My second year in the computer lab has begun and it looks like it will be an interesting one. I am hoping to have each class do at least one collaborative online project with other schools in the US and potentially around the world. I’ve already signed up for a few and have a few others in mind. Here’s what I’m hoping to do by grade level:
- Kindergarten – Online Autumn
- 1st Grade – How Tall Is A First Grader
- 2nd Grade – I really wanted to do Voices of the World but there has been no activity on this for this school year so I am thinking about joining the Holiday Card Exchange over at http://www.jenuinetech.com/calendar.html
- 3rd Grade – I want 3rd Grade to do some kind of Monster Exchange project. Originally I thought about hosting one but I think for this year we will either join Monster Exchange Project or the Monster Project I am leaning toward the 2nd one but it will be in the spring so I may have 3rd & 4th do this together before then and then have 3rd join this.
- 4th Grade – They are going to add their voices to the 50 States Share and I’d like to find something else for them too.
- 5th Grade – Time Zone Experiences
- 6th Grade – A Room With A View
- 7th Grade – Human Genetics: A Worldwide Search for the Dominant Trait
You’ll notice I didn’t list 8th Grade. That’s because I have a year-long project planned with them that I don’t want to take away from with anything else. If I find that they have time for other things later in the year, I’ll try to find a project at that point and I am going to have them, along with the other grades, participate in World Math Day in March.
I can already see some challenges for this year in addition to the fact that the equipment is old and prone to running slowly at times. Many of the Kindergarteners seem very inexperienced on computers which means they’ll need more individual help and it’s hard to be everywhere at once. 7th Grade is very chatty and is difficult to motivate and to get to listen so that poses a definite challenge but they’re all very bright and I think we can do some interesting things this year if they’ll settle in.
I’m trying something all new with 8th Grade this year. They’re going to build a wiki around their Social Studies curriculum throughout the year. I hope that we’re going to be able to learn to podcast and we’ll build an online timeline of important events and add resources to help with studying and to help to bring Social Studies more alive for all of them. This has the potential to be really good or to crash and burn – only time will tell. Before we can start I need to get signed permission slips from all of the students and we need to cover Internet Safety and Copyrights.
I’m excited about the potential of this year and hope that the ideas that I have in my head work out in reality!