When looking for a tool to combine informational writing, images, links and video, the Ms. Burke’s Fifth Grade class found just what they were looking for with Glogs. Glogs are interactive online “posters” created through the website Glogster.edu. A free account allows up to 10 students and the paid account ($29.95 per year) allows up to 50 students, which isn’t bad considering you can delete and re-add students as needed.
The unit was kicked off by exploring several Native American tribes as a group. Students were then given independent time to read and choose a tribe or tribal region on which to focus their research and writing.
Glogster is a relatively intuitive program, it’s interface offering buttons that allow users to insert a text, image, video, audio or web link. Because it doesn’t include a spell check feature, it’s critical for students to first type their work into a word processing tool and copy/paste their text over into their Glog. This also allows them to separate their text into paragraphs, which will become easy to navigate separate sections.
The three second grade classrooms at Kennedy-Longfellow School spent the month of January researching and writing about non-fiction topics of their choice. Prompted by the Lucy Caulkins curriculum unit question “write about something you are an expert about”, students began entries in their writer’s notebooks on diverse topics such as Egypt, families, sharks, and math. After studying mentor texts and discussing what makes writing informational, students used their prior knowledge of the subject to plan out their chapters, or subcategories. Working closely with their teachers, each student began the process of writing and revising their work on paper. Once carefully edited, it was time to type their work into the iPad, where they would each be creating an eBook using the Book Creator app. A critical piece of the Caulkins curriculum is the student presentation of their work. Each of the second grades held an “Expert Fair”, where other students, teachers, and family members were invited to come watch and listen as students presented their eBooks on the SmartBoard.
True to traditional informational books, each student eBook included a cover page, table of contents, at least three chapters and a glossary:
Click on the link below to read highlights of technology integration into the KLO Kindergarten-5th grade classrooms, including the exciting Raspberry Pi Launch party.
Over 150 family members, students, staff and friends of Kennedy-Longfellow School and Lesley joined us on Thursday, December 6th in the school cafeteria to celebrate the launching of the Raspberry Pi program. The energy was buzzing and the pizza flying as the evening launched with welcoming remarks from Mrs. Gerber, KLO Principal. Mrs. Gerber recognized the partnership donor, Al and his wife, Anne Merck, in addition to the Lesley President Joe Moore, Dean Jack Gillette, Chief of Staff MaryPat Lohse, CPS Superintendent Jeffrey Young, and of course, KLO student and staff volunteers. Pi logo and name contestants were jittery with excitement as the winning entries were called. The winning logo and name are proudly displayed on each of the finished Pi Packs (now called the “3P K-LO” with the 3Ps standing for “portable pi pack.”
The evening capped off with the afterschool Scratch Club sharing their projects that they have been working on for the past several weeks. Scratch is a kid-friendly programming software developed by the wonderful folks at the MIT Lifelong Kindergarten department. The KLO nine Scratchers, grades 2-5, meet weekly in the computer lab to develop and share game and animations. Special thanks to John Maloney, Research Specialist at Lifelong Kindergarten and senior Scratch developer, for attending the Pi Launch party and sharing in the excitement.
Some of the logo entries from the Raspberry Pi contest
For more information about the evening, see Partnership with Cambridge School Integrates Technology in Classrooms