Monday, November 26, 2012

Holidays Around The World

This holiday season, all 8 third grade classes will be participating in a multicultural research project!
Each class will pick one country to research, and then every student will research a specific topic about that country.  They will create a 1-2 minute speech and a trifold board about their topic.  Sample project: Country- Australia.  Topic- The Great Barrier Reef
While holidays are mentioned, it's not really the focus.  We study all different aspects of their culture!

Next, all the classes will rotate in sharing their projects.  One class will be presenting while the other class observes.  The interesting part is that all the students are standing by their projects (let's just say the desks are configured in an open "U" shape for example, with the posters on top of the desks).  As the observing class files in, they may chose to approach any student who is available to hear their project.  Then they rotate, hearing about as many projects as they can in the allotted time.  We do the rotations over two days.

Printable Mexico Project & Rubric

Country Topics

Mexico Project

For the next three weeks each third grade class will be learning about the customs and culture of another country.  The country our class will focus on is Mexico. As part of our multicultural unit, each student will be required to research and make a project about one aspect of the Mexican culture. Your child’s topic will be on _______________________________________________________________________.  
All projects should be completed on a tri-fold presentation board.  These boards can be purchased at Staples, Office Depot, Parent-Teacher Store, and often at             Wal-mart for around $3.00.  If you would like to cut the board in half, you may do so. (We may use the other half in the spring.) Each student must be able to give a 1 to 2 minute speech about their topic.  All speeches should be hand written by the student and on note cards.  Students may also want to refer to pictures or information on their presentation board during their speech. Parents are encouraged to work with their child in preparing both project and presentation information.  However, all handwriting must be completed by your child. 
I will be looking for neat, informative, and creative presentations.  The students will be graded on their knowledge of their topic.  This will be worth two test grades in Social Studies.  All projects are due on Friday, December 14th.  This will give students at least two weeks to complete the project at home.  Please plan ahead and do not wait until the last minute.  If students finish their projects early, it will give them more time to practice their speeches at home.  Projects should be turned in on time! If a project is turned in late, there will be 15 points deducted for each day it’s late. 
 I hope the students learn a lot of new information and enjoy completing their projects.   I can’t wait to see them!!!!  Thanks so much for your help!
Presentation Checklist:
____Display (tri-fold board, etc.)
____Topic should be clearly stated on project (like a title)
____Pictures are used and labeled
____Able to explain topic and give 1 to 2 minute speech
____Due on December 14 th.


I have read the directions for the above assignment and realize that it is due on Dec. 14th.

____________________________  __________________________
Parent’s Signature            Student Signature

Please write questions on the back of this piece and return this part of the form to school.  Thanks!

Mexico Project Scoring Rubric

Point Value
Handwritten by the student.
Speech included correct punctuation/capitalization.
Presentation  board
Title is written clearly on the board.
Pictures are used and  labeled
The board is neat and creative.

Presentation to class on Dec.14th

Presentation to other third grade classes.
(Student is paying attention, well-behaved, and presents his/her project to the other students clearly.)

Total Grade for Assignment:

**Remember, this grade is doubled and counts as two test grades in Social Studies.

I LOVE Edmodo, and this will be a really useful resource for my class.  I posted links, videos, pictures and other resources for them to explore at home.  They can earn special badges for completing assignments, and my students are on there ALL the time!  "It's Kid-Facebook!"- my students

If you would like to learn more about these projects (including pictures!) check out my class blog here.

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Reader's Theater + Technology

We used the AudioBoo app on the iPad to record our Reader's Theater session.  It's a great resource to create podcasts, but also to share with family members what we are doing at school.

listen to ‘Reader's theater: A Story, A Story. Part 1’ on Audioboo

listen to ‘Reader's theater: Part 4’ on Audioboo

View our class production of "A Story, A Story".  This is a Reader's Theater, where each student reads from a part.  It is similar to a play, but there is reading in the place of acting.  They did a wonderful job!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Google Teacher Academy, Global Education Conference

I'm presenting Tuesday, November 13th at 10:00 p.m. (central time) at the Global Education Conference and you can tune in here for free!  My topic is: 

Collaborating Globally: How to connect your class to the world

This session will take attendees step by step through completing a global collaborative project.  First, they will learn how to utilize Twitter to connect with other classes.  Edmodo and Google Docs will be used for collaboration tools.  Next, we will explore how to use a Google Hangout including video chat, screen sharing, and special effects.  Voicethreads and Livebinder will also be discussed.  All technology experience levels welcome!  
coming soon...

Also, I haven't officially shared this on my blog, but I've had a lot of exciting things happening lately- including being accepted into Google's Teacher Academy!  I will be flying to Mountain View, CA to Google Headquarters this December for some intensive PD with an amazing group of 50 educators from all over the world!  After this training, I will be a Google Certified Teacher!

I've also decided to take the GRE and apply to doctoral programs in Educational Technology, which is why my posts have become much less frequent.  My test is this upcoming Saturday. You can still keep up with me over at my classroom blog, where I have pictures of our daily activities and lesson ideas.  I should resume my normal posting schedule around January.