Welcome to my planning brain. I now have our new fifth grade Texas readiness standards deciphered. When planning, I start with an outstanding children’s book or a technology idea that I know that my students will love. As in the past, I look at my curriculum for ways that I can master the curriculum and try to reach across the content areas.
For example, I have been staring at the book Inside Out and Back Again by Thanhha Lai for several weeks wondering how I could use this book. It is the story about a family fleeing war-torn Viet Nam and settling in Alabama, and the struggles of moving to a new culture. First I was wondering what good book that I could pair with this book in a literacy center. I picked Baseball Saved Us by Ken Mochizuki for so many reasons. Students may use both books to create new understanding of different wartime experiences in our country, compare and contrast conflicts and resolutions facing children from other cultures living in our country, and assist students to understand another person’s point-of-view.
Another reason why I picked Baseball Saved Us is because our school spirit theme this year is all about baseball and I have many math and science activities on baseball to support learning. This will allow me to scaffold my learning so I can keep the book and discussions fresh in their minds.
Now where can I place this in my curriculum? I needed a good lesson on making predictions. In the past, we would use sticky notes on poster paper, but today I found one outstanding site and one “homerun” app to use technology.
Today I found the site TechChef4u at http://www.techchef4u.com. The level of lesson examples on this site far surpasses my past lessons and I can’t wait to get started on many of their ideas. Today on their site I found http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tools-4-students/id472911218?mt=8. Use this iPad app for all of your interactive reading graphic organziers in your small groups. Students can then e-mail their completed graphic organizers, save them as JPEGs and upload to a presentation program like Glogster.
The iTunes app site included a teacher example. Great idea! I wish more apps would connect to finished projects. Check out the example from the Carnazzos Class at http://carnazzosclass.wikispaces.com/The+Lorax. However, since Glogster uses Flash, students will need to finish and present at laptop literacy stations.
My final project will use the Making Predictions screen.