Teaching since Fall 2001 – 3rd year in 2nd grade

I was listening to the Tech Chicks this morning, when I went to the bank and grocery shopping. They mentioned several cool things that I checked out, when I got home. One of them was the You Don’t have to Like It post on Betchablog. I was thinking about the podcast and post while I fired up ActiveInspire to make some flipbooks on Basic Needs for 2nd grade science.

I got part way through and stopped. The flipbooks were not very interactive. Was I just using the Promethean as a  glorified white board? Did I need to go back and add more interactivity? If I did, how would I do it?

I stopped,  took a break and a walk around the block. My mind drifted to a blog post I had read  yesterday 17 Signs Your Classroom is Behind the Times. I had disagreed with several points the author made. The biggest one was 2.)  For poster assignments, your students need glue, construction paper, and scissors… instead of using an online tool like Glogster. For some people like me, yes Glogster is a wonderful tool. What about kids who are enjoy other types of visual art? Why should they be restricted to digital media?

So I went back and looked over my lesson plans – not just the flipbooks.

Day 1 – Hands on exploration of the basic needs of an animal. Includes the introduction of the class lizards. I plan on students drawing a picture about their basic needs, and writing a blog post about our lizards.

Day 2 – Setting up an experiment that will take 2 weeks to complete. Students will photograph the set up, form a hypothesis, write a prediction about what will happen. Then over the course of 2 weeks pictures will be taken of the plants each day at the same time. At the end the pictures will be put into movie maker – and students will narrate what happened to the plant and why. They will share their hypothesis and whether it was correct or needs to be revised. The resulting video to be posted to the class and individual blogs.

Day3 – Review what we have learned so far – research if plants can grow without soil. Generate questions to be answered in the next few days.

Day 4 Students will be asked what type of food do you think a beetle eats, they will form their hypothesis and plan an experiment to test it.

Day 5 Gather data on 2 on going experiments. Assessments

I decided that no, this time I didn’t need to make the flipbooks more interactive. I’m currently on Day 3. It is very basic, because I want the students to focus on the questions we are exploring not on the Promethean. I’m looking for some video clips to add, to show some ideas that I can’t show in the classroom.  Days 1, 2 and 4 are hands on science exploration, that they will be documenting. Day 5 will probably have the most interactive content.

One thing I love about TAKScopes, the curriculum we are using for science, is that the kids are doing hands on science 3 out of 5 days per unit. I’m hoping that a good part of the multimedia I’ll be using will actually come from the students. I want them to video the hands on and their responses, and I’ll insert it into flipbooks for review of concepts. I think the kids will get a kick out of that.

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