What is STEAM?
How is this transdisciplinary?
Model Credited to Peter Hennigar
Model Credited to Peter Hennigar
Our SIS elementary library now has approximately 60 children’s books with audio narration thanks to our grade 1 students. As part of a reading unit on oral fluency, grade 1 teacher Ria Hennigar was interested in the idea of creating audio books but also wanted her students to have an authentic purpose and audience for their productions. Their ECC (Early Childhood Center) reading buddies provided them with an audience with limited reading abilities and, in some cases, developing English vocabulary. The audio books, which could be read/listened to at the library or at home, would give ECC students more opportunities to develop their reading and listening skills. The production of these audio books also tied in perfectly with grade 1’s social studies focus on community and being a helpful community member.
To create these audio books our ES librarian, Gaylene Livingston helped pull a selection of library books that matched with grade 1 student reading levels so students could be successful in reading them aloud. Then students chose books based on their ‘just right book’ criteria and ‘tested’ them out reading to themselves and then with partners. To prepare for recording the books, students listened to audio books and noticed how to use clues from the text and images to inform dialogue and expression. For the ‘turn the page’ sounds, Mrs. Hennigar consulted with our ES music teacher, Kimberly Sheppard, to choose appropriate instruments to use such as bells and triangles. Partners then practiced reading their books, taking turns reading and using the instruments to indicated when it was time to turn the page.
To produce the audio recording, students used Voice Record Pro app on their classroom iPads. After their first recording, students would listen and critique their work. Was it loud enough? Could I follow along? Did I use appropriate expression? Was my reading accurate? Many students wanted to record again to improve their recording and Mrs. Hennigar commented that many students do not usually pay such close attention to their oral fluency and were very motivated to say words correctly and to be understood.
As student audios were produced, Mrs. Livingston and I developed the process to gather the audio files and add them to a new blog with each audio book as a post with the recording and an image of the book cover. From these posts, QR codes were generated and placed on ‘stickers’ inside the cover of each book to provide access to the recordings. (Mrs. Livingston also tagged the books in the library system so any books with audio can be easily found.)
In addition to Mrs. Hennigar’s classroom, students from Ritu Bohara and Michele Hussey’s grade 1 classrooms also contributed audio books to the collection. With the creation audio books completed grade 1 students have been testing them out and also visiting ECC classrooms to share their audio books and to teach the younger student how to access and use the audio recordings.
Mrs. Hennigar was happy with the increased motivation her students had with improving their oral fluency and creating a product for our beginning readers. This project also provided opportunities for collaborative partner work and service learning for our SIS community. Next year, grade 1 and the ES library will continue to promote the audio books and they plan to produce even more!
Q what makes this experience unique?A I think unique, I don’t have this type of interaction on a daily basisQ – How did you know that learning was happening?A- The 1st-grade students had fun, they could identify what was happening in front of them by describing their lab experiment.
Peter Hennigar is a middle school science teacher. One of his approaches to have students learn the asked curriculum is to coach them through a variation of project-based learning. Students had to challenge themselves to showcase their learning by capturing it on camera and then edit their own raw video into a final video clip. For more on how he got his students to think outside the box and practice essential skills, click here.
Yayoi Kusama is famous for her use of simple symbols to create complex pieces of art. One aspect of her work that grade 4 students examined was using dots to create values of light to dark shading.
The idea to combine Kusama’s style of art with stop motion technology was inspired by her interactive art piece, Obliteration Room at the Tate Museum, where visitors were allowed to add stickers to a white space set up as a living room.
Here is a time-lapse video of the results…
Mrs. Hobbs’ grade 4 artists worked in collaborative groups to create their own dot art videos using iPads with Stop Motion Studio app and then importing their video into iMovie to edit and add music. Creativity is evident in the completed pieces where dots were used to create abstract and concrete patterns. Through this unit, students were able to learn about and demonstrate several concepts and skills as part of the art curriculum including: creating art with a variety mediums, understanding art in context of history and culture and using composition & principles of design to communicate ideas. Additionally, some students have taken what they’ve learned about creating stop motion movies to start creating them outside of the classroom.
Here are a few examples from the grade 4 artists.
All of the grade 4 dot art videos will showing at the Shekou International School 2016 Elementary Art Show on May 4th.
More on Yayoi Kusama
Yayoi Kusama (Artsy)
Because the focus was on the design process. This allows students to dive deeper into the key characteristics of molecular bonding.
Students develop a mastery level of understanding of molecular bonding. This would entail effective communication, critical thinking, visual representation, and large amounts of collaboration with their design teams.
Typically this process has been taught and learned through experiences that are 2D. By having the accessibility of a 3D printer, I was inspired to give myself and students a challenge to make their experience come to life. Thus creating an actual 3D model.
Describe the formation of single covalent bonds in H2, Cl2, H2O, CH4 and HCl as the sharing of pairs of electrons leading to the noble gas configuration.
Development of a product that is related to content that gives students a purpose behind their learning of Chemistry.
Scaling of final product of their 3D molecular manipulative structures and set limitation.
The most important piece to this process is that it gives the students the excuse to indirectly learn the actual content that they then can turn around to apply to create a 3D model.
They were interested that professional were making and marketing the same type of tools that they were making.
Innovation can be defined as the process of translating an idea into something that creates value or satisfies a specific need. Framed in this way, innovation goes beyond technology and emphasizes underlying concepts such as risk and resiliency – two words that are often not associated with the acquisition of language.
With that said, Sophie Delaporte and her French language students just completed a project on idioms that embodies this spirit of innovation. From an instructional lens, this project was risky because it went beyond her students’ intermediate level, and the task was more than just a word for word translation project. Although idioms are interesting because they give us insight into cultures, add meaning and color to languages, they involve transposing cultural concepts into a new context. If you speak a second language or are in the process of learning one, you know how difficult this can be.
As educators, when we know more about our students we are able to make more informed decisions. Ms. Delaporte, in this case, not only knew her students were a highly visual group with great artist ability, she understood they had a good sense of analogy. When interviewing her, we talked about her students’ “grit” and how they would be up to the challenge because of their complex thinking skills. Interestingly, Ms. Delaporte and myself saw this first hand and learned alongside students because the task was so specific. We appealed to other language teachers and wider community to verify idioms and their accuracy. Others got involved and produced gems like your “rice cake is bigger than mine” (the grass is always greener on the other side) or this piece by Anna D – “Tomber de Charybde en Scylla” which translates to “Out of the frying pan and into the fire”. Her digital drawing below does an amazing job of illustrating where idiomatic expressions and art meet.
Lastly, although presented as an option technology was not ignored. All students used Storehouse in one way or another to tell a story, reflect, present. Here are a few examples. Enjoy!
Good questioning invites further inquiry from students. As a way to formatively assess learners, it also allows teachers to collect information to make inferences, pique curiosity and create new learning opportunities. Additionally, when teachers make formative assessment an integral part of their lessons, they are able to benefit from a clearer picture of student understanding and then adjust and pivot to make more informed instructional decisions.
This past week Eddie Bywater approached me with an application that seemed to encapsulate this idea but done in real time and without creating the additional work that would usually dissuade a teacher from trying something new. The software is called Poll Everywhere and as an educator and learning innovation coach, I quickly saw the immediate potential a tool like this would have in transforming a teacher’s learning environment.
In one sentence, the cool thing about this app is that once you create and invite your students the poll, the information collected is automatically embedded and refreshed directly into your keynote presentation in real time giving you immediate results.
For more information see tutorial.
In addition to learning about impact of inventors and inventions on society, grade 3 students at Shekou International School became inventors themselves in a series of activities and projects centered around design thinking, collaboration and reflection.
All three grade 3 teachers, Nicki Ruthaivilavan, Frank Machinello, and Leticia Carino, attended Design Thinking workshops at the Learning 2.014 conference in October and immediately began applying the concept to their Social Studies unit on Inventors and Inventions. In preparation for students becoming design thinkers and inventors, the grade 3 teachers decided to have their students do Design Challenges (STEM) on the four Fridays leading up to the beginning of the unit. These experiences were used to discuss collaboration and problem-solving through reflection using the 6 Thinking Hats reflection method.
After studying and researching famous inventions and their inventors, grade 3 students began their own journeys as inventors using the Design Thinking Process to guide them.
One class (3A) used the City X Project’s simulation to design inventions to solve problems for the citizens of a (fictional) new colony on a far away planet. The other two classes (3B & 3C) teamed with our elementary school librarian, Gaylene Livingston, to create prototypes for a portable book drop. Additionally, students also used the Design Process at home to create an invention to address a problem for themselves or others.
The unit culminated with the grade 3 Invention Convention on January 22 where students displayed, explained and reflected on their many inventions, created both individually and in groups.
David Lee Ed Tech (Design Thinking Resources)
Making Things Better: Design Thinking in the Classroom (John Rinker)
City X Project
Design Thinking for Educators
Design Thinking in Schools
Design Squad (PBS)
Design Challenges (Museum of Science, Boston)