Sunday, September 25, 2016

High Expectations

This week our project focused on retelling a familiar story.  We read the story of Flip all week and practiced retelling the beginning, middle, and end of the story.  On Friday, it was time for the students to record their what they learned.

Usually, students are expected to write one sentence at the beginning of the year.  Each sentence is supposed to contain a capital letter, punctuation, and make sense.  With this project, I was asking the students to write 3 sentences.  I hoped I wasn't pushing their limits.

For the project, I took pictures of pages from the story at the beginning of the story, in the middle of the story, and at the end of the story.  I created an outline for the project using Google Drawings and assigned the project through Google Classroom.

Before we started the project, I gave the students a quick lesson on how to use capital letters on the keyboard and where to find the period.  These skills were going to be essential in writing a sentence.  I used an image of a keyboard on the projector to explain these keyboarding skills.

After our quick lesson, it was time to set the students free.  I was impressed how the students rose to the high expectations that I set.  They were becoming a little frustrated with spelling so I added a few key words that they needed from the story to the word wall.  I usually do not help with spelling, but I thought these hints would make the task of typing less dreadful.

Below you can see an example of their project.  The first image is the template that I assigned each student; the second image is a student product (notice the change in font color from the previous lesson).  One of our next lessons will be the secret of how to correct spelling when the red squiggly line appears.

Slow and Steady Wins the Race

We are reading The Rabbit and the Hare this week.  I think it relates well to technology in the classroom.  Start with the basics and slowly add more each week.  If you race to the finish line, you will only be frustrated and your students will not be successful.  This week we are starting with the basics by typing the alphabet.

At the start of each school year, I ask the students to write their alphabet on a piece of paper to see if they know the order of their letters.  I am not looking at letter formation at this time; therefore, I thought this was the perfect first project on the Chromebook.  Not only will they be allowed to show the skill of knowing the letters of the alphabet in order, but they will also have the opportunity to locate each letter on the keyboard.

I knew that this might be an easy task for some of the students who have experimented with technology at home.  I added a little spice to the project for these students: teaching them how to change the font color.  When I modeled how to change the font color, you would have thought I just passed out candy.  They were so excited to play with the colors.  Check out some of their finished projects below.  I am proud of the creativity that they added to this very simple task.