Course 1 Final Project – Sea Turtles

My course one final project is a collaboration with a third grade teacher at the American Cooperative School of Tunis. We have just started implementing the plan, which will continue until the end of March. I have embedded the Ubd for the over-arching project and will include my library/tech goals which are part of the project here. They will be attached to Marilyn’s Atlas Rubicon page at a later date.

1. Creativity and Innovation

Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and develop innovative products and processes using technology.

**Students will produce a Public Service Announcement.  They will watch some of the sample PSAs posted on the Roots and Shoots site to give them an idea of what has been done before. (  As always, they will be asked to not merely “copy” some idea already done, but to put their unique stamp on the project.

A poster, used in the PSA, will be displayed around the school.

**Classroom teacher will be primarily responsible for this project and will oversea the scripting. However, the librarian and computer teacher will help with editing and in any other ways necessary.

2. Communication and Collaboration

Students use digital media and environments to communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual learning and contribute to the learning of others.

**We are working on setting up a Skype call to a sea turtle conservation expert.  There are 2 sites here in Tunisia we hope to connect with.  If not a site in Tunisia, we will look for another source.  This is tricky due to time differences.

d. Contribute to project teams to produce original works or solve problems

**Students will work in 3 person teams to produce a PSA.  Each will be required to keep a journal of how what their team is doing.  Their journals need to be done as a Word document and saved to their server account.  (They may also save to a thumbdrive.)  This  ensures it will be handy to work on each day, not get lost between home and school, and can be accessed by the teacher team at any time.  At conferences with the classroom teacher, the teams will discuss how each member is contributing.

3. Research and Information Fluency

Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.

a. Plan strategies to guide inquiry:

**Students will work in groups of 3 (later to be their production team) to go over the assignment and expectations.  They will be encouraged to ask questions to clarify what is expected of them and to suggest possible ideas to move forward.

b. Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and media

**Classroom teacher, librarian, and computer tech teacher will participate in a lesson where group (including students) will brainstorm possible resources and how to access them.   We will include a calendar/agenda of extra library and computer session, times when library is available for individual searching and work, as well as plans for guest speakers, etc.

**Librarian will conduct a session on the use of the databases available through the school.  They have used World Book On-line before, but we have recently added two or three new ones that will be good for this project.

**Classroom teacher will discuss note-taking.

c. Evaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasks

**Students investigated the website dedicated to the protection of the Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.  The discussion included the visual appealing aspects of the site and the ease of navigating from one area to another.  Students used the links to read further information, including The Cephlapod Page.  They were asked to evaluate the site for usefulness in a project.

All students thought it was a very good site.  They were very interested in this species and thought this site provided good information.  Positive comments about the links were made.

All were gobsmacked to learn that there is no such thing as a Pacific Northwest Tree Octopus.  (One student was sure I was wrong as there was a picture on the site.)  We then discussed why it is important to find data on more than one site and to use a variety of sources to gather information.  They came up with a 3 column form to use for their research, so they will find each fact 3 times to ensure they aren’t being “hoodwinked” again.

4. Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making

Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.

a. Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigation

**Each group will be required to generate an outline, project proposal, or other method of showing how they will proceed.  Should include what they hope to show, resources they may or may not use, and what the product will look like – in a general, beginning draft.

**Each group will be required to storyboard their PSA.

**Each group may decide who will be running the camera, who will be on-air talent, and who will be the director.  They may choose to take turns doing all jobs.  Everyone should be involved in the writing.  (This group has done a lot of audio recording and are keen to move up to video.)

5. Digital Citizenship

Students understand human, cultural, and societal issues related to technology and practice legal and ethical behavior.

a. Advocate and practice safe, legal, and responsible use of information and technology

**Students will be required to create a bibliography/works cited document.

Prior to this unit, all third graders received a user name and password for our Follett Library Management System, Destiny.  By logging in as themselves they can create a “Resource List”.  This is in essence a bibliography of books and websites available through Destiny.

During the initial library session he students created a “Resource List” labeled Sea Turtles or Endangered Species.  As they locate materials (books or websites) they add them to this list.  The follow-up lesson showed them how Destiny will create citations for each entry in their list.  They then took this information and created a bibliography page in Word.  It was saved to their account on our student server.  Students will add other entries as they accrue them.  They realize that prior to completion they will need to come and edit this page to make sure everything is correct and delete any entries they did not use.

**Students will spend 2 sessions looking for photos.  They will use to search for royalty free pictures.  They will also use the Roots and Shoots site,


A Long Week Over

I have made it through a long week at school but finished with a smile on my face.  It was our annual We Love to Read Week celebration. It is full of small events, none technologically based, but ones that the students enjoy.  We start our week with each student reaching a plain canvas bag, which they decorate using fabric markers.  I am constantly amazed at how proud they are of their creations.  I have ogled 336 bags this week and even had parents bring in their child’s bag for me to admire.  Tuesday brings each classroom decorating a door or bulletin board with a reading and/or writing reated activity.  Wednesday is a mild day better known as Hat Day.  What people will put on their heads!  If you haven’t read Millie’s Marvellous Hat by Kitamura you must get a copy.  Thursday is Bears/Bedtime/Books.  We wore our pyjamas, brought our stuffed friends, and got cozy throughout the day with a good book or two or three.  Friday was the BIG DAY however.  We dressed up in costumes depicting a book character.  At the assembly we had songs based on books, children reading their own poems, and the parade of characters.

Weeks before the event children poured over books and talked with friends about who they were going to be.  Plotting, designing, and laughing over how they will look takes up several hours.  The day before, parents stream in looking for a book at the last minute for a character their child can be transformed into.

Friday saw teachers, parents and students dolled up in various costumes.  Lots of Fancy Nancys, a great number of Wimpy Kids, and a sprinkling of Waldos, joined in with the emcees, Skippyjon Jones and Sherazade.

However, nothing compared to the sheer joy that swept over the entire audience than the birthday celebration.  Several teachers marched up on stage (in full view of the audience), stooped down behind a make-shift puppet stage, donned animal puppets and lip-synced to Celebrate.  (Good times are here!)  The puppets hammed it up.  The kids smiled and boogied along.  A simple pleasure both for them and for me to watch.

Throughout the week we held a book fair, which was a great success.  Students showing me their purchases and sitting with friends sharing their treasures.

When someone asks me why I like to be a librarian I have a quick funny answer, “I get to see students of all ages – and only see the naughty ones for 45 minutes a week and they pay me to by books and read them.”  The real answer lies in seeing the pride in the kids after they struggle to complete a book trailer or the joy in seeing them talk about their favorite book character.  Information and literature in a sweet balance.  Joy

5th grade project finally finished

Tara Ethridge did a workshop on book trailers in May at the ECIS Librarians’ Conference.  I was so inspired I have tried it with both sections of 5th grade here at ACST.  It turned out to be hard for the kids, a patience test for me, but surprisingly successful on several layers.  We used PhotoPeach.  The program is actually very easy to use.  The hiccups came when we went looking for royalty free pictures.  It took the kids HOURS and HOURS to find photos to use.  One boy made his sister take his photo for his book trailer.  Most managed to get finished without stepping into the world of copyrighted material (other than the book cover, which I am hoping for some slack under Fair Use) but I notice several that slipped through.  The second annoying hiccup for the kids was music.  The free PhotoPeach doesn’t allow you to import outside music, with the exception of some YouTube music.  The paid version does.

All that aside, when the kids saw their finished work up on our wiki they absolutely lit up.  They come in to look at other student’s work and to watch their own, over and over and over again.  Part of the evaluation was a self-evaluation section.  It was a simple self-evaluation:  how do you feel about your finished product,  what was the hardest,  what was the easiest.  Almost all mentioned looking for non-copyrighted material.

I will do this again, but will have more prep time.  Several sites that I thought had all royalty free material had very little.  As a group we will look for general pictures to add to a communal folder, ie:  sad, lonely, friendship.  I will assume it will take weeks longer than I had originally planned.  I will do this again.