Sorry for the links, embedding has never worked for me:
Reflection as a COETAILER
I feel like my COETAIL experience didn’t result in a transformation but rather a slow burn of awareness, questions, and surprise that more people aren’t aware of ISTE standards and digital literacy. They seem connected to everything we do.
The essential question for my unit was: How can we teach children to be agents of the environment?
How did you anticipate how this unit would impact student learning & the culture of learning at your school?
I wanted to give students more collaborative opportunities with students in other divisions. I also wanted them to get expert feedback from Art and Design teachers and a real author/illustrator. I thought they must be bored seeing me every other day, so may as well invite different teachers in to visit. They were shy when HS teachers visited and they were super happy to see their ES art teacher. Students were excited to talk to the kindergarten students, many grade 6 students were surprised, maybe even intimidated, by the younger children’s English abilities. A couple students were upset they couldn’t work with their BFF, though they had the opportunity to do so in the previous unit. Ultimately, I thought it would be fun to get together with folks from other divisions.
How might your plan have changed after your Course 4 final project? Did you have to make any adjustments during the unit? How did you make these decisions?
My unit totally changed. I had a year long theme I was trying out. In February, about eight new students joined grade 6. I couldn’t expect them to catch up on the last 6 months. I decided to start fresh with a unit about Living Things. Our first topic was about food chains, ecosystems, and human impacts. Students interviewed Kindergarten students about their favorite animal. This animal is the main character in their story and also what their food web is based on. I made a website so students could find content in one place. The information they learned from the website went into a G Jamboard. The information students learned from the science lessons, was the basis for their story plot outlines.
Unit Website Pages
Rubric for model
G Jamboard: to organize science lesson information
A student’s G Jamboard
Did you meet your goals? How do you know?
The unit isn’t finished. Students need more time as there was a sports tournament the past weekend and some students missed Friday’s lesson. They will finish next week. I hope to see children’s books that students made with their teams. I hope they used their feedback from the HS students, from each other, and from me to improve their work. I hope they used CRAP design principles and made their own content. From reviewing the rough drafts so far, the students are doing it. Their models are all well done and based on their kindergarten student’s favorite animal.
Padlet and CRAP descriptions
Here’s the storybook checklist and rubric.
Example of online communication: sharing ideas
The biggest thing students struggle with is collaboration. They can develop a rubric and say the words, but when it comes to putting in effort, I see effort from most students some of the time. It is a difficult skill to do well and it starts with communication. I think online collaboration looks differently than in person and this is something that I need to remember in the future.
If you were going to teach/facilitate this unit again, what would you do differently next time?
I would look for more authors/illustrators to visit the school so students could interview them. I would ask the art and design teachers to gives lessons on illustrating and design principles during their own class times. I would ask the English teacher to help with the writing and storyboarding during their own class time. I would ask the ed tech coach for ideas in recording/organizing student work and communicating this in a clear way. I would take my students to the ES where they could read to the kindergarten students so they can build rapport. I would also change the title to Science Communicators and look at this career so students know that this is something they can do in life. Maybe the students could share video blogs of their books with each other. They could do a team book review or even a One Book One School. The G6 students could make a video instead of a book, but I like the idea of giving the K students a physical book.
How will your COETAIL experience impact your future practice? How will you stay mindful of and continue to implement everything that you have learned about yourself and teaching & learning in the future?
I am using technology in a more meaningful way. I’m thinking about different ways students can collaborate or to show what they know. I will continue to use the ISTE standards as they align quite well with science, english, and math standards. They also align with my school’s learning behaviors (character development): communication, collaboration, respect, responsibility.