Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Integrated Technology Learning Experience -Lisa Schaa

Unit Title: Faith Ringgold-Black History-Tar Beach

Unit Length: 8 weeks; twice/week 30 minute class periods

Grade Level: 3/4

Description of Students:  

Students come from a sparsely populated rural area in central Iowa. Students are approximately 80 miles from an urban population. Students are 100% Caucasian. No students in this mixed class have an identified I.E.P.

Project Description:

A blended art project with technology and black history integration.

Goals for this Unit:

Students will learn about and discuss Faith Ringgold, black history, and create their own word cloud and painting as a means of applying and evaluating what they know and learned.

Iowa Core Curriculum Standards

Use interactive technologies in a collaborative group to produce digital presentations or products in a curricular area.

Utilize digital tools and resources to investigate real-world issues, answer questions, or solve problems.

Learning Outcomes
Students will be able to have a conversation about Faith Ringgold and her passion for black history, civil rights, etc. Students will be able to create a digital word cloud, articulate where they would “fly to” and why they would “fly” there, then create a painting demonstrating this.

Overall Sequence for the Multiple Lesson Unit:
  1. Students learn about Faith Ringgold  and her books through video and audio.
  2. Students discuss civil rights and what they believe they are.
  3. Students look at and discuss Faith’s artwork depicting scenes of black history.
  4. Students watch actual footage of the civil rights movement.
  5. Students as a group create a list of words they feel describe what they have learned.
  6. Students create their own word cloud (Tagxedo.com) from the list of words generated. Students choose to make some words larger to emphasize what they believe are the most important.
  7. Students listen and see the book, “Tar Beach”, and decide where they would like to “fly to.”
  8. Students create a painting of their chosen place where they would like to “fly to.”

Unit Content:
Focus Lesson(s)

Students learn about Faith Ringgold  and her books through video and audio.

Model of Final Outcome

Students will have a good understanding of Faith Ringgold, her work, and an overall understanding of black history.

Guided Instruction

Activity/Activities: Students view work by Faith
Guidance: Teacher starts the conversation about black history
Formative Assessment: Students discuss among themselves what they believe is going on in the work and what they believe is Faith’s message in her work.

Productive Group Work:
Collaborations: Students collaborate on a list of words they feel describe what they have learned about Faith, black history, civil rights, etc.
Technology-Enhanced Collaborative Process(es) Used: Tagxedo.com
Accountability: Students create a word cloud in a shape they feel is appropriate for this topic and which words they feel need to be emphasized in their piece.

Independent Learning:
(Be specific about the content of each of the activities and how they will be assessed.)

Activities: Students create a word cloud in a shape they feel is appropriate for this topic and which words they feel need to be emphasized in their piece, and a painting of where they would like to fly to.
Assessment: The painting and word cloud are the assessments for this unit.

Further Unit Analysis
Describe how you integrated each of the modular topics into your unit. (Please refer to the assignment sheet for the specifics of what is expected.)

Integrating Digital Technology:
Where do your various activities reside in the TIM?
My activities fall into the Active/Adaptation cell of the TIM matrix. My rationale for this is that the students are given the words that they chose, but they can manipulate them with font, color, layout as they choose. They are actively engaged while also being able to modify the tool.

21st Century Classrooms:
Describe how you organized your unit in a way that best uses the Characteristics of Effective Instruction.
My students were highly engaged in this thought-provoking assignment (teaching for understanding.). So much so, that they kept asking more and more questions and wanting to see more and more video; thus digging deeper than I had initially planned. Because this is a real world issue, it kept their interest and  made it rigorous. It was student centered, as the students decided which direction the discussion would go once I introduced it.

Describe how and why you integrated 1 or more of the Common Sense Media topics.

Digital Citizenship in a Connected Culture
1.Creativity and Innovation- Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge, and
developed innovative products and processes using technology.
Students: a. apply existing knowledge to generate new ideas, products, or processes.
  b. create original works as a means of personal or group expression.
I chose this because it was a natural fit with the use of the web 2.0 tool tagxedo.com

Universal Design for Learning
Describe how you integrated UDL in your activities.

Multiple Means of Representation: Students listened to and watch videos, looked at and discussed copies of art at their tables.
Multiple Means of  Expression: Students created a word cloud that they generated and a painting that they created.
Multiple Means of Engagement: Students discussed in small groups what they thought of the artwork. Students worked independently on their word cloud, but asked for guidance from their peers when necessary. Students worked independently on their paintings, using a 4 step approach:
1. Paint the background they chose.
2. Paint themselves flying over the background.
3. Make a speech bubble of where they would like to fly to.
4. Line the edges with patterned quilt-like paper similar to what Faith does in her works.

I changed this lesson to include much background about black history and it was highly successful.
In the previous lesson, I merely introduced Faith Ringgold, then we created our painting to fly to.
The students are the ones that drove this unit deeper. They were extremely engaged from the start with many questions about black people, slavery, M.L.K, Rosa Parks, etc.
I decided early on, that when the students tired of the subject, I would guide us on to the art projects.
Little did I know it would take 3 weeks or 6 art classes for us to move to the word cloud stage!
I learned that I need to let the class go in the direction the discussion naturally flowed when it came to instructional development. I will definitely use this model for future art history projects!
A video about this project- Click Here!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

ITEC 2011...a Reflection

I attended ITEC this past October and was a presenter in two sessions. I presented on my school’s use of smartphones in the 3rd and 4th grades, and as a presenter with some other fortunate fellow cohort’s who spoke about the Flat Classroom Conference in Beijing, China and how our trip impacted our classes back in the US. At my school, we are learning to become better global citizens!
     I also attended multiple sessions by Punya Mishra about TPAK and its’ use in education. I found him quite engaging, the idea of three disciplines, content, pedagogy and technology intertwined to create the “uptopia” of learning. This really resonated with me. It was at those sessions that I thought, “This is why my entire staff needs to attend ITEC, even the administration.” I heard  comments time and time again from people in the elevators or escalators. “It is so frustrating to leave ITEC all pumped up and ready to implement new integrations of technology, only to be met with teachers back “in the trenches of daily survival” who look at you with the face that says, “What? MORE to add to what I already teach?”
If we could just dedicate some PD to learning about and brainstorming ways we could implement TPAK, this would be wonderful. When I asked my administrator when I returned if this was a possibility, I was met with, “we’ve already planned out the PD for this year,” I was to say the least, disappointed. BUT- I will be back in the spring when they PD team meets to outline the 2012-13 plan!
    I did attend Sara Richardson and Toy Waterman’s sessions sharing the many, many, MANY tech tools and “games” that are out there and available for teacher’s to utilize.  Sara’s sites’ were organized by subject, with Toy’s more by the tool itself and what it does. I STILL refer to a bookmarked site Web 2.0 tools whenever I need to find “just the right tool” for a particular project, and I got that site at ITEC 2009!!!  Both of those gals sessions were excellent “take home” sessions that, judging by the “standing room only crowds”, were a hit with everyone there---If you were lucky enough to get a seat!