Library & Technology Center

Learning & Reading at the Pine Glen Elementary School

October 2012 Report

Curriculum & Instruction

1:1 iPad Pilot Program

In October, the LTC focused on supporting and extending the use of iPads in the classroom. All of the 4th grade classes were introduced to the app Explain Everything to prepare for a digital project based around Rocket Day that was planned in coordination with the 4th grade teachers and Mr. Musselman. Students and teachers in the 4th grade have since used Explain Everything as a part of their math curriculum. In the 5th grade, the primary focus has been making email and Google Docs a part of the natural workflow of the classroom. All students in both grades began using Common Sense Media's Digital Passport to learn about digital citizenship. Completion of Digital Passport is a requirement for students to be able to take their devices home later in the year.


Standards:

  • E1.1 Use technology responsibly to explore personal interests
  • E1.2 Help peers with digital technologies
  • E1.3 Collaborate in a positive and productive way using digital tools
  • E1.6 Demonstrate appropriate online safety
  • E1.8 Understand the consequences when people use inappropriate communication online
  • E1.9 Understand that communicating information to others is a lifelong skill
  • E2.1 Use technology and keyboarding skills to produce and publish writing
  • E2.3 Use technology devices and applications to create visually pleasing and well organized presentations
  • E2.4 Use devices and applications to create content


Blogging

All students in first grade came to the computer lab twice to start to learn about blogging in the classroom. They will visit several more times in the coming months. Teachers anticipate assigning blogs as a part of student homework beginning in January.


Standards:

  • P2.1 Demonstrate the proper handling of devices and applications
  • P2.2 Learn about input devices and a variety of keyboarding options
  • P2.3 Use input or output devices and applications to operate and interact with technology
  • P2.5 Use devices and applications to create content


Trees

(Read the blog post about this unit here)

As a part of their unit on learning about the life cycle of trees, second grade students went outside with the iPads to take pictures of trees. They then used their pictures to create collages in Explain Everything and did an audio recording about what they had discovered.


Standards:

  • P2.1 Demonstrate the proper handling of devices and applications
  • P2.2 Learn about input devices and a variety of keyboarding options
  • P2.3 Use input or output devices and applications to operate and interact with technology
  • P2.5 Use devices and applications to create content


Mammals

Students in Mrs. Hayes' first grade class completed their unit on mammals, which included a research project coordinated with the LTC. Students were reintroduced to the use of iPads in the classroom and used them for pre- and post-testing on their knowledge of mammals. As part of the research component, students learned how to use books, magazines, Britannica Online, and The World Book's World of Animals app to find information, and participated in an inquiry-based process by asking their own research questions.


Ms. Smith also used the help of Mrs. D'Elia to begin implementing a new writing program pilot in her science curriculum which requires a good amount of research. She will continue to use this writing/science program throughout the whole year.


Standards:

  • P2.1 Demonstrate the proper handling of devices and applications
  • P2.5 Use provided digital resources to find relevant information to use with content area skills
  • P3.4 Ask questions that require information seeking
  • P3.5 Recognize which resources are the best to use and why


Animals

Mrs. Parnell's class participated in a small research project about the different kinds of animals (e.g., mammals, birds, reptiles). Mrs. D'Elia introduced books, magazines, and the World Book's World of Animals app as great nonfiction resources as well as showed students how to use the table of contents and the index of a print resource. Mr. Callahan taught the students how to use the Drawing Pad and Explain Everything apps to create a class animal book. Students collected evidence for the book focusing on the writing prompt "I think my animal is a ___________ because . . ."


Standards:

P2.1--Demonstrate proper handling of devices and applications

P2.4--Use provided digital resources to find relevant information to use with content area skills

P3.8--Identify the elements of informational text

P3.3--Use appropriate text and images along with applications and devices to present a final product

P3.10--Develop online reading and etext skills


Folktales

(Read the blog post about this unit here)

Students in grades kindergarten through third studied folktales by asking, "What makes a folktale a folktale?"


Standards:

P3.6--Identify basic genres of literature and stories

P4.4--Evaluate grade appropriate children’s literature
MA--Recognize common types of texts (e.g., storybooks, poems).

MA--Identify characteristics commonly shared by folktales and fairy tales.

MA--Compare and contrast two or more versions of the same story by different authors or from different cultures


Reflections

  • The most exciting thing that happened this month was watching first grade ask their own research questions as opposed to the questions being predetermined by the teacher. This was a leap of faith on Mrs. Hayes' part and we think it worked very well. Because the students asked questions that interested them they were more engaged in the finding of the answers. We still ended up having the same basic questions that the teacher would have assigned (plus a handful more!) but this time the students had ownership over the research.
  • The fourth grade had its first negative incident using the ipads. Even though it is always difficult to watch students make poor choices, it was important for the rest of the students to see that we do, in fact, know what they are doing and there are consequences for breaking our trust and the Acceptable Use Policy.


Goals for next month

  • Integrate use of the 1:1 iPad program into the Art and Music programs with Miss Fallon and Mrs. Agati
  • Introduce students to resources for digital reading.
  • Run the first parent night for 4th and 5th grade


The Collection

  • Students have begun selecting Birthday Books! We love seeing happy students with great books in their hands.
  • The white shelfmarkers have arrived and the Volunteer Assistants are starting to put the labels on them and putting them on the shelves. The picture book section is finished and they are making the books easier for the students to find. Thank You PTO for purchasing these great-looking shelfmarkers.


Reflections

  • The Volunteer Assistants finished shelfreading the entire collection. Phew! This was such an important step in finding lost items and keeping student accounts accurate.
  • In the beginning of the year, I changed the borrowing period from 3 weeks to 2 weeks in an attempt to stay on top of overdue materials. What it has done instead is create way more overdue items than I care to keep track of. I will change the borrowing period back to 3 weeks.


Goals for Next Month

  • Label the Easy Nonfiction section next with the new shelfmarkers.
  • Find an easier way to contact parents when students have severely overdue items.
  • Start a Used Book rack in the lobby so the Pine Glen community can donate used books or take used books for their home collections.

Top 7 Checkouts in October

#1 Bad Kitty for President by Nick Bruel

Professional Development

  • Laura & Dan co-presented Syncing Your Library & Technology Programs at MassCUE.
  • Dan also presented iPad Creation Tools in the Elementary School at MassCUE.
  • Dan attended Edcamp Seacoast and lead a discussion on the challenges of technology integration and collaboration in schools.