Fourth and Fifth Grade Teacher Friends -
I've been coaching teachers at Falconer School in Chicago for the past two years as part of a pilot project through Kajeet and funded by Qualcomm's Wireless Reach initiative. I conduct professional development with these teachers about once a month, and towards the end of the year, I typically help out with projects in classrooms.
Four classrooms (three currently) for the past three years have been given Android tablets to use as personal learning devices. The teachers in these classrooms have embraced educational technology, trying out various tools and growing their professional learning networks. These devices are enabled with filtered 4G connectivity through Kajeet and the students are allowed to take these devices home. It has been a great project; it has been a privilege and honor to work with the students and teachers involved.
We're in the process of thinking about culminating activities for this school year, and are seeking other classrooms for a couple of projects. Here they are:
- We would like to start holding weekly mystery location calls with other classrooms and perhaps track our calls through a Google Map. The Falconer teachers are open to using Skype or Google Hangouts. We would prefer to do this with other fifth-grade classrooms, but we are flexible.
- The students are reading two books starting in mid-May that could lend themselves to virtual literature circles in Edmodo. We would set up groups for each class, you would have your students join these groups, and teachers would post discussion questions and other activities for each class to do and share. We've done this in the past with two of Grace Lin's books, and it's particularly worked well when each teacher takes responsibility for posting lessons for a week at a time. Since these book groups are taking place at the end of the year, we could get creative with other supplemental activities. We are planning on starting Bud Not Buddy in mid-May. Maniac Magee would be the last book covered during the last two weeks in June (Chicago Public Schools gets out fairly late, probably due to snow days.) Fourth, fifth or sixth grades with fairly good access to technology devices would be ideal. The type of device used by another school is not an issue; we'll use tools that are not platform specific. Ideally, we'd like to hold a planning meeting with interested teachers before any of these units are taught, too.
For more info about what this fifth grade team has been up to, check out teacher Tasia Pena's Weebly site, her class Kidblog, and her Twitter feed. Another teacher Jackeline Rivera also posted this Weebly site as well.
If you'd like to work with us, email me at elemenous at gmail dot com or send me a tweet at @elemenous! Looking forward to finding new friends for my fifth grade team!