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Saturday, November 3, 2012

We're Wireless

Last week it finally happened! The wireless router's were installed throughout our building. "Oh the places we can go and the thinks we can think" now! I am just giddy.  I don't even no where to start.  How about with the wireless laptop cart? First things first, a sign out calendar is a must since we share one cart with the whole school.  As soon as I made the calendar, I signed up. (of course)

Now, how to put this tech to good use? We had already used it with jump drives and Vernier probes prior to going wireless. With wireless, we can make good use of Edmodo to differentiate instruction and increase independent learning.

This really couldn't have come at a better time.  Fifth grade is working on 5.P.3.1 and 5.P.3.2
Since students come to my class in a team blocking schedule, investigations that take longer than 30-45 minutes to observe changes are less than ideal and we're seriously limited in the types of heat sources allowed in our elementary classrooms.  That said, there are plenty of resources online that demonstrate the concepts addressed in these standards.

Edmodo was my solution.  After locating the websites I wanted students to visit, I created an assignment in Edmodo and sent it to the 5th grade students.  This consisted of reading, videos, study jams (from Scholastic), a science glossary, and interactive simulated investigations. As students visited each link, they wrote down information that seemed important and drew pictures to represent their learning. Since everyone had their own computer, they could each work at their own pace and visit the websites in any order that they chose.


The result was a much richer learning experience. Students were responsible for their own learning. They added foldables with vocabulary words, definitions, and pictures to their notebooks. I witnessed a major transformation in their notebooks.  Students moved from writing exactly what I wrote and modeled to determining the value of information for themselves. Amazingly enough, the concepts I wanted them to learn were abundantly present in their notes.  What's more, they were able to explain them more fully.

As part of the 5 E lesson plan, we took this a step further as students chose one concept to elaborate on by creating a poster, comic strip, advertisement, or some other representation to share. This was followed by a quiz that was loaded into Edmodo and automatically graded.

Being wireless enabled the students to take charge of learning with tools they love... technology (laptops)!
Whether you're wireless or not, I would encourage you to tap into the power of Edmodo and technology in general.

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