Thursday, December 9, 2010

Course 2 Final Project

Our group for the final project redid the Grade KA-2 Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) at Taipei American School (TAS.) The policy is good and we just made minor changes to it. As a group we liked the International School of Bangkok's (ISB) AUP because it clearly addresses both parent and student. We adopted that approach because the TAS policy looks like it is for students only. We changed some of the language in the document to simplify it for younger students and eliminate some repetition. We liked the parallelism ISB's policy has with "I will..." so we adopted that as well. The focus of the TAS policy seemed to stress the "rules" and we liked that ISB's more positive tone regarding technology as a tool for learning. We felt students could go over the policy at the beginning of the school year and take it home for parents to sign and discuss with their children.

Here are some of the points we discussed when comparing TAS' AUP and ISB's AUP:

For the Terms of Agreement
# 1. (TAS Revised 1 & 2) we combined 1 & 2 and liked the use of the word "responsiby." #1 didn’t seem necessary because students don’t go to the lab on their own. Classes are scheduled. Combined TAS and ISBs.
#2. (Revised 3) we left the same. They are on both schools AUPs
( TAS 4) we dropped because it makes it sound like only the web page created is safe to use. They will use other sites. It is really about safety and that is covered in #9.
#3 &
#4 (Revised 5 & 6.) We liked the wording on ISBs  #10 better
#5 (Revised 7.) Too limiting for just games. Liked ISBs because it's broader.
#6 (Revised 8.) This is a combination of both schools. It includes TAS values but uses the simple language of ISBs
#7 (Revised 9.) Kept this one the same and used the parallelism in sentence structure.
(Dropped 10 & 11) because these are classroom management skills that the teacher can teach.
We liked ISBs #6, I will ask before I share my name and personal information on the computer, because this is about safety.
We also liked #5 I will ask for help when I do not understand what to do, because it reminds students that we are there to help.
We thought ISB's number#2 & #8 were not necessary because they are included in our #6. We felt that 10 items was somewhat  long for grade KA-2.

Here's our policy:

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Some Dog

This lesson is like tossing a bone of a different flavor to a dog over and over again.

After three years of trying it every which way, I'm not going to do it anymore. I will continue to do the beginning as a mini-lesson but enough with trying to turn it into a project. I read the book, Some Dog, by Mary Casanova to grade 2 students. The book is a good mentor text with a strong character and a clear beginning, middle, and end to the story. I read the book and we discuss the character traits of George and Zippity. We also talk about how the character changes from the beginning to the end. This part of the lesson goes well every year and ties in with the language arts curriculum.

Then I try projects. And, they never quite work. 

The first year I tried having students make videos. They had a blast with it, but it was too hard and not much learning was going on. They didn't have the technology or small motor skills to run a web cam. I ditched that lesson and tried the next year to integrate with the IT coordinator. That time I tried a summary frame; something taught to our staff by Bob Darnell, a consultant who came to the school for professional development. This was too hard for the students to do and the lesson got dragged out over months. It didn't work well with 10 day rotations and 5-6 classes. The IT teacher had the kids make posters and I made an oversized ABC book that displayed their work (photo above). However, this year the IT teacher is subbing in the classroom and I tried a mini book. The lesson has covered about 2 months and 3 sessions. Again this is too long. One teacher liked the lesson and said he would like me to do it with his class but have his students choose a "just right" book and tie it in with one they've studied and are familiar with. So I guess I haven't completely dumped the lesson idea. If part of the writing is done in the classroom then it might work. After 10 days the students can't remember the story they are writing about. I wonder if I've dumbed down the writing too much. It would be good to work closely with a grade 2 teacher to find out what they think.

Here's the lesson:

Lesson 1: Read the book and go over on white board character traits and how the character changes from the beginning to the end of the story.

Lesson 2: Read the book and write a rough draft. (Drop this and go to lesson 3. Rough draft confused them.)

Lesson 3: Fold a sheet of paper in half that has a box for a picture at the top and lines to write on below. Have students read the book and follow the outline on the sheet below. Have them mark the page number in the book that shows which picture they want. Have them write the story and print off the pictures for them to glue on.

Try to keep your sanity ; )