This summer I began taking courses online through Wilkes University to add a STEM endorsement to my Pennsylvania Teaching Certificate. This past week I began one of the required courses, Project Based Learning. In my STEAM classroom, I have designed 9 weeks long projects, however, I look forward to learning how to fully implement Project Based Learning properly in my classroom. During the first week of this course, we viewed videos showcasing three different examples of project-based learning. You can view the videos below.
At the beginning of the school year I created an interactive presentation for the daily calendar routine in my classroom. Included in this PowerPoint were YouTube videos of a weather song and a calendar song. Unfortunately, these songs seem to keep getting taking off YouTube. My students happened to be learning about proper nouns including the days of the week, so I decided film our own days of the week rap video. We had previously filmed a video of the Ants Go Marching which was one of my favorite projects this school year! I felt like it was time for another music project;, what better way to shake the winter blues!? I love using songs to teach concepts, because they really help to make the material stick! Continue reading →
All primary teachers know that Reader’s Theater is a great way to promote fluency and expression in students’ oral reading. Recently, we read two different pieces of literature in class that lend themselves nicely to Reader’s Theater. The first story, Try Your Best, is a realistic fiction story composed of mostly dialogue between characters about kids at a summer camp. The second story, Did You See Chip?, was a play about a girl who moves to the new city, looses her dog, and makes new friends on her journey to recover her missing pup! I wanted to try incorporating technology into my students’ Reader’s Theater experiences. For these two projects I selected two different tools, Voki, a web based tool, and Puppet Pals 2, an iPad app. Continue reading →
We read a delightful story titled Space Pup, about a super hero dog who rescues a bus that is stuck in the mud. I thought it would be fun to challenge students to extend the story by creating their own Space Pup adventure. I thought I could introduce my students to story elements by having them create a comic strip. Continue reading →
This particular week we read the story, Todd’s Box, about a boy who takes a walk with his mother. Along the way he collects artifacts from nature, and he saves them in a box. At the end of the story he surprises his mom with the box. In math we were still working on subtraction, which was the focus of our Jack and Rick Subtraction stories the previous week. Incorporating science was a logical choice based on the reading selection for the week. For this project I decided to have students go on a nature walk and take digital photos of what they found. Then students created their own virtual box to showcase the artifacts they found on their nature walk. Continue reading →
We read a nonfiction story titled Ants in reading. An exciting addition to our classroom was an ant farm this week. On Day 4 in the Harcourt Trophies lesson plan students sing “The Ants Go Marching”, and are engaged in some phonemic awareness activities using words from the song including identifying rhyming words. I thought this song was the perfect opportunity to tie in music, art, math and literature. Continue reading →
This particular week we were reading a story titled Sam and the Bag, about some naughty cats who crawl inside a paper bag. I thought it would be fun to engage parents at Open House by using QR codes in a project, and thus this project idea was born! Continue reading →
In math we have been working on understanding addition concepts. In reading we read the story The Hat. In this story Pam’s hat blows away and her friend Dan retrieves it for her. This week we cover the short a vowel sound, so in addition to the word “hat” students also had the word “cap” on their spelling list. Continue reading →
When I first sat down to brainstorm about cross-curricular projects for my classroom, I began by making a table that had 6 columns. In the first column I listed the weeks of school. In the second and third columns I mapped out what we would be covering in math and reading each week. I reserved the fourth column for possible social studies or science connections. In the fifth and sixth columns I began jotting down ideas for connections to the arts and technology. I would recommend this brainstorming activity for anyone trying to follow in my footsteps in regards to integrating technology into your curriculum.
During the first week of school we focus on reviewing phonics skills and sight words in reading, and in math we focus on number sense. Many teachers do “All About Me” activities the first week of school to help students get to know one another. I wanted to modernize this process, so I thought digital storytelling tools would be a natural fit with this goal in mind. Continue reading →