a comment to the blog reflecting on what they
have learned about Wiki's up to that point.

They will post this assignment under their user name onto my classes
Wiki’s page.

Lesson 2
Goals - To check homework assignment and see who had trouble posting a
comment to the blog or post their assignment to the class wiki page.

- To show students how to allocate and download assignments off the
- How to find notes and information on all topics covered using our
wiki's pages.

- How to edit notes posted on our wiki's pages. They can add
information about all topics such as blogs, wiki's, MS word, excel, and PowerPoint.

Unit 3
MS Word
Goals - Make students proficient in using the Microsoft Word.
- Students will be able to demonstrate the ability to understand the
word screen and all its functions.

Students will access notes off wiki's and the blog to complete
assignments revolving around MS word objectives.

Assignment descriptions will be located on the class blog. Necessary
information such as notes and diagrams will be located on our class
wiki's page. Students must post all assignments the comment link of the
blog and our wiki's page.

Assignments are:
Word screen labeling
Word screen terms
Toolbar labeling
Toolbar terms

* Students will be given credit towards their grade for adding to the
wiki's page of our class notes

Unit 4
MS Excel
Goals: Introduce students to the basics of using Microsoft Excel which
- Analyzing and collecting data and turning it into a graph.
- Formulas
- Formatting the excel screen and graphs.
- Auto fill
- excel screen familiarization.
- Changing cell height and width

Students will access all notes, diagrams and other information about
excel off of our wiki's page. All assignments and their directions will
be posted on our class blog.

Students must post at least three comments on our class blog reflecting
on what they have learned after completing assignments.

Students will receive credit towards their grade adding new and
accurate information to the notes section of my excel wiki's page.

Unit 5
Students will be taught the functions of MS PowerPoint. They will be
given a criteria to follow to help them eliminate distracting elements
making their PowerPoint look as professional as possible. The PowerPoint Do’s and Don’ts criteria will be posted as notes on our Wiki’s page. Students will be able to look at notes and add to them as they create their slideshow. Students will also be able to access high quality PowerPoint slideshows from past students and use them as a reference.

Students will also be given information on the skills needed to give an
effective PowerPoint presentation. Such as making eye contact with the audience, elaborating on bulleted information, and having enthusiasm
about the particular topic while speaking. All PowerPoint’s will be posted on the class blog.
I usually allow students to pick their own topic while producing their PowerPoint. Students pick various topics from Guns and Roses to pizza. I feel downloading high quality presentations to the blog or Wiki’s will create a research database for students throughout the school and my class to use.
Students must write four total reflections on what they have learned and post it as a comment on the blog. Students will get additional points for adding accurate information to the class PowerPoint Wiki’s page.
Student’s final assignment will be to post their PowerPoint to the class blog under their classes name.

Amy Kalif said...

I must say that I'm very impressed with myself. My wiki space, although still a work in progress, is a fantastic resource. My students are engaged with their projects, and learning so much. Please feel free to visit Kalifcorner.

Additionally, this online course has been the most interesting and useful education course I have even taken.

Final Project
Title: ¡Bienvenidos a Mexico!
Time Frame: 2.5 months
Unit Goals: Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the Geography and Pre-Columbian History of Mexico by studying maps, and reading legends of each ancient culture: Mayan, Toltec and Aztec. Students will read their first novel, La Ciudad de Los Dioses, in Spanish. All classes will be conducted entirely in Spanish.

Learning Outcomes:
Students will identify important cities, mountain ranges and bodies of water in Mexico.
Students will read for understanding.
Students will express opinions in Spanish.
Students will utilize Web 2.0 technology.

ACTFL (American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language) National Standards:
1.1 Students engage in conversations, provide and obtain information, express feelings and emotions, and exchange opinions.
1.2 Students understand and interpret written and spoken language on a variety of topics.
1.3 Students present information, concepts, and ideas to an audience of listeners or readers on a variety of topics.
3.1 Students reinforce and further their knowledge of other disciplines through the foreign language.
5.1 Students use the language both within and beyond the school setting.
5.2 Students show evidence of becoming life- long learners by using the language for personal enjoyment and enrichment.

Lesson Theme #1: Geography (1-2 weeks)
Using Spanish 3 Mexico Unit pages, students will review a list of Mexico’s major cities, river and mountain ranges. Students will identify all landmarks using online maps. There will be a quiz covering all Geography topics. After quiz students will read the legend Los Novios about 2 famous volcanoes ( Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl ) located outside of Mexico City. There will be a mini reading comprehension quiz, and class discussion of the legend.

Lesson Theme #2: Pre-Columbian History & Legends (3-4 weeks)
Using Spanish 3 Mexico Unit pages , students will review 3 Pre-Columbian cultures of Mexico: Mayan, Toltec and Aztec.
The Mayas: Students will review all important information about the Mayan culture, and the Mayan number system. In class, students will watch a movie about the Mayan civilization. There will be a quiz covering all Mayan topics. After quiz students will read El Enano de Uxmal about a dwarf with special powers in the Mayan city of Uxmal. There will be a mini reading comprehension quiz, and class discussion of the legend.
Toltecs: Students will review all important information about the Toltec culture. There will be a quiz covering all Toltec topics. After quiz students will read El Sol y La Luna about the creation of the sun and the moon. The Toltec ruin of Teotihuacan has the Pyramid of the Sun, and the Pyramid of the Moon. There will be a mini reading comprehension quiz, and class discussion of the legend.
Aztecs: Students will review all important information about the Aztec culture. In class students will watch a film about Cortez’s journey to Tenochtitlan through Mexico. There will be a quiz covering all Aztec topics. After quiz students will read Un Lecho de Rosas about the torture of Cuautehmoc by Hernan Cortez’s men. There will be a mini reading comprehension quiz, and class discussion of the legend.

Assessment: Blog Assignment
Using a graphic organizer found on wiki, students will organize their thoughts about Hernan Cortez and the last Aztec emperor, Cuautehmoc. The blog question is: Would you prefer to have been a Spanish soldier, or an Aztec warrior? Students will form an opinion and post it on The blog has links to useful vocabulary, and the blogging rubric.

Comprehensive Exam
Students will take an exam on the Geography, Pre-Columbian History and Legends of Mexico in class.

Lesson Theme #3: The Novel, La Ciudad de Los Dioses (4-6weeks)
Students will read the novel inside and outside of class. There will be daily comprehension mini-quizzes, and graphic organizers to chart important themes and/or characters.

Wiki Project
The culminating project for this Mexico unit will be conducted on the wiki. Students will be sorted into teams with peers from other classes. Students will collaborate using the “Discussion” tab of their team page. The project itself is based on the novel, and scaffolded using Bloom’s Taxonomy. Students begin answering simple True/False questions, and finish with an evaluation of the entire unit. All work is posted on the wiki. Each team must upload a podcast or vodcast in Spanish. The scoring rubric, and links to useful vocabulary and grammar may be found on the wiki. A thorough explanation is described on Spanish 3 Mexico Unit.

Charlotte Lesser said...

Final Project

I have created a set of seven library based lessons that promote our New Hampshire state book award for 4-6th graders: The Great Stone Face Award. Both the reading of and responding to the 25 books on the list will be encouraged through this unit that is designed to be spaced out over a period of eight months, September to April. After each skill is taught, time will be given in each subsequent library periods for students to post a comment to the Great Stone Face Book blog or schedule a time with me to create a podcast. Students will also be vodcasting book reviews (The BookTube), which is something that is already done in the school collaboratively between the classroom teachers and the librarian, but not during library instruction time. This unit culminates in voting in mid April and the student votes are sent to the state to be included in the statewide voting tally. Right before the voting I will be updating the blog with podcasts and information about voting. The goal is to have students reading the Great Stone Face Books all year, talking and writing about them, and also creating, listening to and viewing podcasts and vodcasts. I want the 4-6th graders to be as informed as possible about the 25 titles while understanding that very few students will actually read all 25. The broader goal is the concept that when voting (on anything) it is in your best interest to be as informed as possible!

The school library also houses the school computer lab, so there are 12 computers for student use during library. This allows students to post to a blog during their book selection/free time at the end of each library lesson. Students will also be given a handout of instructions so that they can post to the blog from other school computers or from home as well.

Lesson plans in pdf format are located in my wiki.

Web 2.0 ToolsA wide variety of Web 2.0 tools are integrated into these lessons including blogging, podcasting, vodcasting, screencasting, and using free web applications such as widgets, Audacity, Gcast, Voki, and Flickr. Students will be taught specifically how to use a blog, make a podcast and a vodcast. I will be using other Web 2.0 tools for instructional purposes and these are explained in the preparation piece on the second page of each Lesson plan.

StandardsThe lessons are written to the Information Literacy National Standards (Information Power) created by the American Library Association’s School Librarians Section (AASL). Information Power is divided into three categories, each category has 3 standards, and each standard has indicators. Only the relevant standards and indicators are included. In addition my school district has a continuum of library skills that are to be taught in library and relevant curriculum threads to be reinforced in library lessons. I have created a master document with these standards and skills, and each lesson plan includes these as well.

Standards in pdf format are located in my wiki.

Additional DocumentationIn addition to the lesson plans and standards, there are other files.
Files are located in my wiki.
What is Blogging - PowerPoint
Fiction Genres - PowerPoint
Blogging permission letter
Handout on how to post to a blog

Differentiated instruction and adaptation optionsI vary my lessons to include oral instruction, oral/visual (using a powerpoint,podcast/vodcast/computer based application with print, but also reading aloud) and hands-on activities including writing. For students who aren’t allowed to blog, they may write their comments on a 3x5 card which is left on a poster display in the library. For students whose parents don’t allow them to post podcasts/vodcasts on the blog, we can post them on our internal network. Students may either do a podcast or be videoed as some students are very uncomfortable in front of a camera. Students will be allowed to pod/vodcast by themselves or with another students.

AssessmentIn my school district library is taught by paraprofessionals in almost every school. Library is contractually teacher prep time so there is little or no collaboration between library aides and classroom teachers. There is no formal assessment in library and no grade for library classes. That being said, I will be assessing the success of each lesson and the entire unit on several factors:

1) circulation/reading of GSF books
Our automated library system, Follett, can track number of checkouts and which students have borrowed GSF books. It is my goal to have each book read at least twice during the 8 months. I will booktalk/display/promote the books that aren’t being read.

2) podcasts and vodcasts
My goal is to have a podcast or vodcast for each title by the end of the unit. I will track which books don’t have one and use the circulation system to find students who have read the books and encourage them to make a pod/vodcast for those books.
We currently have a book review vodcasting program called BookTube in place in the school. Students are trained to use all the equipment and do the filming. My goal is to do the same with the podcasting; train the students and then have them run the equipment themselves. I will just post their project to either the blog or our school network.

3) comments on the blog
I will be posting on the blog at least 4 different sets of questions over the eight month about the books. My goal is to have each student comment at least twice during the school year. I will track comments through their aliases. Since all comments need my approval before posting, I will be able to work with students on editing comments that lack substance and don’t meet the guidelines that we have established in class.

4) student participation
In the “discussion” part of any lesson I call on both students who raise their hands, and those who don’t in order to engage as many students as possible. About midway through the year, I will check each student’s circulation records and work with students who haven’t read a GSF book to try and find one that suits their interests and reading level.

Denice said...

I added my final project to the class wiki last night, on my page after Deliverable #3.

This course was very informative and I hope to go over the material again during the summer when I have more time to "play."

My project is a wiki designed to instruct the teachers at my school about the role of an LMS and the lessons we can provide.

I then added a professional development component to instruct our staff about the use of their Outlook emai and PowerPoint 2007.

My wiki site is:

Have a great summer and thanks for a great course.

Denice said...

Just a quick correction - my wiki is

vivrelelivre said...

Introduction to Blogs

Librarian: Bridget Sitler
Class: 5th Grade
Duration: 45-60 minutes, one session

NYS ELA Standards:
Standard 1: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding.
As listeners and readers, students will collect data, facts, and ideas, discover relationships, concepts, and generalizations; and use knowledge generated from oral, written, and electronically produced texts. As speakers and writers, they will use oral and written language to acquire, interpret, apply, and transmit information.

Standard 4: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for social interaction.
Students will use oral and written language for effective social communication with a wide variety of people. As readers and listeners, they will use the social communications of others to enrich their understanding of people and their views.

AASL Information Literacy Standards:
1.1.2 Use prior and background knowledge as context for new learning.
3.2.2 Show social responsibility by participating actively with others in learning situations and by contributing questions and ideas during group discussions.

Materials: 1) Smart Board, LCD projector and laptop – for librarian
2) Lap top computers for students
3) Blog sites for review – bookmarked on Destiny Homepage - reviews created by students and librarian. All postings done by Librarian. High School. - blog used for class discussions of books read within the curriculum. 7th grade.
http://strathmore-views. - 2nd & 3rd grade book blog. Written by students, posted by librarian. - book discussion blog, 5th grade. - book club blog, 4th&5th grade

Objective: Through examination and discussion, students will familiarize themselves with blogs.

Vocabulary: Moderator, Post, Comment, Blog, Weblog

Rational: The 5th grade teachers have been looking for a more creative alternative to
traditional book reports and book logs. Blogging is an option that provides both a creative outlet for individual students and interaction between students. This lesson will focus on introducing students to blogs.

Procedure: 1) Once students have been seated in the library, lap top computers will be handed out to all students. Students will be instructed to log in and wait
for further instructions.
2) Using the SmartBoard to record information, the librarian will ask students what they know about blogs. This will initiate a discussion about blogs.
3) Students will be instructed on how to access the Destiny homepage. The Librarian will discuss the blogs that have been bookmarked on the homepage. Students will then be allowed time to examine some of the blogs. Each student should look at a minimum of two blogs.
4) Once the allowed time has expired, students will then share their impressions of the blogs that they examined. Focus will be on the purpose/function of the blogs (opinions vs factual information).

Evaluation: Students will be able to navigate the blogs, reading both postings and comments.

Follow-up: The next class session will build on this lesson by going into greater depth about
appropriate blogging behaviors.

Blogging Etiquette and Guidelines

Librarian: Bridget Sitler
Class: 5th Grade
Duration: 45 minutes, 1-2 sessions as needed

NYS ELA Standards:
Standard 3: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for critical analysis and evaluation.
As listeners and readers, students will analyze experiences, ideas, information, and issues presented by others using a variety of established criteria. As speakers and writers, they will present, in oral and written language and from a variety of perspectives, their opinions and judgments on experiences, ideas, information and issues.

Standard 4: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for social interaction.
Students will use oral and written language for effective social communication with a wide variety of people. As readers and listeners, they will use the social communications of others to enrich their understanding of people and their views.

AASL Information Literacy Standards:
1.1.2 Use prior and background knowledge as context for new learning.
3.2.2 Show social responsibility by participating actively with others in learning situations and by contributing questions and ideas during group discussions.

Materials: 1) Smart Board, LCD projector and laptop – for librarian
2) Lap top computers for students
3) Blog sites bookmarked on Destiny Homepage - requirements to be a blogger - initial posting contains blogging etiquette.
Copy of Blog Rules (created by another teacher) on SmartBoard

Objective: Through examination of information provided and class discussion students will identify and determine appropriate behaviors for blogging.

Vocabulary: Etiquette

Rational: The 5th grade teachers have been looking for a more creative alternative to traditional book reports and book logs. Blogging is an option that provides both a creative outlet for individual students and interaction between students. This lesson will focus on blog etiquette and appropriate information.

Procedure: 1) Once students have been seated in the library, lap top computers will be handed out to all students. Students will be instructed to log in and wait for further instructions.
2) There will be a brief discussion of the information discussed in the previous
lesson. Discussion will end with focus on the posts/comments left by the students (participants) on the previously examined blogs. What kinds of comments were left? What did students say? What were the guidelines that applied to the comments? Students will look at blogs and determine what (if any) guidelines are posted.
3) There will be a class discussion about what etiquette is and why it is important. Focus will be on how we talk to each other, friends, parents, people we don’t know well. Students will work in groups to determine what etiquette guidelines should apply to their class blog. At the same time, they will be asked to consider what types of information about their reading material they think should be included on the blogs. Each group will be responsible for recording their own ideas. Students will be allowed to reexamine previously explored blogs for ideas.
4) Each group will be asked to share their thoughts/ideas with regard to blog etiquette for their blog as well as the information that their posts will need to contain. The classroom teacher will then share his/her expectations for students’ postings. Through discussion the class will determine which guidelines should apply to their blog. The final ideas will be recorded on the SmartBoard and entered onto the blog page to be used as guidelines.
5) The Librarian will explain why no personal information should be posted on the blog. Examples of appropriate blog entries (negative and positive) will be shown to the class.
6) Students will be advised of the consequences of not following the etiquette guidelines, either in the writing of their blogs or in their responses to the blogs of others. (Determined by teacher and Librarian prior to class.) Students will be advised that all postings and comments will be viewed by their teacher prior to being allowed to appear on the blog.

Evaluation: Each group will be able to contribute at least one blogging guideline. The class will be able to work together to make certain each guideline is acceptable and understandable to all.

Follow up: The next class session will focus on the students creating their first blog posting.
Students will be asked to bring the book that they are currently reading independently to the next class.


Librarian: Bridget Sitler
Class: 5th Grade
Duration: 45-60 minutes, two-three sessions, as needed

NYS ELA Standards:
Standard 3: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for critical analysis and evaluation.
As listeners and readers, students will analyze experiences, ideas, information, and issues presented by others using a variety of established criteria. As speakers and writers, they will present, in oral and written language and from a variety of perspectives, their opinions and judgments on experiences, ideas, information and issues.

Standard 4: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for social interaction.
Students will use oral and written language for effective social communication with a wide variety of people. As readers and listeners, they will use the social communications of others to enrich their understanding of people and their views.

AASL Information Literacy Standards:
1.1.2 Use prior and background knowledge as context for new learning.
2.1.6 Use the writing process, media and visual literacy, and technology skills to create
products that express new understandings.
3.2.2 Show social responsibility by participating actively with others in learning situations and by contributing questions and ideas during group discussions.
3.3.2 Respect the differing interests and experiences of others, and seek a variety of
4.3.1 Participate in the social exchange of ideas, both electronically and in person.
4.4.5 Develop personal criteria for gauging how effectively own ideas are expressed.

Materials: 1) Smart Board, LCD projector and laptop – for librarian
2) Lap top computers for students
3) Classroom teacher created blog with student blog role – bookmarked on Destiny Homepage
4) Student blog assessment form

Objectives: 1) Through class discussion, students will determine the content needed for their blog postings.
2) Students will create their initial blog post.
3) Students will respond constructively on the blog to teacher posed questions.

Rational: The 5th grade teachers have been looking for a more creative alternative to
traditional book reports and book logs. Blogging is an option that provides both a creative outlet for individual students and interaction between
students. This lesson will focus on students making actual blog entries.

Day 1-2
1) Once students have been seated in the library, lap top computers will be handed out to all students. Students will be instructed to log in and wait for further instructions.
2) Students will be reminded of previous discussions, focus being on purpose of a blog (sharing of opinions) and blog etiquette. They will also be reminded that the purpose of the blogs that they will be creating is to share their opinions about and information on the books that they are reading.
3) Using the SmartBoard, the Librarian will demonstrate how to log onto the class blog and how to access their specific blog. The Librarian will then demonstrate how to cut and paste their writing from Word into the blog and post it. The students will then be allowed to make their first blog postings.
4) Students will create their initial posting in Word. (Students with reading difficulties will be provided with a more specific list of writing ideas created by the classroom teacher). This will allow the class a chance to work in a familiar venue, so they can edit their writing without the fear that they might “accidentally” post without corrections.
5) Once they have created their posting, students will be allowed to explore the blog site. The librarian will point out key features such as the blog role and how to access each member’s blog and how to post comments on another person’s blog.
6) Students will be asked to look at their partner’s blog (partners will have been assigned by classroom teacher prior to lesson) and rate it using the Student Blog Assessment. Use of the assessment form will be explained by the Librarian.
7) Upon completion of the form students will post an appropriate comment to their partner’s blog. They will then reexamine their own blog and rate their own posting.
8) Partners will then work together to examine how they rated their own blog and how their partner rated their blog. They will be encouraged to discuss discrepancies/differences of opinion. The teacher and the librarian will be available to facilitate the discussions.
9) Student will be advised that they will need to make at least one posting to their blog and comment on at least one classmate’s blog (does not have to be partner) prior to the next class session.

Day 3
10) Once the class has been seated and logged on to the laptops, they will be asked to look at their newest blog posting and complete the assessment form for themselves. Students will be advised that they will routinely assess their postings so as to be able to monitor their own development as writers. They will also periodically assess classmate’s blogs so as to be able to provide constructive criticism and/or advice. All completed assessments are to be kept in the students’ writing folders.
11) Once discussion is completed, the librarian will ask the students to access the teacher’s blog. Librarian will also display blog on SmartBoard. Students will be asked to read blog and point out anything different/new. Students should notice that their teacher has posed a question on the blog.
12) The librarian will explain that, while their individual blogs are for their own personal discussion of the books they are reading, the teacher’s blog will provide questions for more focused discussion. Their teacher will pose weekly, generalized questions, which all students MUST respond too.

Sample Teacher Questions:

If you could be one of the characters in your book, who would it be? Why?
Would you recommend this book to someone else? Why or Why not?
What point do you think the author is trying to make with this story?

Responses must be written in complete sentences and should be at least one paragraph.
13)Students will be asked to read the question and think about their book. They will be advised to create their response in Word and then cut and paste it into the blog. All responses to teacher posed questions should be posted as a comment to
the question, not posted on their blogs.
14) In closing, students will be advised to start writing their own posts directly in the
blog as they feel comfortable with it (they will not be penalized to continuing to use Word). All responses to the teacher’s questions should first be written and edited in Word so that the students can be sure their writing complies with their teacher’s expectations.

Evaluation: Students will post and respond to the blog with out teacher assistance. They will
be able to self-correct issues with the form/content of their blog through the use of the Student Blog Assessment forms.

Follow up: Students will continue their book blogs as a regular part of their class work. A follow up or refresher class will be offered should the teacher see a need.

Student Blog Assessment

Name of Student: ________________________________
Name of Assessor: _______________________________
Date of Review: _________________
Title of Posting Reviewed:____________________________________

1) The posting made sense when I read it. Yes No Sort of
2) Everything was spelled properly. Yes No
3) The posting met the etiquette guidelines. Yes No Sort of
4) The posting was interesting.
Yes No Sort of
Why? __________________________________________________ 5) The posting gave good information about the book. Yes No Sort of
6) I would want to read the book. Yes No Sort of
Why? __________________________________________________

Sample Blog Postings

Positive Posting:

Dragonsdale by Salamanda Drake.
I think the story is great. There is a lot of adventure and dragons.
Cara really wants to be able to ride a dragon but her dad won’t let her because her mother was killed in a dragon riding accident. She has a dragon that is kind of her pet but he has problems because he won’t let anyone ride him. Cara really wants to ride him but she can’t because her dad won’t let her. I hope that he will change his mind.

Negative Posting:

Pure Dead Batty by Debi Gliori
I don’t really like this book. I thought it would be funny but the people in the book use a lot of weird words and I don’t get it. I think if they didn’t use so many funny words I would like the story better but I don’t think I’m going to finish this book.

Blog Rules

1. Never post anything personal. No pictures, last names, phone numbers, addresses or birthdays.

2. Always use appropriate language; after all, this is still a school activity!

3. Respect your classmates and their ideas. Just like in class, we never put people down. If you disagree, do so with respect and kindness.

4. Academic Language & Accountable Talk are required. This is not myspace! Spell out words correctly and use proper punctuation.

5. Practice, practice, practice. For the rest of your life you will be expected to use computers. If you are not used to it yet, that is okay! You are allowed to
make mistakes and you are allowed to ask for help. Just keep practicing!


What not to Put on the Blog
(To be kept in Writing Folder)

There should be no personal information put on your blog. This includes
last names, nicknames, your home address and/or phone numbers
(home or cell phone). You also should not list any personal email addresses
(yours or classmates) or mention that you are on Facebook, Myspace
or any other networking site.

Anonymous said...

Carol Cappadona
Final Project

I must say that I enjoyed this course very much. As always when I take one of Dave's courses, I learned volumes of new information that make me a better Teacher-Librarian. I will be going over all of this information again during the summer months. I succeeded in getting a blog and a wiki up and running. My 5th grade students are posting video to my blog (the first one went up today) and my fourth graders will be posting to the wiki soon. My principal is convinced I'm a technology expert and it's all because of this course!

Unit on Information Literacy in the Digital Age using Wikis and Blogs in the Library Classroom

Goals for this Unit:

Students will be able to post to a wiki and a blog.
Students will understand digital citizenship and show responsible use of information and the Internet.
Students will learn about their state and its places of importance and interest.
Students will be able to use technology to expand their learning and share their knowledge with others.

This unit will meet the following RIEMA standards:
Standard 1: The student who is information literate accesses information efficiently and effectively.
Standard 2: The student who is information literate evaluates information critically and competently.
Standard 3: The student who is information literate uses information accurately and creatively.
Standard 6: The student who is an independent learner is information literate and strives for excellence in information seeking and knowledge generation.
Standard 7: The student who contributes positively to the learning community and to society is information literate and recognizes the importance of information to a democratic society.
Standard 8: The student who contributes positively to the learning community and to society is information literate and practices ethical behavior in regard to information and information technology.
Standard 9: The student who contributes positively to the learning community and to society is information literate and participates effectively in groups to pursue and generate information.

This unit also meets the Historical Perspective GLE HP2 (3-4)-1 Students connect the past with the present by a. investigating and explaining the origin, name, or significance of local and Rhode Island geographic and human-made features. This unit also meets the GLE for Written and Oral Communication W-6, 7 and 8 Informational Writing.

Lesson 1: This lesson is will focus on digital citizenship in preparation for the students’ adventure into using Blogs and Wikis.

• The students will understand that using the Internet is a privilege that can be revoked by teachers.
• The students will learn that they are responsible for their writing and consequences for inappropriate behavior will be immediate.
• Students will be given the Wiki Warranty. It will be read and discussed and taken home for parent and student signature.

Pre-Activity: Students will be asked about blogs and wikis. Do they know what a blog is? What is a wiki? Can you name some examples? Create a KWL chart of this data on SmartBoard.

What We Know What We Want to Know What We Learned

This chart will be saved for a post assessment/evaluation at the end of the unit.

Once prior knowledge is discussed and we have determined what we want to know, students will be asked to think about behaviors on the Internet.

Discussion will center on what is “right” and what is “wrong.” Student comments will determine the direction of the discussion and be constructivist in nature. The teacher will lead the students to create a list of right and wrong behaviors.

Wiki Warranty will be handed out, discussed and sent home for signatures.

Lesson 2: This lesson will introduce the wiki and how to access, and how to edit.

• The student will be able to locate the wiki page.
• He/She will be given an access password upon receipt of the signed Wiki Warranty by the teacher. The student will then edit the wiki page as a preliminary practice session.

Students will locate the bookmark on the Rockwell Library Home Page of the 4th grade Rhode Island Research Wiki. Students will be given passwords and will be asked to practice editing a wiki. They will be asked to watch this video which will explain what a wiki is. After the video they will access the wiki page and post a comment for others to view.

Lesson 3: This lesson will begin the actual research process. Students will be grouped in teams of two. Students will review the Big 6 steps to research and choose a topic to investigate. Student teams will be asked to locate a place in Rhode Island, learn about it, and report back to the group about it. The essential question will be: Why is ______ (fill in place name) the best place to visit in Rhode Island? Why is it important? Why should we visit? Required information will be: 1. A Wiki page with pictures and captions. 2. A map showing the location and the distance from Rockwell School in Bristol. 3. A persuasive essay on why we should visit this place including a paragraph on the historical significance of the location.

Lesson 4: Students will be taught how to take notes using PowerPoint. As they locate information, they can copy and paste it into a PowerPoint note taking document, using the title of the slide to cite their source. They can then use the slide sorter to organize their notes. When they are ready to write in the wiki they can copy and paste into the wiki and create hyperlinks to their primary sources.

The actual research process will take several sessions to complete. Students will be given a graphic organizer to assist them in the research process with check off boxes to show completion of tasks. Each week problems noted on the blog will be addressed and assistance in finding information will be given. Google maps will be shown to the students as well as the directions section which will give the distance from the school to their location.

Student Names:
Location or Place Name:
Task Completed Approved by Mrs. Cappadona
1. Wiki Warranty returned
2. Posted statement to wiki
3. Topic Chosen with team
4. Pictures Found with web addresses and copied into PPT
5. Historical significance written
6. Map placed in wiki showing location
7. Distance from school calculated
8. Persuasive paragraph written and posted
9. Bibliography is written and posted
10. Weekly blog posting showing progress on research with questions and problems noted

Lesson 5: Students will comment on the research process using the Rockwell Library Blog, also linked from the Library Home Page. Students will be directed to the blog using the Library Home Page as a starting point. All comments will be pre-screened by Mrs. Cappadona before being posted. Students will comment on others questions and respond to class members. As a final exercise (step 6 of the Big 6 research process) students will be asked to evaluate their research and post their comments on the blog. The blog will also have a voting section where students can vote on their favorite place to visit in Rhode Island based on the information learned from their classmates’ wiki pages. At the end of the unit, students will access the blog and view the results of the survey.

Assessment: Students will be assessed according to the rubric.

Students will be grouped into teams of two to accommodate different learning abilities and styles. Students will be allowed to be creative when designing their wiki page with pictures and information about their chosen topic. If students have time and interest, they will be allowed to create more than one page highlighting several locations in Rhode Island.

Anonymous said...

I still cannot get the links to work in this blog. If you would like to see my final project with the hyperlinks, please visit the wiki.

jimmyt said...

EDC 921
Final Project—Teaching Unit

At Gaudet Middle School we have thematic units for Social Studies in Grades 5 through 8. The units are Movement of Ideas, Turning Points, an Ancient Civilization Unit, and a Geography Unit.
The focus for my Teaching Unit is the Turning Points unit, referring to significant turning points in history. In the 8th Grade we focus on the Civil Rights Movement in the United States and the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union.

My teaching unit will focus on the Civil Rights Movement. The Civil Rights Unit covers a number of major events and people who were associated with the movement. A couple of the major events that we study are the Little Rock Nine and the Montgomery Bus Boycott. We also learn about major influential people of the movement, like Thurgood Marshall, Martin Luther King Jr., and Cesar Chavez. Major Supreme Court decisions that affected the movement are also studied. For example, we start with the Plessy v. Ferguson court decision in 1896, which allowed for “separate but equal” facilities. Another major court decision that we study is Brown v. Board of Education, which called for the integration of schools. Finally, to end the Civil Rights Movement, we learn about affirmative action by discussing some readings on the topic.

The resources that we use to cover this material includes 2 lessons from the textbook, primary source readings and documents, and the award winning “Eyes on the Prize” video series. After going over this material, the students will analyze primary source documents from the state of Alabama and then have an on demand essay to write based on their analysis.

There are a number of activities that I use before we start with the analysis of the documents. This ensures that all students will have the same background knowledge before the analysis.
I use the “Eyes on the Prize” video series as one of the activities. These primary source videos offer a good overview of a number of events that occurred during the Civil Rights Movement. We also use primary sources and articles that deal with the Civil Rights Movement. For example, we read and discuss a number of articles concerning affirmative action. Finally, there are two lessons from the textbook that we also use for background information. When we use the textbook, I will usually use a reading strategy, like a FQR.

The first thing I would do for this unit would be to set up a wiki. Since some of the documents are more difficult to analyze than others, the students would benefit by using a wiki. This would allow the students to share their analysis with their classmates and other students within the cluster. They would be able to have conversations about the documents, their interpretation of the documents, and be able to learn from each other. Since they would be able to share their thoughts and opinions on the wiki, it would benefit all students. Students, who are shy and do not like to participate in class discussions, would benefit greatly because they would feel more comfortable participating in an on line discussion. Students, who might not discuss their analysis because they might be concerned if they’re “wrong”, would probably be more likely to share their analysis in this forum.

Since this assignment is time consuming, I would also set up a blog (if I didn’t already have a classroom blog set up) and post links to the documents or put them on the blog. I usually end up sending copies of the documents home because students work at different paces, and therefore, some students usually do not complete the assignment in the allotted time. By having the access to the documents and the ability to share their information on line, I would not have to waste paper thus making it more environmentally friendly.

Podcasts and videocasts are other tools I would incorporate into this unit. There are a number of different speeches by influential leaders of the Civil Rights Movement that I can introduce to the students through podcasts and videocasts. For example, I could use Martin Luther King’s Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech in this format.

Finally I would use a screencast and record my original example that I demonstrated in class. This would enable the students to go back and watch my example again if necessary. This would help both resource students and ELL students.

The students will work with a partner and analyze 11 primary source documents from the Civil Rights Movement. These documents come from the Alabama Department of Archives and History and are dated from 1962-1963. The documents focus on the social, political, and economic problems that were happening in Alabama as a result of the Civil Rights Movement. Also, from the analysis you are able to get a sense of what the rest of the country was feeling towards the people and state government of Alabama. Before the students analyze the documents, I model the format and show the students how I would analyze a document as an example. The following are a series of questions that the students use as a guide in analyzing the documents.

Analysis Questions:
1. Describe the document. Is this a letter, a will, a bill of sale or some other kind of document?
2. What is the date of the document? Is there more than one date? Why?
3. Who is the author of the document? Is this person of historical significance? Do you believe that the author of this document is credible? Is this document written as a requirement of the author’s occupation or is this a personal document?
4. For what audience was this document written?
5. List three points that the author made that you belief are important.
6. Why do you think that the author wrote this document? Use quotes from the document to support your position.
7. List two things from the document that describes life in the United States or in Alabama.
8. Write one question to the author that is unanswered by the document.

Documents to be analyzed:
• Letter from Clarence J. Jones, President of Tuskegee Institute Young Democrats Club, to Governor George Wallace;
• Letter from Lucian Lentz to Governor-elect George Wallace;
• Letter from J. A. Barclay, Manager Northrop Space Lab, to Governor Wallace;
• Letter from Jerry Tanton, Pastor of Pine Grove-Ebenezer Methodist Church, to Governor-elect George Wallace;
• Letter from John Rutland, Pastor of Central Methodist Church, to Governor-elect George Wallace;
• Telegram from Albert Boutwell, Mayor of Birmingham Alabama, to Governor George Wallace;
• Telegram from George Andrews, Member of Congress, to Governor George Wallace;
• Telegram from William McAndrew, Vice-President NBC News, to Governor George Wallace;
• Telegram from L. H. Foster, President of Tuskegee Institute, to Governor George Wallace;
• Telegram from Governor George Wallace to President Kennedy;
• Photo published by The Inter-Citizens Committee, Inc. of Birmingham Alabama which shows a black protester being attacked/restrained by a police dog and a policeman.

1. Analyze a written document for the position of the writer (bias) and for content.
2. Synthesize an historical position based upon document analysis.
3. To understand the events and the positions held by individuals who were involved in events in Birmingham Alabama in 1963.
4. Through the analysis be able to see how the events affected Birmingham, Alabama and the United States socially, economically, and politically.

Turning Points Unit Standard 6.0:
The student knows and understands how people create and change structures of power, authority, and governance.

Writing Assignment/Prompt:
After reviewing the documents from the state of Alabama in 2007, historian John Hazard noted that the Civil Rights Movement was exaggerated. He stated that the Federal Government overreacted, and the violence and the impact on the society, economy, and
government were not as bad as it was reported. In an essay take a stand for or against his viewpoint. In your essay include how the society and economy were affected, and how/why a confrontation developed between the state and Federal Government. Use specific details from the documents to support your stand.

Extension and Adaptation:
The accommodations for this unit will depend upon the type of disability and/or language barrier (ELL students). For most resource students it usually is a matter of extra time and working with the resource teacher. For students who may have a more severe learning disability, I would have them research and write a general summary about the Civil Rights Movement. This way they will be learning about the entire event and hopefully get a broad understanding of the Civil Rights Movement. I would use the same accommodations for ELL students whose language barrier prevents them from doing the analysis.

• An engaging hook/lead
• A clear authoritative thesis statement
• Maintaining a focus/controlling idea
• Sufficient detail from your analysis of the documents to display your content knowledge
• Free of errors that impede the reader’s understanding
• Conclusion

Exceed—In addition to meeting the above requirements, your essay clearly shows a higher level of analysis of how the content affected the social, political, and economic situation in Alabama and the United States.

Suzanne said...

I added my additional information and my final project on wikidave. In addition, I am posting it now to the blog. I created lessons for the social studies curriculum, some of which I have actually started with the class. I will be using these lessons as we finish our states and our Rhode Island unit.

• Introduction

The study of Rhode Island history takes up a good part of our fourth grade social studies curriculum. States and capitals are also part of the curriculum. I am currently teaching the Rhode Island unit to my class and have already implemented some of these tools in their research. The children have been very enthusiastic. In order to complete some of these activities, I have been co-teaching with our librarian during her free period so that we can use the ten available computers in the library. The students who are not assigned a computer continue their research using book. This has been working well, but as always, time constraints do have their impact on how much can be accomplished.

• Standards Addressed – I have included all of the standards addressed by the lessons below.

Social Studies Standards

Standard: SS/1.0: The student knows and understands how people are affected by culture and cultural diversity. GSEs: G&C -1; G&C-2; G&C-5; HP-3

• Describe similarities and differences in the ways people live in Rhode Island.
• Understand ethnic origins and identify ethnic groups of Rhode Island.

Standard: SS/2.0: The student knows and understands the ways people view themselves in and over time. NHS 1; 2; 3; 5. GSEs: HP-1; 2; 3.

Standard: SS/3.0: The student knows and understands the interrelationships among people, places and environments. NHS 1. GSEs: G&C 1; 2; 5; HP 3.

• Locate various landforms and bodies of water in Rhode Island.
• Demonstrate how to use resources, such as maps, globes, graphs, grids, and charts, to obtain information.
• Identify the 50 states and capitals.
• Identify geographic boundaries in villages, towns, cities, and counties.

Estimate distances and calculate scales.

Standard: SS/7.0: The student knows and understands why and how people organize for the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services. GSEs: G&C1; 5.

• Discuss the economic growth of Rhode Island over time.
• Explain the economics of Rhode Island.
Explain how people depend on their environment to earn a living

• Explain the history of Rhode Island past and present.
• Compare and contrast the lives of Americans who influenced the development of Rhode Island.

Standard: Standard SS/9.0: The student knows and understands global connections and interdependence. GSEs: G&C 1; 2; 3; 5.

- Explain how current events around the world affect their lives.
- Exploring current issues using a variety of print and non-print sources.

Standard ELA/WR/11.0: (E2a) The student produces a report. (ES, MS, HS)
• Develop a controlling idea that conveys a perspective on the subject
• Create an organized structure using transition words or phrases
• Include appropriate facts, details, and concepts using the Big6™ research model (See Educator to Educator)
• Exclude extraneous information
• Use a range of appropriate strategies, such as providing facts and details, describing or analyzing the subject, and narrating a relevant anecdote

Primary Speaking/Listening/Viewing Standard: Habits
Students will demonstrate the ability to:
• Ask and respond to relevant questions with elaboration (E3a)
• Confirm understanding by paraphrasing an adult’s direction or suggestions (E3a)
• Participate actively in group discussion (E3b)
• Display appropriate turn-taking behavior (E3b)
• Respond appropriately to comments and questions (E3b)
• Engage the audience with appropriate verbal cues and eye contact (E3c)

Primary SLV Standard: Kinds of Talk and Resulting Genres
Students will demonstrate the ability to:
• Ask relevant questions (E3a)
• Respond to questions with appropriate elaboration (E3a)
• Actively solicit another person’s comment or opinion (E3b)
• Offer own opinion confidently without dominating (E3b)
• Respond appropriately to comments and questions (E3b)
• Give reasons to support opinions expressed (E3b)
• Prepare and deliver an individual presentation (E3c)
• Present information to achieve a particular purpose and to appeal to the interests and background knowledge of audience members (E3c)
• Select and organize content according to criteria for importance and impact rather than according to availability of information in resource materials (E3c)
• Engage the audience with appropriate verbal cues and eye contact (E3c)
• Project a sense of individuality and personality in selecting, organizing, and delivering content (E3c)
(Suggestions: presentation of a research project, presentation of survey results, portfolio conference or sharing)
ELA Speaking/Listening/Viewing Primary Standard: Language Use and Conventions
Standard ELA/SLV/18.0: (E3b) The student participates in group meetings. (ES, MS, HS)
Students will demonstrate the ability to:
• See Primary Speaking/Listening/Viewing Standard: Habits
• See ELA/SLV Primary Standard: Language Use and Conventions students will demonstrate the ability to use convetions.
Standard ELA/Conventions/Grammar/Usage 22.0: (E4a) The student demonstrates an understanding of the rules of the English language in written and oral work, and selects the structures and features of language appropriate to the purpose, audience, and context of the work. (ES, MS, HS)
Students will demonstrate the ability to:
Style and Syntax
• Create a structure and incorporate features of language appropriate to the purpose, audience, and context of the work
• Enrich their writing with a highly individual, lively voice
• Take on the language of authors to enrich their own writing
• Recognize and write a variety of complete simple and compound sentences, varying sentence patterns and lengths (declarative, exclamatory, interrogative)
• Use proper paragraph form: indenting, main idea, supporting details
Vocabulary and Word Choice
• Use words from their developing vocabulary
• Produce writing that contains correctly spelled high frequency writing words (see Educator to Educator)
• Recognize syllables and affix patterns/rules that are characteristic of the English spelling system
• Use punctuation, capitalization, and other conventions
• Use capitalization correctly in final draft
• Use end punctuation, commas in a series, apostrophes, and quotation marks correctly in final draft
• Identify basic grammatical errors when given examples
Reference materials
• Use word book, dictionary, word wall, thesaurus, Spell-Check
Standard ELA/CGU/23.0: (E4b) The student analyzes and subsequently revises work to clarify it or make it more effective in communicating the intended message or thought. (ES, MS, HS)
• Add and delete details and explanations
• Clarify difficult passages
• Rearrange words, sentences, and paragraphs to improve or clarify meaning
• Sharpen the focus
• Reconsider the organizational structure

Lesson 1
Social Studies
History of Rhode Island
City/Town Reports

• Goals
The students will produce a 1 to 2 page paper on an individual city/town in Rhode Island using information gathered from blogs, wikis and web pages.

• Standards addressed:

Standard: SS/1.0: The student knows and understands how people are affected by culture and cultural diversity. GSEs: G&C -1; G&C-2; G&C-5; HP-3

• Describe similarities and differences in the ways people live in Rhode Island.
• Understand ethnic origins and identify ethnic groups of Rhode Island.

Standard: SS/2.0: The student knows and understands the ways people view themselves in and over time. NHS 1; 2; 3; 5. GSEs: HP-1; 2; 3.

- Explain the history of Rhode Island past and present.

Standard ELA/WR/11.0: (E2a) The student produces a report. (ES, MS, HS)
Develop a controlling idea that conveys a perspective on the subject
• Create an organized structure using transition words or phrases
• Include appropriate facts, details, and concepts using the Big6™ research model (See Educator to Educator)
• Exclude extraneous information
• Use a range of appropriate strategies, such as providing facts and details, describing or analyzing the subject, and narrating a relevant anecdote

Standard ELA/Conventions/Grammar/Usage 22.0: (E4a) The student demonstrates an understanding of the rules of the English language in written and oral work, and selects the structures and features of language appropriate to the purpose, audience, and context of the work. (ES, MS, HS)

Primary SLV Standard: Kinds of Talk and Resulting Genres
Students will demonstrate the ability to:
• Ask relevant questions (E3a)
• Respond to questions with appropriate elaboration (E3a)
• Actively solicit another person’s comment or opinion (E3b)
• Respond appropriately to comments and questions (E3b)
• Prepare and deliver an individual presentation (E3c)

• Pre- Activities
- Discuss the importance of internet safety and protocol with the students.
- Discuss different towns in Rhode Island that students have visited.
- Discuss some local landmarks and places that children may have visited already.
- Share the Rhode Island A to Z book with the students and talk about the landmarks that are illustrated in this book.
- Have students choose a city or town in Rhode Island that they would like to write their report on.
- Discuss the need to verify information when using the internet. In addition to Wikipedia, the students will look for information on town pages or on our own Chariho website where one of the fourth grade teachers has already posted her own Rhode Island web page.
- Each student will be given a prepared worksheet that will tell them what information needs to be included in their report. This will include but will not be limited to interesting places, facts, landmarks, landforms and any important people.

• Extension and Adaptation

- Students with limited writing abilities will receive a separate worksheet that requires less information to be written down. They will work to their own individual writing rubrics (provided by SPED) and not to the grade level writing rubrics. These students will also be seated near peer models or on the ends so that teachers can get to them easily.

• Post Activity
- Students will take the information that they recorded and use it to write a report on their town in their own words.
- Children will type and print their final documents using Microsoft Word.
- Children will orally present their reports at the Rhode Island Fair that will be held in June.

• Grading
- For the paper, the grade level writing rubric will be used. This rubric is based on the six traits. The oral presentation will also be graded using a rubric. Speaking clearly, maintaining contact with the audience and answering questions or addressing comments will be scored.

Lesson 2
Social Studies
History of Rhode Island
Current Events

• Standards Addressed

Social Studies Standard: SS/2.0: The student knows and understands the ways people view themselves in and over time. NHS 1; 2; 3; 5. GSEs: HP-1; 2; 3.

- Explain the history of Rhode Island past and present.

Social Studies Standard: Standard SS/9.0: The student knows and understands global connections and interdependence. GSEs: G&C 1; 2; 3; 5.

- Explain how current events around the world affect their lives.
- Exploring current issues using a variety of print and non-print sources.

• Goals

Using the website, students will find a newsblog, videoblog or a podcast to find and report on a current event in Rhode Island.

• Pre- Activities
- Using the large screen monitor in the library, show the students how to search for local news items on

- Each student will be given a prepared worksheet that will give them instructions for getting onto the website and tips for navigation along a place for writing down the information that they find.

• Extension and Adaptation

- Students can be paired up so that they can find the information more easily. Teachers will monitor activity to make sure that children are finding appropriate content.
- Students having trouble with the writing portion can have their partner do the writing or they can optionally print to the library computer.

• Post Activity
- Students will share their current events during our morning meeting. Students who used a podcast or videolog to get their information can play it from our classroom computer. If the students used a blog, the can also pull it up on the classroom computer and read aloud if necessary.

• Assessment will be based on observation and presentation of final current event. How did the children work together to get the information and did they meet the requirements of the assignment?

Lesson 3
Social Studies
History of Rhode Island
States and Capitals

• Goals:

The students will be able to name all states and capitals in the United States.

• Standards:

Standard: SS/3.0: The student knows and understands the interrelationships among people, places and environments. NHS 1. GSEs: G&C 1; 2; 5; HP 3.

• Locate various landforms and bodies of water in Rhode Island.
• Demonstrate how to use resources, such as maps, globes, graphs, grids, and charts, to obtain information.
• Identify the 50 states and capitals.
• Identify geographic boundaries in villages, towns, cities, and counties.

• Pre-Activities:

The teacher will read a list of states and asks the students what the capital of each state is. The students reply until all 50 states have been covered.

Have the students go to our class blog and play the states and capitals game as part of their homework assignment.

• Writing Assignments:
Students receive a worksheet listing the state names and fill in the capitals for each state. These will become their study guides.

• Extension and Adaptation:
Students who have writing IEPs can have a peer helper assigned to help them with the writing of the states

Students that do not have computers at home can be given some time to go to the library during quiet time to play the states and capitals game.

• Assessment:

Students will be able to match the states and capitals correctly when given a formal assessment.

Abbe said...

My final project is a wiki for use in the library media center. This is the site that I will upload videos and other multimedia used by teachers. I've also included student links for subject areas and a blog aggregator for staff development. Staff members would have access to this wiki to add their own links, videos and RSS feeds. The Library Media Center wiki would serve as a community wiki for staff and students to use as a research and reading resource. I've added examples of Web 2.0 resources such as Voicethread and Screencasting, to share information and to show teachers what these tools do. I've used this wiki several times already with classes and for demonstrations. I have linked it to my official school webpage. I can do so much more with the wiki than I can with my page. I've learned so much this semester. Thanks to everyone for trying out different things and sharing them! It's been a great experience-thanks Dave! My wiki link is here:

Maura McGill said...

Taking this class opened my eyes to the many ways technology can be used to improve education. Thanks to all the new information I have gained I now know where to start.
I have learned that many of these new programs are not so difficult to learn, however they require TIME and PATIENCE!
Finally, I am impressed with all the great ideas on the final projects and throughout the course. Thank you to everyone and especially Dave!

My final project was to incorporate technology into a Social Studies unit on Community. I posted my project to and will post below.

The main tool I used in developing my final project was an Edublog. A student Podcast will be used for the final project which will be posted for parents and students. The unit will be supported by video blogs and educational sites that the students can use to find information about their community.
This four to six week Community unit invites students to explore their school and community. The class blog will be set up to present student work to parents, students, and the community. Students will be given the opportunity to display information on this blog throughout the unit. Student comments on the class blog will be a requirement.

Final Project
Purpose: [Essential Questions]

The student understands that people in their community are interconnected and play an integral role in a person’s life.

The student understands why and how people in their community organize for the production, distribution, and consumption, of goods and services.


Identify examples of private and public goods and services in a community.

Understand the basic needs of a community and how they are met.

Give examples of buying, selling, and servicing.

Understand that people work to meet community needs to promote common good.

Understand the roles and responsibilities of community members.

Understand the reasoning of interdependence among community members.

Social Studies Standards
Standard SS/5.0: The student knows and understands that interactions among individuals, groups, and institutions play an integral role in a person’s life.

Standard SS/7.0: The student knows and understands why and how people organize for production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services.

Technology Standards:
Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity.
Students use productivity tools to collaborate in constructing technology-enhanced models, prepare publications, produce other creative works.

Students use technology to locate, evaluate, and collect information for a variety of sources.

Students evaluate and select new information resources and technological innovations based on the appropriateness for specific resources.

Speaking/ Listening/Viewing Standards
Students will demonstrate the ability to talk with confidence about what they think, read, or experience.

Students will demonstrate the ability to talk in small groups for collaboration.

Reading and Writing Standards
See this site:

Pre-assessment Community Activity

Objective- The teacher will be able to evaluate student’s prior knowledge about goods and services in the community.

Procedure: Students will be put into groups of four and given twenty cards with names of places in the community. They will separate them into goods or services. Teacher will go over and discuss.

Assessment: Teacher checklist of students with prior knowledge.

*Some of the lessons will require more than one teaching period
Lesson 1
Objective- The student will be introduced to the unit’s purpose and new vocabulary terms.

Procedure: Teacher will introduce the essential questions of the unit on an overhead and discuss them with students. Teacher will present the differences between goods and services and discuss.
Students will view the following site on the TV monitor.
This is an interactive site that clearly provides examples of goods and services.

Assessment: Students will take the goods and service quiz and needs and wants quiz to determine their level of understanding.

Lesson 2
Objective-The student will recognize the different goods and services provided for them by members of the community.
The student will be able to fill out a graphic organizer to show proof of interdependence of community members which will be posted to our class blog.

Procedure: Teacher will read aloud “Roxaboxen”. As the teacher reads, stop and discuss. See Magik Theatre study guide for discussion questions.
Other sites to use as extensions:

After discussion, students will create a graphic organizer of Roxaboxen, then write two paragraphs including how the community members dependent on one another and why the community worked.
Graphic organizer and writing will be posted to the social studies blog.

Assessment: Third grade paragraph rubric/ Student answered the above questions/ Graphic Organizer is completed correctly

Lesson 3
Objective- The student will be able to list the members of the school community.
Objective-The student will be able to formulate a list of interview questions to ask the school principal after completing a KWL chart.

Procedure: On chart paper, students will brainstorm and list the members of their school community. [nurse, librarian, teacher assistant, etc.] Discuss how they are important to the school community. Students will be given a KWL chart and as a class brainstorm what they know about the principal’s job, then what they want to know about the principal. Teacher will fill in information on class KWL chart. Using the chart student will now generate interview questions for the principal.

Assessment: Student’s KWL chart/ teacher observation

Lesson 4
Objective- The student will learn how to conduct an interview. The student will learn the responsibilities of the principal.

Procedure: As a class, the students will arrange a time for the principal to come into their classroom. Students will be assigned questions to ask the principal from their KWL chart. Students will take notes as they interview the principal. After the interview, the answers will be added to the KWL chart under what they have learned. As a class, the teacher will model how to write informational paragraphs about what they learned about the principal.
The paragraphs will then be posted to the class blog with a picture of the principal.

Assessment: teacher observation/ student notes

Lesson 5
Objective- The student will expand his understanding of community, citizenship and rights and responsibilities to the school community.

Procedure: The teacher will assign each student to a partner. They will be assigned a member of the school community to interview. Example: nurse, lunch assistant, reading tchr…Students will view this video before beginning this activity. Each group will complete a KWL chart on the person they are to interview. They will then generate interview questions. Students will set up a time and then conduct the interview including a picture of the person. With the notes from the interview the students will write two informational paragraphs describing the role and importance of their member to the school community.
Students will present their information to the class. It will be posted to the class blog for parents and students to comment.
Assessment: Informational paragraphs/ KWL chart and notes from interview

Lesson 6- What is a Community? Inspiration/Mind Map
Objective- The students will identify and recognize different places and services within their community.

Procedure: The teacher will use the computer program Inspiration to make a class Mind Map of the community of Charlestown. It will be displayed on the TV monitor for the class to view.
Teacher will ask the question, what places make up your community? As students answer the information will be added to the Mind Map by the teacher. Students will compile a list of various places and services found in their community. When the Mind Map is completed a copy will be given to each student. It will be posted to the class blog.

Assessment: student participation

Lesson 7-Community Helpers
Objective- The student will realize that it takes many, varied jobs for a city or town to work together as a community.
Objective-The student will understand the similarities and differences in the way people function together as a community.
Objective- The student will understand the opportunity to participate in a community and how it makes a difference.

Procedure: After completing the Mind Map, the students will discuss the importance of the work done by each individual. Students will discuss whether or not they provide a good or service for their community.
The teacher will have the students bring in a “tool of trade” of one or both parents. This will be shared with the class on an assigned day. After sharing, students will write a paragraph and draw a picture about what they might like to do when they grow up. They should include whether or not they will provide a good or service for the community. Students will post their pictures and paragraph to the class blog.

Write about what you picture yourself doing when you grow up. Decide if you would be providing goods or services. Draw a picture of yourself doing your job.

Assessment: Third grade paragraph rubric/

Lesson 8- Read Aloud “What’s my Job”
Objective- The student will be able to recognize the different characteristics and roles of people and places in their community.
Procedure: The teacher will put the students into pairs. Each pair of students will pick a place from their Mind Map and write a riddle about the place. Teacher should model a riddle before beginning. Students will be given an outline of questions needed to be included in the riddle. After writing the riddle, student will share them with the class.
As a class, students will solve riddles about community members. Riddles will be posted to the class blog.

Assessment: Teacher Checklist with questions about riddle

Lesson 9- Community Center Poster
Objective- The student will be able to develop and apply information about community services and create a poster.

Procedure: Students examine a local advertisement for a Community Center and discuss the graphic design of the poster. Where is the center located? What is the center all about? Who runs the center? Who may attend? Etc. Students will compare the urban center to places in their community. Students will create and design an advertisement post for a place in their community using their knowledge about their community. Students will be given a checklist for information needed to be included on their poster.
Posters will be displayed in the classroom and on the class blog.

Assessment: Students included all information from their checklist

Lesson 10- Cooperative Group Activity- “Kids in Their Communities” books

Objective- The student will be able to identify and understand the differences and similarities between their community and another.

Procedure: The students will form cooperative groups. Each group will be given a different book to read. Each book is about a different community. [ farm, mountain, military post, town, island, city] After reading the book, students are to use a Venn diagram and compare their community to the one they read about in the book. Each group will share the information with the class. Venn diagrams will be posted to the class blog.

Assessment: Venn Diagram Rubric

Lesson 11- “A Place in Our Community”- Research Final Project

Objective- The student will understand how community members work to meet the needs of the community.
Objective- The student will identify the goods or services being provided by the community member being interviewed.
Objective- The student will recognize how this place is important to their community.
Objective- The student will understand the preparation or training needed to perform this job.
Objective- The student will make an oral presentation of findings to an appropriate audience and organize the presentation in a logical way. The student will be able to speak clearly and confidently while presenting their project and respond to questions from the audience.

Procedure: Students will be assigned the final project community report. The report includes an interview of a person
who works at a place in the community. Include a written report [two
paragraphs] that gives a detailed description of what goes on in this
“place”. What goods are sold or what services are provided? Does this
business provide goods, services, or both? What makes this business
successful or important to Charlestown? What is the job of the worker or owner of this business? What preparation or training did the worker have in order to do this job?
How is this business helpful or important to the community? What type
of business is this? A detailed drawing or photograph has been included
and a detailed model of the “place” is neatly done. Oral Presentation
should include all of the above then made into a Podcast.
[Facet of understanding: Explanation, Interpretation, and Application]

Assessment: The student will be assessed using a rubric.
Students research and construct a model of a building in their community. [Including a drawing/photograph of facility] They will interview a member of the community who works there. They will determine whether or not this business provides goods or services. Students will present their findings to the class which will be made into a Podcast.
Report includes an interview of a person who works at the “place” with three questions. The paragraphs give a detailed description of what goes on in the “place” and why it’s important to Charlestown. Paragraphs have few or no spelling errors and good sentence structure. A detailed drawing or photograph has been included. A model of the “place” is neatly done. Report may be missing one question on the interview or paragraphs may not include many details about what goes on or how it is important to Charlestown. Paragraphs may have some spelling errors or incorrect sentence structure. May not have included a detailed drawing of the place. Model may lack detail or not neatly done. Report may be missing more than one question of the interview. Has included only a few details in the paragraphs.
Paragraphs may be difficult to read with many spelling errors. Has not included a photo or detailed drawing of the “place”. Model lacks detail and/or is not neatly done. Report does not include an interview and/or paragraphs have few or no details about the “place”.
Report does not include a picture or drawing or a model of the “place”.

Lesson 13- Acrostic Phrase- “Closure Activity”

Objective- The students are provided with a final opportunity to work together and share ideas about what they have learned during this unit.

Procedure: Using the words, Charlestown our Community, the students will create words and phrases that begin with each letter of the phrase. Each word and phrase will relate to the community of Charlestown. Students will created their acrostic verse as a word document. Students will share their verses with the class and post them to the class blog. This is a quick way to end the unit and provides closure for the children.

Assessment: Teacher Evaluate of student work/ Checklist of each phrase relating to the Community of Charlestown

Other forms of assessment include: teacher observations,
self-assessments, peer-assessments, discussions, work samples,
checklists, and dialogues.

*Throughout this unit, the teacher can evaluate how much students know
and understand about the differences between goods and services in
their community. At different times, place pictures of places from the
community on the student’s desks. Evaluate by asking different
questions such as: Stand up if your picture provides a service. Line up
if your place provides goods for the community. Tell me what type of
business you have, and then line up for recess. Tell me why your
business is important to the community.
This type of assessment is informal, but the teacher can learn a lot
about what the students are learning. The teacher can keep a checklist
of student’s names and check off who is struggling with these concepts.

Community Enrichment Activities
When students have finished their work or have free time during this
unit, they should have access to a list of activities that they can
work on either individually or with a partner. The list provides an
assortment of activities that address various interests and learning
profiles. For example, there are activities designed for verbal
learners, mathematical learners, creative thinkers, and artistic and
musical students.
The activities encourage students to extend their thinking about the
community and highlight a variety of learning profiles. Allowing
students to choose, or even design their activities, helps to ensure
that they will be engaged with those activities.

* Students can visit to learn more about their community of
Charlestown and report to the class.
* Draw and design a new business for your community. Why do you think
it would be successful in your community? Why did you choose this
business? Does it provide goods or services? Where will your business
be located?
.* Using the Alpha Smart, write an ABC list of people who serve you in the community.
* Create a collage of people in the community.
* Create riddles or jokes about a place or person in the community.
* Write a song about a person or place in the community.
* Find different places in your community on a map. Using scale, find
out how far it is from your house. Determine the distance between
locations within the town.
* Map a map of your community.
* Draw an aerial view of your home, school, or neighborhood.
* Create a brochure to express your feelings about land areas,
buildings, schools, stores, libraries, and cultural events that make
Charlestown unique.
* Create a picture book about local businesses to show what resources
are available in your community.
* Using the computer, Kid- City, U.S.A., students can create their own
model community.
* Go to the following site and report back to the class about something you learned.

NCSS Standards
III People, Places, and Environments
V Individuals, Groups, and Institutions
VII Production, Distribution, and Consumption

Kehoe, Stasia Ward. 2000. I Live at a Military Post. I Live in a City. I Live in the Mountains. I Live on an Island. I Live in a Town. Newbridge Educational Publishing. NY

McLerran, Alice.1991. Roxaboxen. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books. NY

Mrs. Patricia Colonnese said...

Unit Lesson Plan
Patricia Colonnese
Library Media Specialist
Audience 4th grade – 78 students -3 classes meet for 40 minutes each once a week. Class time includes about fifteen minutes to take out books. (Fixed schedule in the library)
Unit Title: Podcasts, Wikis, Blogs and Videos with our author study

This unit was developed in collaboration with fourth grade teachers in order to learn research skills, in particular note taking and to improve their writing and presentation skills while using web 2.0 technologies to enhance their learning. The original plan was to create a report or poster board but with such interest in the podcasts got changed to blogs and wiki’s too.
Students will gain research experience including note taking experience learning about their author.
Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively.
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.
Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology

Identifies a variety of potential sources of information.
Develops and uses successful strategies for locating information.
Evaluates information critically and competently.
Selects information appropriate to the problem or question at hand.
Uses information accurately and creatively
Produces and communicates information and ideas in appropriate formats
Pursues information related to personal interests.
Appreciates literature and other creative expressions of information.
Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process

Student Tasks Students will choose their favorite author. Students will record selection of author which will be posted to wiki. Student will complete research including note taking about author, answering specific question on index cards. Students will research using at least two sources using book jackets and websites including the author website if available. Students will record information on index cards. Students will organize notes and write draft report of their findings. Final copy will be typed into word processing. Students will copy and paste to FESLMC blog. Students will videotape their broadcast report of author study. Video will be posted to wiki. Students will explore blogs and wikis for author information.
Pre-Assessment: What do you know about Jeff Kinney or Rick Riordan? Do we know where they grew up or went to school? Do you think they always wanted to be an author or did they start out working as a marine biologist? What influenced them? What inspired them to be a writer? How did they develop the characters in their books?
Unit Initiation: I showed the student a picture of myself with Brian Selznick. I got some wows and some asking if he was my husband. I explained how I went to a town program called” One Book one Town” and Brian came to speak about his book “The invention of Hugo Cabret” I showed the picture of Brian in his gold pointy boots. I explained how I got their early and sat in the front seat and was able to shake his hand and was completely mesmerized for two hours as he talked about himself, his book, and inspiration and influence. It was the most fascinating event that I have been to in a while with an auditorium of over one thousand people young and old attending. I show the book to the students and booktalk the book. Who is your favorite author? Do you know anything about J. K. Rowling? Do you think she always had an easy life?
This unit is an author study for 4th grade students. The lessons are divided as follows
Lesson 1 - Explain the author study and be prepared to record who they will study and record into podcast. Discuss outline for wiki which will be used to post videos and blog to post report. Show examples of blog and wiki. All directions for the author study will be posted weekly on the wiki.
Lesson 2 - Students record for podcast what author they selected and why they selected the author. Recordings are posted by teacher into a wiki and reviewed with the students the following week. Class develops questions and identifies key word for questions for note cards.
Lesson 3-5 Students research information on their author – details were posted on the wiki and explained as they record information on 4-5 index cards. This includes 1) life/background 2)/education, 3) inspiration/influence, 4) books/awards 5) other interesting facts 6) resources used.
At least one session is in the library using books and another session or two in the computer lab
Students use at least two resources including books and author website.
Lesson 6 Students write report using all notes (notes are complete sentences) Their report is created as if a news broadcast for recording. It will be posted to the blog and also used for broadcast to video.
For example, “good evening, my name is John and I am here to talk to you about a great author. J. K. Rowling. She was born in England and …….
Lesson 8-9 Students are videotaped of broadcasts and all posted on the wiki by class for all students to share. Students can continue to comment on blog……. Additional time will be needed to work out the quirks and get the webcams set up for students in a very quiet environment.
Students write report and type report into word processing . It is then copied and pasted to blog.
Students come to library to be videotaped and post to wiki. (by arrangement)
Lesson 10 Final class - Show students how to access student work. The student work will be posted on the FESblog for sharing and available for viewing on the wiki.
Materials needed: Computer, blog, wiki, webcam device, recorder for podcasts. Computers with word processing, overhead internet projection
Student will record selection of author and reason for choosing author on podcast 10 pts
Student will listen to podcast for entire class 5 pts
Students will create 5 note cards with key words information needed 10 pts
Student will use at least two resources to complete assignment 10 pts
Student will write report using all information on note cards with correct punctuation
and grammar. 10 pts
Student will type report into word processing and spell check for accuracy 10 pts
Student will copy and paste word document to FESLMC blog with report. 5 pts
Student will be videotaped using same report for use in wiki. 10 pts
Student will explore peer work on blog and wiki 10 pts
Student will write reflection on their use of blogs, wikis, podcasts and videos in fourth grade 30 pts

Self Evaluation:
Students will answer the following question with 5 (high) to 1 (low)
On a scale of 1-5 circle the answer that best describes how you worked on this project
My effort on the project was a 5 4 3 2 1
My enjoyment of the project was a 5 4 3 2 1
I learned a lot 5 4 3 2 1
What would I change?__________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
What grade do you feel you deserve?

Differentiated Instruction: In collaboration with the classroom teacher, it will be determined whether a report, posterboard or other materials is needed for special needs students . Support for typing per requested. Alternative presentation materials provided as needed .

juliep said...

Unit Title: Did you know they were FAMOUS because….?
Grade Level: 4th Grade Virginia Studies (Social Studies)
Unit Time Frame: Three 35 minute library lessons

Unit Overview:
This is a 3 week unit to be complete in the elementary library setting with access to the computer lab with at least 25 student stations. My schedule rotates with a 3 week cycle of K, 4, & 5 and then we switch to 1, 2 & 3. This can be completed in a 3 week cycle or expanded to be more extensive in a classroom setting by using the extension activities in each of the lessons. 35 minutes seems like a short time, and it is, however since my scheduled period of time is 45 minutes I maintain at least 10 minutes for cleanup and checkout of new pleasure reading materials for the students.

I used which seemed to work for me. Here is a guest username and password so you can see how I have added the famous American’s names and activity guides to the wiki. Username: wikiuser0052 password: wolf3lime

Virginia Studies Standards:

VS.5 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the role of Virginia in the American Revolution by identifying the various roles played by Virginians in the Revolutionary War era, with emphasis on George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry.
VS.6 The student will demonstrate knowledge of the role of Virginia in the establishment of the new American nation by explaining why George Washington is called the “Father of our Country” and James Madison is called the “Father of the Constitution”
VS.9 The student will demonstrate knowledge of twentieth century Virginia by identifying the political, social, and/or economic contributions made by Maggie L. Walker, Harry F. Byrd, Sr., Arthur R. Ashe, Jr., and L. Douglas Wilder.

English Standards:

4.3 The student will read fiction and nonfiction with fluency and accuracy.
• Use context to clarify meanings of unfamiliar words.
4.5 The student will read and demonstrate comprehension of nonfiction.
• Make simple inferences, using information from texts.
• Draw conclusions, using information from texts.
• Summarize content of selection, identifying important ideas and providing details for each important idea.
• Identify new information gained from reading.
4.6 The student will demonstrate comprehension of information resources to research a topic.
• Collect information, using the resources of the media center, including online, print, and media resources.
• Evaluate and synthesize information.

21st Century Standards, Numbers, and Descriptors:
ICT Literacy
1. Apply Technology Effectively
• Use technology as a tool to research, organize, evaluate and communicate information.
• Use digital technologies (computers, PDAs, media players, GPS. etc.), communication/networking tools and social networks appropriately to access, manage, integrate, evaluate and create information to successfully function in a knowledge economy.

In this unit the students will:
1. Together in teams of 2 pick one name from the following famous American to focus their unit on: Maggie L. Walker, Harry F. Byrd, Sr., Arthur R. Ashe, Jr., and L. Douglas Wilder, George Washington, James Madison, Thomas Jefferson, and Patrick Henry.
2. Be introduced to the following data bases where they will begin their research Worldbook, KidsInfo Bits, Biography Resource Center, and Kids Infotrack Jr.
3. Complete student activity guide.
4. Use technology successfully to communicate their learning with students and teachers.

1. This unit requires the classroom teacher to have covered the same above Virginia Studies Standards of Learning in depth during their classroom time prior to the students doing this unit in the library.
2. Students will have some prior knowledge of each person and the students will have completed either a circle map or bubble map to outline what prior knowledge they know about their famous American. This map would be done in their class with the assistance of the classroom teacher.

Writing Assignment:
1. Over the course of this unit one of the writing assignments will be to complete an activity guide that was co-created with the 4th grade team to fulfill both Virginia Studies and Language Arts standards of learning. This activity guide will be available to the students on the common server in the school as well as on the pbworks site in the Helpful Forms folder.
2. Writing on the Alvey Library wiki page with the biographical information of their famous American. In addition to the basic life facts the students will need to list a minimum of 3 facts from the individual’s childhood, adult life and contributions to society.

Extension Activities:
1. In an individual classroom setting I would recommend that the students create the questions for this activity guide rather than teacher created. However the students would need to have access to the state standards of learning so as to keep on track with the true goal of the information that is needed to be covered.
2. Creation of a podcast or vodcast of the information that the teams were able to find out and link to the wiki or a class blog for other students to listen them.
3. Posting on a class blog to respond to the following question “What are the most interesting facts that you learned about your famous American?”
4. Posting on a class blog to respond to the following question “Would you be friends with your famous American if they were a 4th grader here at Alvey?”
5. Read a historical fiction novel that is set in the time period of the students famous American and create a book review section on the wiki.

1. I have created a rubric that I have attached at the end of this document that the classroom teacher and I will use together to evaluate the students work.
2. Additional I have attached a form for the students to copy and past websites that they get their information from so that we can visit these sites at a late date to verify accuracy of content.

Unit Materials:

-SmartBoard with projector or LCD projector
-25 computers with internet
-Famous American Activity guide
-Citing On-line Sources sheet
-Scoring Rubric
-On-line databases
-Library/Class Wiki, I used
-Blog for extension activities

Lesson 1: (35 minutes)
This lesson will focus on beginning research using on-line databases.
• The students will pair up and choose their famous American.
• The students will be introduced to the databases that are linked on the Alvey Library page for research.
• The student will be introduced to how to cite online sources.

The students will be asked how reliable is the research they find when they simply do a Google search on the internet? We will discuss some of the pros and cons of using a search engine like Google.

1. On-line databases will be introduced such as World Book online encyclopedia, Kids Info Bits, Biography Resource Center and Info Track Jr. and how the students can search for articles about their famous American.
2. Once an article has been located with helpful information the librarian will demonstrate for the students how to take notes on the activity guide.
3. The librarian will demonstrate how to copy and paste the website of an article that the students used to answer questions on the activity guide on the Citing Sources sheet.
4. Activity guides will be handed out to the teams and the students will report to their computer stations to begin research using only these on-line databases. No outside research will be allowed for this unit.

Lesson 2: (35 minutes)
This lesson will focus on the introduction of a wiki, how to access and edit a wiki entry.
• The students will be assigned a username and password that only the teachers and individual student will know.
• The students will practice how to login into the wiki at
• The students will access the folder of their chosen famous American and begin editing/adding biography information.

The students will view an entry that the librarian has created on the wiki about a famous American not on the list they chose from. The librarian will highlight important information that is listed in the basic biography section and how to focus in on that type of information and record it on the wiki entry.

1. Activity guides from previous class will be handed out to the teams for continued note taking.
2. Students will continue researching using the on-line databases that were introduced in lesson 1.
3. Students will login into the wiki and select the 4th grade folder.
4. From the 4th grade folder the students will select their chosen famous American.
5. Student teams will create a basic biography of their famous American based on the notes they have taken while answering the questions from their activity guide on the wiki.

Lesson 3: (35 minutes)
This lesson will focus on editing previous posting on the library wiki.
• The students will use their username and password to login into the library wiki.
• The student will edit previous postings on their wiki page.

1. Students will finish up their research using the on-line databases.
2. Students will access their previous posting of their famous American and continue editing the entry.
3. Students will complete and hand in their activity guide.
4. Students will read other classmates famous American entries.
5. Students will volunteer to share some of their entries on the SmartBoard for the class to view and discuss.
• Students are given the opportunity to upload pictures or video clips to the wiki to enhance the biography that they have created.
• Students are encouraged to upload podcasts/vodcasts to the wiki to display their creativity.

Unit Assessment:
At the conclusion of lesson 3 the student’s activity guide and the wiki entries will be graded using the attached rubric. This grading will be done by the librarian and classroom teacher. Additionally the students will be required to hand in a completed source citing page that they have completed during their research.

HerMom said...

Rebecca Gordon
Final Project

I made it!!!!!!!

I just posted my final project at wikidave.

I decided to revise and create a new service learning project unit . I added a day of learning internet searching using Relevancy, Appropriateness, Detail, Currency, Authority, and Bias though the website Using the rubric that the webpage provides, students will be able to decide if a webpage is a "good, bad or ugly" page. I also incorporated a wiki so the students doing the projects can keep in touch and plan in advance and a blog to keep track of the community partners that students will be contacting. I like the new teaching unit much better than the old one.

Mrs. Wright said...


Fluency is an important component of reading. It is also a complex process that involves multiple skills coming together so that a student can read with comprehension. Fluency involves the combination of reading words within a certain range of words per minute, reading with prosody, and the final and most important measure comprehension. Comprehension is the primary goal of reading and fluency is an essential part of comprehension.


This project will center on a fluency wiki with resources that teachers can use to differentiate the teaching of fluency skills in elementary grades.
Another goal for this unit is to implement a tool to enable a collaborative approach among reading teachers and classroom teachers. Teachers can contribute their expertise to the school community and the wiki can be an ongoing site for collaboration and learning.
The wiki will also enable the staff to expand their teaching practices, share resources and lessons, and use technology in their lessons.

Fluency is not usually assessed until the second half of first grade, but there are assessments in rapid word reading skills that indicate possible fluency problems in reading. Normally assessments of fluency skills begin when a student reaches an F/G level on a Fountas and Pinnell benchmark reading assessment or other benchmark reading program that correlates with it. Children often reach this level during the second semester of first grade.


Power Standard: Fluency is an integral part of reading comprehension and direct teaching of fluency skills is necessary to improve fluency.

GLE Standard for reading: Fluency and Accuracy in 2nd grade as a sample of grade standard

Reads grade-level appropriate material with…
R–2–11.1 Accuracy: reading material appropriate for the end of grade 2 with at least 90- 94% accuracy (Local

R–2–11.2 Fluency: reading grade-appropriate text with oral fluency rates of at least 80-100

R–2–11.3 Fluency: reading grade-appropriate text in a way that makes meaning clear, demonstrating phrasing, expression, and with attention to punctuation (including commas and
words correct per minute (Local quotation marks) (Local

International Reading Association Professional Standards for teachers and reading teachers
Standard 1:Foundation Knowledge:

Fluency is often the one component of reading that teachers neglect to directly teach. Direct instruction is crucial if children are to improve.
For an overall view of fluency, its importance, and assessing it, a short explanation can be viewed on Put Reading First at

To Encourage automaticity in word reading:

Instruction in areas of fluency is also a time when one can differentiate instruction according to a student or a groups needs. Some students may need to start their practice on individual words. Dr. Susan Bray from the University of Maine suggests for these students finding one minute of free time and using high frequency word cards hung on a lanyard or string just for practice in the hall or during transition times can make a difference. There are also well known word lists such as the Fry or the Dolch lists which can be used for practice.

Practicing word recognition is part of differentiating instruction for struggling readers, but it is only a small step and not the main focus of fluency instruction.
Reading with fluency is primarily about finding meaning in what we read.

An additional area to practice is a list of short phrases composed of Fry words.
This is an especially good foundation practice to demonstrate that when we read orally we should read in short meaningful groups of words. That is how we begin to understand or find meaning in what we read.

Teaching and practicing fluency:

Teacher modeling during oral reading is an important part of an overall fluency instruction program
Repeated readings of poems short passages and books are the key to improving fluency because it serves two purposes.

Useful teaching practices for fluency
• Echo reading
• Choral reading, especially poetry
• Reader’s Theater
• Partner Reading, including Poems for Two

Resources include some pointers from the University Of Georgia School Of Education. As in all new instruction, teacher modeling is crucial for implementing

Reader’s Theater sources include The Reading Lady and Literacy Connections at

One of the premier authorities on fluency is Dr. Timothy Rasinski. He recently added podcasts to his site which you can hear if you download a free iTunes subscription.

Where to start fluency practice: the basics
• A timed 1 minute reading on the independent reading level.
• Calculate fluency percentage and words per minute
• Chart on graph paper to monitor student progress

Many teachers use the leveled fluency passage to practice fluency available at

It is also a way we can periodically monitor fluency, but students need to understand the purpose and role fluency has in their reading.

Teachers now have the opportunity to use traditional teaching practices combined with new technologies like podcasts to stretch and motivate students. A class in the Narragansett Elementary School researched and wrote reports on animals and then each student read their report and recorded it on a podcast for all the community to hear. Students also have the opportunity to have students video their Reader’s Theater performances.

A wiki gives a school community the opportunity to work collaboratively on a ongoing instructional reading practice such as fluency.
Please visit the fluency wiki at

Assessment Rubrics
Chariho Elementary Fluency Rubric
Name: Date:

Fluency Rubric Score: ________ WPM: _______


Criteria 4
Evident 3
Evident 2
Evident 1
Smooth flow to reading
~not too fast nor robotic
Clear pauses at punctuation and conscious phrasing of words
Clear pronunciation of words
Rarely rereads or leaves out words
Sounds like conversation
Expression shows through:
~Voice pitch and volume changes
TOTAL ( /6 ) = Average _______


Grade Meets Standard Below Standard
1 50-80 WPM 49 and below
2 80-100 WPM 79 and below
3 90-120 WPM 89 and below
4 115-140 WPM 114 and below

Fluency Rubric for 4 Basic Components of Fluency

Fluency Rubric
Use the following subscales to rate reader fluency on the four aspects of accuracy, phrasing, smoothness, and pace. Scores will range from 4-16. Scores of 9 and above indicate that fluency has been achieved for the grade level of the passage read. Scores below 8 indicate that fluency is a concern.
4 3 2 1
Accuracy Word recognition accuracy is excellent: 96%. Self-corrections are few but successful as nearly all words are read correctly on initial attempt. Word recognition accuracy is good: 91-95%. Self corrects successfully. Word recognition accuracy is marginal: 86-90%. Reader struggles on many words. Many unsuccessful attempts of self-correction. Word recognition accuracy is poor: generally below 85%. Reader clearly struggles in decoding words. Makes multiple decoding attempts for many words, usually without success.
(prosody) Generally well-phrased; mostly in phrase, clause, and sentence units; with adequate attention to expression. Mixture of run-ons, mid-sentence pauses for breath, and possible some choppiness; reasonable stress and intonation. Frequent two and three-word phrases giving the impression of choppy reading; lacks appropriate stress and intonation that mark ends of sentences and clauses. Monotonic, with little sense of phrase boundaries, frequent work-by-word reading; usually exhibits improper stress and intonation that fail to mark ends of sentences and clauses.

(prosody) Generally smooth reading with minimal breaks, but work and structure difficulties are resolved quickly, usually through self-corrections. Occasional breaks in smoothness caused by difficulties with specific words and/or structures. Several “rough spots” in text where extended pauses, hesitations, etc. are more frequent and disruptive. Frequent extended pauses, hesitations, false starts, sound-outs, repetitions, and /or multiple attempts.
Pace (automaticity) Consistently conversational and appropriate. Uneven and mixture of fast and slow reading. Moderately slow or overly and inappropriately fast). Slow and laborious.

References and reading material for teachers

Nickal said...

I have added my final project to the wiki...
and below! thanks to all who helped make this class what it was! I have learned so much!

Nicholas Alfred
Grade 7
Jamestown School
Deliverable # 4 – Final Project

In “companies” of 6, students will start a simulated business in the friendship bracelet industry. Students will learn basics of business, economics, entrepreneurship and financial literacy. This unit will follow the BizWorld course with the incorporation of technology. ( The time frame in the unit is based on 1 hour classes.
Students will understand the fundamentals of business. Using the class blog (, students will respond to questions/advertisements by other companies. Students will post their company worth daily. Students will work cooperatively to create a wiki page for their company. ( ) Students will create a podcast of their sales pitch. Students will write a commercial for their company. They will then create a video/animation to post to the class blog to advertise their company before sales bazaar.
NECAP Math standards covered – Number and Operations, Data Analysis, Problem Solving, Functions and Algebra (Pricing Lesson)
Pre Activities:
Students will be introduced to BizWorld by a class discussion about business. Students must be familiar with using and posting to the class blog. Students should also be introduced to the class wiki by viewing the “classified page”. This simulates the real job posting section of the classifieds in the newspaper. Students will then use the template link found on the bottom of the page to fill out a job application for the position they feel most suited for. Teacher should post job titles and positions to the wiki before starting the simulation/course so students know their role. Important information regarding the course should also be posted to the wiki.
Day 1- Incorporation
Goal: Learn basic business vocabulary. To incorporate your company and deliver a sales pitch via a podcast.
Students will view the wiki to see what company they will be working for and what their role will be in the company.
Students will review the notes about business. The teacher will be following along with the BizWorld course for day one activities including learning about a stock market and the incorporation of a company. As a class, access the wiki and add new vocabulary definitions learned today to the ever evolving list.
The students will then work in “companies” to develop a sales pitch to give to the venture capitalist. Students should write the pitch first then using and a cell phone the students will read the pitch and create a podcast to be posted on the class blog.
The class can then listen to the sales pitch from each company and the teacher/”venture capitalist” can negotiate based on the pitch how much the company is worth that day.
Company presidents should then post their worth to the class blog.
All students should respond to a prompt posted on the blog “The most important part of my job is…”
Day 2: Design Day
Goal: Students will design and develop a prototype of a bracelet they can then manufacture. Students will learn about keeping track of expenses and income on a balance sheet.
Students will watch an instructional video on how to make a friendship bracelet.
Students will follow the BizWorld lesson on designing and creating a prototype. (Course handbook Day 1-part 2)
Upon completion of the prototypes, students will be instructed how to use Microsoft Excel to keep track of their expenses and income. (Based upon time and level of students in the class, teacher can teach an excel lesson about inserting formulas and auto fill features here) Students will create a balance sheet based on the paper copy provided by BizWorld. Students will have to pay employees and rent for Biz Day 1.
All students should respond to a prompt posted on the blog “A product/invention I have thought about is…”
Days 3-4: Loans and Manufacturing
Goal: Students will learn about loans and interest. Students will manufacture of their bracelets.
Students will access the class blog to read an important “press release” about the friendship bracelet industry that the teacher posts just before class. See the BizWorld Course manual for the press release.
The press release leads to a discussion about manufacturing and getting more money to buy supplies through a loan at the bank. (Course handbook Day 2-part 1) Students are directed to access the wiki and post definitions for this lessons vocabulary.
Students will manufacture their bracelets. They should be given one hour to manufacture. See course book for specifics.
At the end of manufacturing hour, students should do their bookkeeping following the steps outlined in the BizWorld created hard copy. Students should then transfer the information to their company balance sheet in Microsoft Excel.
Company presidents should post their company’s worth to the class blog.
All students should respond to a prompt posted on the blog “I manufactured…”
Day 5: Pricing and Marketing
Goal: Students will investigate different pricing situations to determine the best price for their company. Students will investigate different marketing techniques ultimately creating a video/animation commercial for their company posted to the class blog.
Students will access the class blog to read an important “press release” about the friendship bracelet industry that the teacher posts just before class. (See course handbook for press release)
Students will go through the BizWorld lesson on pricing and marketing (Course handbook Day 2-part 2/ Day3 – part 1)
Students should post and edit vocabulary for the day on the wiki.
Students will then create a logo and a slogan to be used in all marketing materials.
Student will be directed to create a commercial to advertise their product. Students may be as creative as they like. Projects can range from a PowerPoint presentation to a digital videotaped skit. The final commercial must be able to be posted to the blog so that the “consumers” (4th grade class) can view the commercials and marketing materials before they come to purchase the products at the sales bazaar the following week.
Students should do their bookkeeping following the steps outlined in the BizWorld created hard copy. Students should then transfer the information to their company balance sheet in Microsoft Excel.
Company presidents should post their company’s worth to the class blog.
All students should respond to a prompt posted on the blog “The marketing technique that reaches me the best is…”
Day 6: Sales Bazaar
Goal: Students will view the commercials posted on the blog. A fourth grade class will come to the sales bazaar and actually buy the products. Companies will be responsible to keep track of sales.
Students will access the class blog to view the commercials.
Students will set up and attend the sales bazaar. See course handbook Day 3 part-2 for specifics on the sales bazaar and how many BizBucks to give the consumers.
Students should do their bookkeeping following the steps outlined in the BizWorld created hard copy. Students should then transfer the information to their company balance sheet in Microsoft Excel.
Company presidents should post their company’s worth to the class blog.
All students should respond to a prompt posted on the blog “My company could have made more money at the sales bazaar by…”
Day 7: Finance Day
Goals: Students will end the simulation by balancing the books, paying back loans, and filling out the income statement.
Company presidents will share with the class how much money they made at the sales bazaar.
Students will contribute to a class discussion about finance. (See course handbook Day 4- part 1
Students will complete the income statement, company performance statement and stock market value worksheet. Students will complete the provided balance sheet and transfer the information to the Excel balance sheet.
Students should post the final company value to the blog to determine the winner of the game.
Students should post their Excel balance sheets to the wiki to prove the company value.
All students should respond to a prompt posted on the blog “Now that I have finished BizWorld, I have learned…”

Individual students will be assessed daily on their participation, using the class participation rubric. Students will also be assessed for communication based on their homework blog responses using the communication rubric.
Companies/Teams will be given one grade based on the following rubric:
4- Successful Company
• Produced accurate balance sheets and provided extra information posted to the wiki,
• Produced a large amount of quality product,
• Produced a marketing plan that instantly caused a “buzz” and posted well planned, funny, effective commercial to the blog,
• Company made a large profit

3- Company worked together
• Produced accurate balance sheets and posted computerized balance sheet to the wiki
• Produced a sufficient amount of product
• Produced an effective marketing plan including a commercial posted to class blog
• Company made a profit
2- Company struggled
• Produced balance sheets with minor errors,
• Produced a insufficient amount of product
• Produced a marketing plan that was not exciting,
• Company made little to no profit.
1- Company went under
• Inaccurate or no balance sheets
• Insufficient amount or no product produced
• Ineffective marketing plan; did not include a commercial
• Company suffered a loss
Classified Ad – to be posted to wiki prior to beginning class…

Mr. Kaczynski said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr. Kaczynski said...

Deliverable #4

This didn't transfer over too well and is better in Word and on the wiki. I have learned a lot in this class and will continue to use more and more as time and the opportunity arise. I recommend taking the class with another person from your school. Nick Alfred and I would discuss lessons and ideas regularly. We helped each other out with figuring ways to do things.

Title: Middle School Chemistry – Atoms and Elements

Time Frame: ~Four weeks
Six lessons:
· Introduction to periodic table
· Element Adoption
· Element Research
· Element Brochures
· Element Models
· Element Presentations

Unit Goals:
Students will:
· Research using interactive periodic tables found on the internet and linked to my blog.
· Make comments/respond to questions posted to student blog
· Contribute information to wiki about elements
· Complete daily puzzles using periodic table
· Make a brochure about a specific element
· Make a model of a specific element
· Present their model and basic element information to class


PS 1 (5-8) MAS-5
PS 1 (9-12) POC -3

Lesson 1 – Introduction to periodic table (1 week)
I call this the decorating the periodic table lesson

Pass out periodic tables (that only show element name, symbol, atomic #, mass) printed on blank white paper

Using Smart Board, access a variety of periodic tables looking for information to add to student tables via color and keys (explaining each as they are added). If no Smart board, use wall chart or overhead and have students look for differences.

Once this lesson is complete, each of the following classes will begin with puzzle that requires the use of the student modified periodic tables to solve and review (about 10- 15 minutes per class). These puzzles show four element symbols and the students must use the table to figure out what 3 of the four elements have in common on the table (ex. same period, same group, odd atomic #, etc)

Lesson 2 – Introduction into the Element Adoption Service (1 class)
Distribute handout Adoptele.doc

Select element – select element from a bag that has a cut up periodic table inside. This ensures that no element is selected twice. Students can trade if both parties agree.
Take oath – each person can read or as a class said in unison
Explain basic components and set due dates

Lesson 3 – Element Research (2-3 classes)
Use Mr.K’s Blog to access web sites to begin to fill out note sheets for brochure
Make comments about interesting/useful information to posting on Science Student Blog (to be created by instructor prior to class)
Because of limited computer access, print sources are also available from library (on cart)

Lesson 4 – Element Model (1 class – model built at home)
Review rubric and explain each item
Have students draw a plan of what they may do based on their research

Lesson 5 – Making Brochure (3 classes) element brochure.doc
This is one of the more formal written pieces in this unit and will be graded on a rubric (attached)

Read through rubric showing examples of past projects (best and worst saved after first year) or discussing what would be ideas of things that fit each rubric item
Provide some basic materials for students to begin making brochure following guidelines on handout
Monitor student progress

Lesson 6 – Element Presentations (2 classes)
Students present their models (now hanging all around the room from the ceiling)
Using their entry to the wiki to be created in future and the Smart Board, students explain their element and model

element adopt rubric.doc Rubric also attached below

This unit meets the needs of all levels of learners. The rubric and projects allow the instructor to vary expectations and make modifications to the students ability, high and low. Also, to assist special educators, resource students can be allowed to use the same element (oxygen for example) but each student does their own projects.

Jamestown School Element Adoption Service

. I have selected this element by chance and will become the grade expert on this element. I understand that in order to be a good agent I must:

1) Construct a 3D model of my element that will be hung in our room and is:
A) No larger than 1meter in diameter
B) Is made of material that is not bought specifically for this project (model kits)
(no Styrofoam balls)
C) Does not exceed 5 pounds
_3) Make a brief presentation and wiki entry about this element that includes:

A) Element Basics (name, symbol, discovery, properties, electron structure,etc)
B) The common uses of the element (types of things and places it can be found)
C) Interesting facts about the element
D) Explain model (point out each part, material choice)

Name Date Class _

Jamestown Element Adoption Rubric.
Science Standards:

8S06 - Physical Science concepts: Atoms/Elements
Model: 1 2 3 4 5
Brochure: 1 2 3 4 5
8S03 - Scientific Communication (presentation) 1 2 3 4 5
Needs Improvement
1 & 2



Element Model

Follows guidelines on sheet
Protons and Neutrons shown in nucleus

Has card attached that that accurately: identifies the element, it's symbol, # of protons, #of electrons, # of neutrons, your name and class, key (if needed).

Made out of material that relates to the element somehow. (explain)

Ready to hang (completely assembled)

Done on time

Has nucleus and proper electron orientation
Unique/Creative design

Element Brochure


No more than three spelling/punctuation errors
All words spelled correctly with proper punctuation

Follows guidelines on sheet
Extra detail/info

Neat and on time
Creative display

Uses color (not from printer)
Detailed history

Accurate information

Element Presentation and wiki entry


Clear, articulate voice,
organized, and rehearsed
Acts as agent/salesman (positive and persuasive)

Covers Element basics as directed on sheet
Has physical examples of the element

Where it can be found and 3 uses
More detailed information

States 1 or 2 accurate, interesting facts
Makes poster

Explains the model

Name _ Element

Element Brochure Directions

1. Fold 8 X 11 paper into three equal sections and number pages as follows:

2. Place the following things on the specified page (other decorations are OK)

Page 1 Cover
Name of element
Symbol of the element
Page 2 History
When it was discovered
Other historical facts
Page 3 Diagrams (must be drawn by hand)
Electron dot diagram
Electron shell diagram

of electrons, protons, and neutrons
Page 4 Properties
Atomic mass
Atomic number
Melting point
Boiling point
Group it belongs to
Physical characteristics of the element
Page 5 Uses and Facts
Where it can be found (physically/geographically)
Cost (if available)
At least three interesting facts
Uses of element
Page 6 Pictures and Drawings
Picture or drawing of the element
Drawings of the things that it is used in
Your name and class at the bottom of the page

Dana Dones said...

Dana Dones
University of Rhode Island
EDC/586-921 Final Deliverable
May 4, 2010

Part 1

Lesson Plan

Introduction: This 3 weeks session is designed to educate current smokers on the detrimental effects of tobacco use and to develop the tools and strategies to become smoke free.


1. To acknowledge that it’s hard to quite smoking, but it can be done and its worth it
2. To identify adult smokers participating in the class and the actions they can take to quit smoking
3. To identify factors that will help people quit.
4. To create a smoking cessation blog with weekly input
5. To sign a smoking cessation contract

Pre assessment questionnaire:

Why did you start smoking?
How long have you been smoking?
Have you ever been able to quit? If so for how long?
What do you think it will take to help you quit smoking?
Do you know anyone who has quite smoking?

Health Promotions Contract
Prescription: Quit smoking

For: ______________________________________ Date: ___________

Quit date: _____________________________

Just before your quit date:
• Write down your personal reasons for stopping. Look at your list often.
• Keep a diary of when and why you smoke.
• Get rid of all of your cigarettes, matches, lighters and ashtrays.
• Tell friends and family that you’re going to stop and what your quit date is.
• Get the medication or supplements you plan to use.


• Practice going without cigarettes in places where you spend a lot of time, such as your
home or car.

On your quit date:
• Stop smoking!
• Ask your friends, co-workers and family for support.
• Change your daily routine.
• Avoid situations where you’d typically smoke.
Avoid situations where you’d typically smoke.
• Drink plenty of water.
• Stay busy.
• Do something special to celebrate.

Right after you stop:
• Develop a clean, fresh nonsmoking environment around yourself, at work and at home.
• Try to avoid drinking alcohol, coffee or other beverages you associate with smoking.
• If you miss the sensation of having a cigarette in your mouth, try carrot or celery sticks,
flavored toothpicks or a straw.
• Chew sugarless gum or mints to help with cravings.
• Stay away from people who smoke.
• Reward yourself for successes — one hour, one day or one week without smoking.
• Start an exercise program.

Additional recommendations:


Dana Dones said...

Part 2

Lesson 1

At the end of this lesson the audience will be able to:
a. Understand the health risks of cigarette smoking
b. Understand the benefits of smoking cessation
c. Understand strategies to help quit smoking

A. Smoking cigarettes is a major cause of disease in the United States. It is responsible for over 4000,000 deaths each year in the U.S. Smoking also causes or dramatically contributes to heart disease, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
B. General effect of life expectancy. Smoking is a major cause of early death. Recent studies reveal that about half of all regular cigarette smokers will eventually be killed by their habit. People who quit smoking before age 50 have ½ the risk of dying over the next 15 years compared to those who continue to smoke.
C. The recommended first step in smoking cessation is to pick a quit day. The quit date represents the date when you will completely stop smoking. The date ideally should be within two weeks or on a special occasion in the near future (e.g., birthday, anniversary, new years day).

Lesson 2

At the end of this lesson the audience will be able to:

a. Understand where to find help in coping with tobacco smoking addiction and resources
b. Creation of an online blog will be started in this session. The name of the blog will be up to the participants to chose. (Differentiated instruction)

A. Tobacco cessation resources are available at: Your local clinic or hospital and these links.
B. The online blog will be incorporated into the lesson plan and participants will be required to log on once per day and post obstacles or any events that are related to their progress with their smoking cessation.

Lesson 3

Objectives: By the end of the lesson the participants will be able to:
a. Identify some short and long-term withdrawal symptoms and/or some unpleasant symptoms they may experience after they stop smoking.
b. Discuss preparation and strategies for smoking cessation and resources available
c. Discuss relapse

A. Withdrawal symptoms, or unpleasant symptoms one may experience after they quit are common. They generally peak by day 3 and gradually subside over 3-4 weeks. Periodic cravings for cigarettes may occur over months. Short-term withdrawal symptoms, which most likely represent withdrawal from nicotine include:
Frustration and ager
Difficulty concentrating
Decreased heart rate
Some people who quit smoking may experience mild depression. Depressive symptoms may be severe enough to require counseling or anti-depressant medication. The prevent relapse, recognition and treatment is vital. Report your symptoms to a health care provider for evaluation.

B. Preparation for smoking cessation :Two basic approaches to quitting smoking exists: behavioral and drug therapy. Behavioral therapy includes the identifying triggers to smoking, such as stressful situations, and ways to cope with these triggers, such as exercise or relaxation techniques. Group therapy, acupuncture, and hypnosis are also sometimes helpful.

Drug therapy, or pharmacotherapy, most commonly employs nicotine replacement or buproprion medication. Nicotine replacement therapy serves to minimize the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. It appears to be safe although smoking while on nicotine replacement therapy is not recommended.

C. Relapse is common when trying to quit smoking. It takes most smokers several times to quit before achieving final success. Each quitting attempt is a victory. If you do not succeed. Learn from the difficulties you experience and try again. Consider trying different cessation techniques. Most relapses occur during the first week, when withdrawal symptoms are the strongest.

D. Each student will be assigned a sponsor who has successfully completed a smoking cessation class and is currently smoke free.

Cheryl said...

Final Project - Summary
Cheryl Tondreau
Instructor - CCRI at Network RI
Providence, RI

I have added my final project unit to

For my final project, I created lessons for a program at CCRI called ASE to College. A colleague at CCRI is the supervisor for this program and she is very interested in integrating Web 2.0 tools into the curriculum for this program.

This project is very much a work in progress. The curriculum for the program itself is being designed this summer. I will work with the supervisor to create lessons so participants can feel comfortable with many web tools.

At this time, four lesson plans have been created along with an outline for lessons I will create for this program.


I. Learning Style Assessment
II. Setting SMART Goals
III. Study Skills
IV. Using EFF Standards
V. Using Rubrics for Assessments
VI. Portfolio Assessment

Unit: Using Online Resources and Tools
I. Introduction to Web Tools
II. Using Online References
• Dictionary
• Thesaurus
III. Research
A. Introduction to Research on the Web
• Search Engines
• Wikipedia
• Reliability of sites
B. Social Bookmarking and other research tools
IV. Using Blogs and Introduction to Digital Citizenship
• Introduction to Blogs
• Using Class Blog
• Digital Citizenship
V. Using Wikis
A. Introduction to wikis
B. Using Class Wiki
C. Portfolio Assessment and wiki
D. Ownership (copyright vs. Creative Common License)

Social Studies:
I. Interpreting Political Cartoons

Cheryl said...

Part 2 - Details for Lessons created so far.

Lesson: Introduction to Web Tools

In this lesson, students will be exposed to some of the various tools that are on the Web and given information about how they can be used, personally and for learning. The Independent Activities Component of this course will include assignments using a class blog and class wiki, which will be introduced here and with direct instruction/learning activities in lessons that follow.

(Additional lessons should be added to the unit if participants themselves identify tools they would like to learn more about.)

Goal: Students will:
• See examples of Web tools which can be helpful for learning
• Identify web tools they are familiar with and / or use
• Evaluate the potential usefulness of these tools
• Articulate the benefits of using these tools

References on the Web

This lesson will give the students information about common sites used for reference on the Web. A reference tool is a tool to which you can refer for authoritative facts. In this unit, we are making a distinction between reference and research. For the purpose of this unit, reference will be considered the source you go to for “study skills” such as getting the definition of a word or term you don’t know. And resource will be used for research on a topic. More information is needed for research than for reference. Research – a scholarly or scientific investigation or inquiry; close or careful study.

Goals: Students will be able to:
• identify two reference tool sites on the Web and cite examples of how they could be helpful
• use at least one reference tool on the Web, if there is computer access available to them in class or as an independent activity

Research on the Web

This lesson is intended to be an introduction to common sites used for research on the web (including Wikipedia) and examining reliability of sites on the internet. The lesson could be spread out over several class periods in order to give students sufficient information and practice to do quality research on the web and should be integrated with other content lessons so students get the chance to do actual research for the class or for something they choose.

Goals: Students will be able to:
• Identify at least one website commonly used for research
• Use Reading strategies appropriate for research on the web
• Justify the reliability of a site

Lesson: Using a Blog and Introduction to Digital Citizenship

This lesson is designed to introduce students to blogs. Blogs are an integral piece to the Independent Component of the course since students will be asked to post answers to questions about class activities and assignments and to pose questions relevant to the class and to the other participants.

This lesson and any activities created for the class blog are only meant as a starting point for the use of the blog. Throughout the program, students should be urged to be active participants of the blog. Hopefully, through active participation, the class blog will be much more than envisioned at this present time.

In addition to learning how to use blogs and evaluate blogs, participants will be exploring the notion of digital citizenship.

** Please go to the wiki for this class for complete lesson plans and additional lessons as they are posted.

SueKelly said...

Susan Kelly-DePerry
Final Project Summary

My final project has been posted to the class wiki under "Final Project". My unit is about how the literary element "theme" drives the plot in a story using the novel Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes by Chris Crutcher. The unit is designed to take 4-6 weeks. Students will be expected to blog on a daily basis to teacher created prompts, as well as participate in a class wiki which will discuss prominent themes in the novel. Students will be able to listen to podcasts of the novel from home by accessing the class website.

I am very impressed with the other participants final projects. I feel that I can learn so much more just from reading the lessons they have come up with. I am excited to really start implementing all of the Web 2.0 tools we have learned about into my curriculum.

Anonymous said...

This three to four week unit includes instruction in milk composition, milk and dairy product production, and the structure and function of the mammary system. Although I do not currently have a textbook for this course, my department recently subscribed to an online curriculum program (Ag Ed Net) that is similar to an e-textbook. It provides a student password that allows them to access written information, PowerPoint presentations and review activities. This unit includes the use of this database.
At the close of our unit on Dairy Science, the students complete an anchor assignment in regards to the use of hormones in dairy production. Their task is to write a persuasive essay in which they support their opinion on the issue. We spend a considerable amount of time discussing the use of rBST (recombinent bovine somatatropin) as well as how to properly write a persuasive essay.
This unit lesson incorporates the use of screencasts, blogging and a class wiki. Lesson one involves accessing an e-textbook type of database where students learn the basic components of milk. Lesson two involves the use of a class wiki. Students will complete an outline based on the text, images and links posted on the wiki and answer a set of review questions. Lesson three shifts gears a bit and teaches or reviews the basic elements of persuasive writing. Students learn how to use a graphic organizer as a writing tool. They also access the class blog to read an example of a persuasive essay and post comments. Lesson four provides students with the necessary background information on the use of rBST in the dairy industry. Students will read an article about the issue and post comments on the class blog. Finally, lesson five revolves around the writing assignment. Students will be required to write a persuasive essay in which they defend their opinion in the regards to the legalization of rBST. They will be required to post a rough draft of their essay on the class wiki. Students will peer edit one each others' papers and provide constructive feedback. At the completion of the unit, students upload their projects to their digital portfolio and post a copy of their reflection to the class blog.

Mrs. McAllister said...

Rebekah McAllister
EDC-921 – Final Project
8th Grade Science

Final Project Summary:

The technology I am integrating from EDC 921 includes effectively using the Internet as a research tool and using a class wiki for student collaboration. This inclusion of technology invites students to become active learners and pursue knowledge using multiple modes of learning. I will incorporate the Team R Science Research Website Evaluation Sheet I made during EDC 920 so students will be more likely to choose Internet resources of higher informational quality. The purpose of using a class wiki is to give students an opportunity to cooperatively research, study and create together outside of the classroom. Student will use the wiki to access their group’s attachments, images and sound bites from one location to collaborate and edit the project together to fulfill their specific roles.
The class wiki has been especially helpful as currently my district has switched Internet safety software and students are unable to access their email accounts. The only way for them to attach and compile their PowerPoint slides is via the class wiki. I am so glad that this resource is available and students appreciate (now more than ever) this new means of connecting with each other.

Title: Element Experts

Overall days: 8 days for project assignment introduction and initial group research.
2/3 weeks of independent research and group project collaboration and completion.
Discipline/Content Area Focus:
Physical Science
Grade Level:
8th grade
• Students will be able to determine the properties of all the elements due to the location on the periodic table.
• Students will access the Internet to research their specific elements and to answer specific questions related to their assigned element on the periodic table and write a five paragraph essay on their element.
• Students will demonstrate knowledge and skills in technology through the use of the class wiki in which they will collaborate in groups of four as they complete their seven slide group PowerPoint presentation.
• Students will write an essay on an element which will discuss its’ properties, history and uses in society.
• Students will present their element PowerPoint presentation on the class Smartboard.
Essential Questions:
How does the structure of an atom relate to the periodic table?
What are the trends going down a column?
What are the trends going left in a row?
How do elements affect our everyday lives?
Grade Level Expectations/Grade Span Expectations:
PS1 (5-8) MAS –5
Given graphic or written information, classify matter as atom/molecule or element/compound (Not the structure of an atom).
PS1 (7-8) – 5
Students demonstrate an
understanding of the structure of matter by …
5a using models or diagrams to show the difference between atoms and molecules.

5b classifying common elements and compounds using symbols and simple chemical formulas.

Mrs. McAllister said...

You are going to become an Element Expert. A what, you ask? Your will become an “expert” and research an element on the periodic table using the Internet. You will be learning everything about this element. The meaning and importance of the elements on the periodic table will grow and change with your increasing knowledge of chemistry. Each student in your group will also become an Element Expert on a specific element. You and your fellow experts will create an Element Expert Square that includes all the element information found on the Periodic Table of Elements and then hang them together on the wall of the classroom to create a periodic table to showcase your “expertise.” After learning all about your assigned element and completing the Element Expert Square, you will write a five paragraph essay on your element.

You will continue to work on your essay outside of class. You will discover relationships among periodic table families when you collaborate with students who have been assigned elements in the same periodic family using the class wiki. Groups based on element families will combine their expertise on their element and the element’s family to create one PowerPoint showcasing each of their elements and the unique features of the family they represent.

I will introduce this unit after we have covered matter, physical and chemical changes and the structure of the atom. Students will also have been introduced to the information found on the periodic table and its organization. In addition, they have prior knowledge and are familiar with using Microsoft PowerPoint and the Science Research Website Evaluation Sheet.

Day 1
I will assign pre-selected elements (elements 1-96) in order to insure that each student will research a different element. As the class already knows how to read the information on an element square, they will also be expected to focus on the history, physical and chemical properties and uses of their particular element.
From their research, they must locate the following information about the element:
Element Symbol
Element Name
Atomic Number
Atomic Mass
Is it a solid, liquid or gas?
Boiling/Melting point
Is it a metal, nonmetal
or metalloid?
Family Name
Who discovered it?
When discovered?
How is it used?(must have 2 uses)
Physical and chemical
Unusual/ interesting facts
Graphics – pictures of element or materials
made using the element(must have 2)
Day 2
Student groups will read online informational articles about their element’s family, answer the Element Expert Families Questions and fill in the Element Expert Families Information Sheet. They will share the information about their element’s family with the class (one student will read their completed question sheet out loud.)

Mrs. McAllister said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mrs. McAllister said...

Day 3
Students will go to the computer lab to complete the Element Experts Webquest which will give them a better understanding of their element’s family characteristics and properties.
Day 4
Students will create an Element Experts Square that includes all the information found on The Periodic Table of Elements. They will use the Periodic Element Square worksheet for the guidelines to create their element square. Once the squares are complete, I will hang them on the wall to create a large classroom size periodic table that the students can refer to during class.
Days 5 and 6
Students will write a five paragraph essay on their element which will discuss the properties, history, uses and any interesting facts. They will use the Research Website Evaluation Sheet to choose Internet resources of high informational quality. All rubrics and the checklist will be explained to students before they write the essay to ensure they understand what is expected of them and the vocabulary used. The entire period will be spent doing independent research on the Internet in the computer lab and starting their essay. They will be provided with citation sheets for recording each source and a sheet explaining how to site each type of source that they use on a reference sheet. Students will attach the reference sheet to indicate where their information was obtained on their essay.
Day 7
Students will be grouped in fours by the families of their elements on the periodic table and create a PowerPoint that summarizes each students’ essay and states the similarities between their element to the group’s elements. I will present a PowerPoint on the Smartboard on the element Carbon as a benchmark. Groups will collaborate outside of school via the class wiki to compile their slides into one PowerPoint presentation. They will refer to the PowerPoint Presentation Rubric for details. Students are expected to make at least one slide per group member for their own element and at least two slides as a group that includes their families’ similarities. After completing the individual portion of the presentation, students will work in collaborative groups of four using the wiki using the Element Experts Wiki Roles Sheet. Approximately 2 weeks will be needed for the students to collaborate on the wiki and create the presentation.
Day 8 (after a minimum of 2 weeks)
Each “Element Expert” group will present their element slides before the class using the Smartboard. I will score each presentation according to the Element Experts PowerPoint Presentation Rubric.

Mrs. McAllister said...

Key Vocabulary:
Element, proton, neutron, electron, atomic mass, atomic number, row, column, positive, negative, neutral, families, physical properties, chemical properties, metal, metalloids and non-metals.
Students will work in heterogeneous grouping of students to ensure that low performers are placed with peers who will help to keep them motivated and engaged. I will scaffold instruction to facilitate more one-on-one teaching for remediation such as how to use search engines effectively. Students will use multiple graphic organizers over an extended period of time as well as a use a checklist/guidelines sheet that will ensure task completion by all students; this is especially designed for students who have trouble with organization and time management. Students will be allowed additional time to complete work after school for concept clarification with opportunities for revision of the element essay. Students will also have an essay checklist designed specifically for this process to ensure that all students are able to reach the standard. Additional accommodations according to student IEP’s will be incorporated as needed.
Students could search on the Internet for periodic tables to compare from around the world showing that the information on it is universal.
The five paragraph essay on the element and a group PowerPoint will be assessed using the Essay Requirement Checklist and the Group Project PowerPoint Requirement Rubric.
Wiki -

Deb said...

Deb Marcellino
EDC 921
Final Project Summary

My unit focuses on using poetry and blogging in the classroom to build community and foster ownership for work.
My fifth grade ELA students maintain a Writer's Notebook which they write in almost daily and share from frequently. Integrating Web 2.0 tools such as blogs and podcasts will give my students modern forums to share their work. Since they will be sharing with a wider audience (parents, teachers, and administrators) students will take more pride in their work. Blogging about their writing and that of their peers, and becoming proficient at using Web 2.0 tools will help my students develop the skills necessary in today's digital world.

Building trust in the classroom is essential if I expect my students to produce sincere writing that reflects their best effort. In writing poetry, especially, student need to feel safe to take risks in their writing and to share their work with a real audience beyond the teacher. The activities in this unit nurture community and encourage student interaction and collaboration.

My students are already using cell phones, Ipods, and social networking sites as a means of communication. Units like this one will help me build upon my students' strengths. I need to present my proposal to administration because at this point, in my district, blogging is blocked. I will continue to work on this unit over the summer and present it with my proposal in hopes that I will actually get to try out some of these ideas next year.

Deb said...

Deb Marcellino
5th Grade ELA
EDC 921-Final Project

Unit: Building Community Through Blogging and Poetry

Overview: The purpose of this unit is to foster trust and ownership in our classroom through blogging and poetry. When students feel safe to express themselves freely, they produce more frequent and better quality writing. Since poetry is a genre that often reveals strong emotion, it is especially important that students trust each other. The integration of Web 2.0 tools into this poetry unit, encourage student participation and collaboration. Parents, team teachers, and administrators will be welcome to join our blog, providing a real audience for student writing beyond our classroom walls.
Guiding Questions: What are the characteristics of the genre of poetry? How does the study of poetry strengthen a community of writers? How does the integration of technology foster student interest for reading and writing poetry?

Timeline: This unit will take 4-6 weeks, but the Web 2.0 tools and study of poetry will continue throughout the year.

• Students will understand the characteristics of the genre of poetry.
• Students will be able to identify poetic devices in others’ work and use the devices in their own writing.
• Students will create and post to our class blog a Web page project that displays their own poems.
• Students will comment on the work of others and respond to teacher prompts on class blog.
• Students will create a podcast or vodcast and post to our blog.

GLEs: Writing:
W-10 Students use pre-writing, drafting, revising, editing, and critiquing to produce final drafts of products.
W-11 Students demonstrate the habit of writing extensively by writing frequently, sharing thoughts and observations, and writing in a variety of genres (Examples: Journal writing, reading response, reflective writing, etc.)
W-1 Students demonstrate command of the structures of sentences, paragraphs, and text
W-9 In independent writing, students demonstrate command of appropriate English conventions

R-4 Students demonstrate initial understanding of literary text by identifying and describing characters, setting, problem/solution, and summarizing key plot details; students read widely and extensively (25 books per year)
R-5 Students analyze and interpret elements of literary text, citing evidence by making inferences, describing changes in characters over time, identifying narrator’s point of view, identifying author’s message; evaluates literary merit of text
R-6 Students analyze and interpret author’s craft, citing evidence by demonstrating knowledge of devices such as imagery, flashback, foreshadowing, symbolism, and figurative language
R-8 Students make and support responsible assertions about texts; make perceptive and well developed connections
R-13 Students use comprehension strategies before, during, and after reading
R-14 Student reads widely and extensively in a variety of genres
R-15 Students research by reading multiple sources
R-16 Students generate a personal response to reading

Oral Communication Standards:
Interactive Listening:
• Summarizing, paraphrasing, questioning, contributing to information presented
• Participation in large and small group discussion
• Reaching consensus to achieve a goal
Oral Presentations:
• Demonstrating skills required in interpersonal, small group, and public exchanges
• Providing effective and appropriate feedback to audience and small groups
• Using variety of strategies to engage audience
• Convey information with a consistent focus

Deb said...

ISTE Technology Standards:
1. Creativity and Innovation

Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.

2. Communication and Collaboration

Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

3. Research and Information Fluency
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

Lesson 1: Introduction to Poetry Duration: 1 class period-65 minutes
Guiding questions: What is poetry? What makes a poem a poem?
Goal: Students will access prior knowledge to create a “working definition” of poetry.
Pre-activities: Prior to this unit, students will have had experience working with our class blog. They will have had experience posting their responses to my prompts and commenting on each other’s writing. Students will have had several lessons in the Six Traits of writing, comprehension strategies, literary elements, and author’s craft (figurative language, imagery, point of view, etc.) Students will also be familiar with working in Word and with creating Power Point presentations in other content areas.
• I will post the guiding questions on the blog. Students will respond by posting their comments.
• I will model posting comment to blog, although students will have had previous experience with this at this point in the year
• Writing assignment: Students will post their individual definition of poetry to our blog. Definition must be one paragraph in length and follow the Grade 5 Writing criteria (topic sentence, 3 supporting details, concluding sentence) Writing must follow correct conventions.
• Students will have time in class to react to each other’s comments.
• Together, we will come to a consensus to create our “working definition” of poetry. We will chart the characteristics of the genre on the wall and add to the list as we complete the unit.
Assessment: Blogging guidelines created by students (see my post on Dave’s wiki under EDC 920 final for more detail), Grade 5 Paragraph Writing rubric

Lesson 2: Poetic Devices Length: At least 5 class periods
Guiding Questions: What are the characteristics of poetry? What literary devices do poets use? What Web 2.0 tools can aid student presentations?
• Students will understand and identify the characteristics of the genre and use poetic devices in their own work.
• Students will create a Power Point, podcast, or vodcast to teach the class a poetic device.
• Students will receive a handout or Poetry Vocabulary for their ELA folders. The list includes but is not limited to: simile, metaphor, alliteration, assonance, symbol, personification, allusion, onomatopoeia, rhyme, stanza, mood, connotation, etc. I will also post this information to our blog
• Using the ELMO LCD projector, I will show students where to find the link to this information. We will review the terms in class, sharing examples of each device. Students have previously studied and applied many of these devices in earlier units about author’s craft.
• Working in groups, students will select one term from the above list to teach to the rest of the class.
• We will view several model student projects. An 8th grade teacher at my school has students create Power Points to teach parts of speech. I will bring some of these students in to share their presentations with my 5th graders. The fifth graders will follow the same process for creating their Power Points, but the topic will be poetic devices.

Deb said...

A few examples of vodcasts and podcasts I will share are: onomatopoeia, simile and metaphor rap personification
• We will watch “Podcasting in Plain English”-
• After viewing the models, students will create their own presentation. The technology teacher will work with students during this part of the lesson. Students have previous experience with Power Point and podcasts/vodcasts (see unit I posted for EDC 920) but will still need support.
• Students will have several class periods to draft, practice, and revise their presentation.
• Writing assignment: Students will prepare a script for the podcast or vodcast. Writing for PowerPoint will be completed on a template first.
• After viewing presentations, students will react and reflect by posting comments on our blog.
• Students will take a vocabulary quiz at end of this lesson.
Assessment: 5th Grade Writing Rubric, Oral Communication rubric, vocabulary quiz on poetic terms
Modifications: Students have choice in this lesson-they choose topic to teach and format to use for presentation. Some students will need extended time or additional support from teacher. I will group students who are “tech savvy” with those who are less proficient.
Lesson 3: Where Poetry Hides 2-3 weeks
Guiding Questions: Where do poets find inspiration? How do we get a poem started?
• Students will use a variety of sources, including Internet, to locate poems.
• Students will identify poetic devices in these published poems and use the devices in their own writing.
• Students will use the blog to communicate their own ideas about poems they read, as well as comment on others’ ideas.
• Students will establish the habit of writing poetry daily in their Writer’s Notebook.
• Students will use the Writer’s Notebook to record observations about the world around them; to start “seeing” the world like a poet.

Deb said...

1. I will show this video of poet Naomi Shihab Nye explaining that poetry can be found anywhere:
2. I will also read selections from Georgia Heard’s Awakening the Heart.
3. Students will create their own list of where poetry hides in their Writer’s Notebooks. I will model the process for students using the ELMO LCD projector and my own Writer’s Notebook.
4. Students will select three of their most vivid details from the list created in Writer’s Notebook to post on our blog.
5. Students will comment on each other’s posts.
6. We will make a bulletin board display of these quotes for further visual inspiration.
7. Over the next 2-3 weeks, I will immerse students in poetry. Students will be reading, writing, and analyzing free verse, as well as form poetry such as ode, cinquain, haiku, sonnet, etc. (I will not include all mini-lessons here due to time and space, but if anyone is looking for further ideas, please send me an email; I’d love to share!)
8. Students will visit bookmarked sites, including and to study poems by classic and contemporary poets. Some of my favorite texts to support the study of poetry are: Awakening the Heart-Georgia Heard, Opening the Door: Reading Poetry in the Middle School Classroom-Paul B. Janeczko, Getting in the Knack: 20 Poetry Writing Lessons- Stephen Dunning, and Word Playgrounds: Reading, Writing, and Performing Poetry in the English Classroom- John O’Connor.
Assessment: Writer’s Notebook rubric, Blogging guidelines
Lesson 4: Favorite Poem Podcast/Vodcast Length: 1 week
• Students will meet the grade level expectations for Oral Communications and address Technology Standards by creating a podcast or vodcast and publishing it on our blog. This is preparation for our Poetry Night performance at the end of the year.
Guiding Questions: Why do individuals prefer certain poems? How does making personal connections to a poem deepen our understanding of the text? What is the importance of poetry to our society?
1. I will share the following Website with students. In this project, Americans recite and discuss their favorite poems.
2. We will view several of the videos together. Students will evaluate the presentations using our Oral Communications rubric. We will discuss volume, projection, pacing, eye contact, emotion, inflection, etc.
3. Students will choose a favorite poem to recite for the class through a podcast or vodcast. They may choose a poem from a source they find independently, or select from the Websites we visit together or from the poetry book collection in my classroom.
4. Students will write an entry in their Writer’s Notebooks, explaining their reasons for selecting the poem; they will include personal connections, appeal of author’s craft, etc.
5. Students will practice reciting their poem out loud, trying to memorize it.
6. When ready, students will record their poem in a podcast or vodcast and publish on our blog.
7. We will share all presentations, and students will comment on classmates’ work on our blog.
8. We will discuss what we learned about each other through these podcasts/vodcasts.
Assessment: Writer’s Notebook rubric, Blogging guidelines, Oral Communications rubric
Modifications/ Extensions: Students may work with a partner on the podcast/vodcast. Some students will need help selecting a poem or graphic organizers to prepare it. As enrichment, students could look into posting their work on the Favorite Poem Website.

Deb said...

Lesson 6: Publishing Student Poems Length: Ongoing
Goal: Students will publish original poems on our blog.
Guiding Questions: How has our definition of poetry changed throughout this unit? How have the Web 2.0 tools enhanced our communication skills?
1. Students will create Web pages to display their poems.
2. They will add artwork, photography, music, etc. that reflect meaning or mood of the poems.
3. We will post links to student Poetry pages on our blog.
4. As always, students will comment on each other’s work.
Assessment: Expressive Writing rubric-(poems will be evaluated for evidence of poetic devices); Web Page rubric; Blogging guidelines
Modifications/Extensions: I will post several online publishing opportunities for students. Once students are comfortable sharing their work with our class and parent members of our blog, they may want to try reaching out to a larger audience.