Beginning November 5, VVE fifth graders will begin taking their iPads home a couple of nights per week to do math and science homework. This is part of a district initiative to help 5th grade students develop skills they will need in middle school, including taking responsibility for homework, and using Google Classroom and other digital tools to practice key concepts. In preparation for this, Dr. Moore met with each homeroom class during their library rotation time, and shared the expectations and parameters for successful iPad use at home. Students reviewed the importance of keeping the iPad in the neoprene case during transport, charging it each night, and using the school iPad ONLY for assigned homework. Students also talked about the importance of healthy habits, including completing iPad homework in a common area where family members can monitor work, only using the device for assigned homework, avoiding screens in the evening, putting the iPad away as soon as homework is completed, and taking plenty of time to relax and play away from screens! Our awesome VVE 5th grade teachers will be working to give meaningful assignments that allow students the opportunity to practice skills as well as invitations to create in multimodal ways whenever possible. Families can see the slideshow shared with students at any time -- just ask your 5th grader to open their Showbie app, tap the class called "5th Grade iPads," and then look for the assignment called "iPads HOME Information."
First graders in all classes revisted Scratch Jr this week. Scratch Jr is a block-based simple coding program designed by researchers at Tufts University, MIT Lifelong Kindergarten program and the Playful Invention Company. In kindergarten, students explored with the blocks to create open-ended programs. In first grade, we have added some challenges! After a lesson reviewing all the tools in Scratch Jr., Dr. Moore came back for another visit in two classrooms to share coding challenges. Challenge #1 invites a coder to make a car drive across the city. Our first graders didn't stop at that! They decided to even add some of their fall words, and even created codes in which the car driver gave a shout-out to other friends in the classroom! We can't wait to see what these creative coders come up with next!
In library rotations last week, Ms. Anderson and Ms. Grossman had 5th graders design paper quilt squares with icons, drawings, and words that represented their interests and hobbies. This week, Dr. Moore extended that lesson and shared a way to do a similar thing using Pic Collage. Together they talked about identity maps (where a creator places themselves at the center and then moves items around the outside to represent multiple aspects of their identity , including hobbies, interests, family roles, background (religion, culture, hometown, place of birth, etc.). Students' identity maps were filled with creativity! They submitted their finished products to Showbie. We were excited to learn more about one another and practice using multiple tools to express ourselves!
At our first Laugh & Learn, Dr. Moore shared with teachers a review on how to use See Saw Learning Journal in the classroom. One of the newer tools is the Activity tab which allows teachers to select from other teacher-created assignments, or create some of their own. We already have a couple of teachers trying it in their classrooms -- way to go, SeeSaw Ambassadors!
VVE Tech & Learning
Holly Moore, Educational Technologist, shares student learning here, in our Cardinal Community Blog.