Digital Coaches' Corner

Week 22 5/11/15

Classroom of the Week: Tracy Rowling's Third Grade researchers and Web designers

Mrs. Rowling and her students presented at the 2015 Technology Showcase at the Illinois State Capital

The students created a webpage to show how Grafton has changed over the years. The students did all the research, published their work and designed the webpage. In some cases, they had to become “history detectives” to find accurate information about Grafton. The students had a public showcase of their work at Grafton Elementary on May 13th.

It is very impressive to walk into Mrs. Rowlings classroom and experience how excited and engaged her students are. Mrs. Rowling does a great job implementing technology into the curriculum. She uses technology to support learning not drive the curriculum. Digital learning is simply embedded into her classroom.

The website the students built is a great example of a PBL unit that accomplishes many learning goals. The students worked on Reading informational text, research, writing skills, proofreading skills, speaking/listening skills and much more. One day when I visited the classroom the students were busy proofreading the site. They were all making much needed corrections and they were not afraid to give feedback to other students in the room. In the past when I have worked with students on proofreading skills it was very difficult to get them to make constructive comments other than I like it or good work.

PBL units work best when students are producing a product/project for a real purpose. This website is something that Grafton is going to use for promotion and to keep their history alive. One comment I overheard at the Tech showcase was, " this is the best project I have seen today". The students were very proud to showcase their work and it showed.