In my classroom, I use a learning scale to determine students’ understanding (1-3). If a student understands and can do it alone, they are a 3; if a student doesn’t understand the objective, or cannot answer the essential question, that’s a 1. I realized after reading Larissa’s post that I didn’t incorporate my learning scale. She mentioned that she used the traffic light system, (same concept). Sally said she corrected students’ work when done, and then handed back for corrections. During my final vocabulary assessment, that’s what I did. I had one student who got half the questions wrong. This was one student who required additional support. Because I teach science to primary grade levels (1-2), I never hand back work that is incorrect and I don’t let my students leave my classroom feeling like they failed. He did get the vocabulary words correct at the end.
What evidence am I collecting for my final project – and for what purpose?
My blog from week 11 describes the different ways I prepared for student work, engagement, content and structure of lessons. I had to change up a few things this week. For instance, I added another final along with the art project- the vocabulary assessment. Because I wasn’t able to incorporate Google maps on the iPads, I needed more evidence that students learned the material.
Each day, I taught two new stages in the salmon’s life cycle. My students were given handouts to take notes, and draw examples of the fish in those stages. This was one way I was able to track student progress.
At the end of the unit, I had students make a folded adult Chinook salmon art project. Their project had to have the salmon’s life cycle and pictures of the locations of where that salmon is and in what stage. I had students do this to show evidence they understand where the fish is in that stage. I had a model made prior to the unit starting for students to refer to and know what I’m expecting.
Following the art project, as a whole group my students finished the KWL Chart (the L part). They were able to answer the “W” questions. Then, we did a whole group review before our test.
In the vocabulary assessments, the students had to match the stage in the fish’s life cycle to the correct definition. I wanted to make sure my students understood each stage and its attributes.
Everyday after a lesson, I asked students: what two stages did you learn today? What did you learn yesterday? I always went back to our essential question: Why is each stage important in the life cycle of a salmon, or what is the purpose of each stage in the life cycle of salmon?
I attached pictures of student work, the KWL Chart, the pictures of the locations during the life cycle, the notes I created, and the vocabulary assessment.
After teaching my lessons without iPads and students not using Google Maps, I realized that I needed to do another final assessment besides the KWL and performance task. I created my own document where students have to match each vocabulary term to its right definition. Next week, students will continue using QR codes to finish their art project, and after reviewing, and finishing our KWL Chart, students will complete the assessment.
EDET 637 Week 11
Essential question: What are my challenges and successes in implementing my unit?
Immediately starting my unit, I was already faced with challenges. I started my unit off with a hook- what is your favorite summer activity, what do you like fishing for? Following the hook questions, we as a whole group completed a KWL Chart. I asked the students the following questions: what is a life cycle, what is a salmon’s life cycle, what is migration? The students had trouble with the “K” part on the chart at first, but after I rephrased my questions, and had them watch a short video clip on Brain Pop Jr. called “Migration,” students were able to give me a little bit of feedback. For instance, one student answered with: fish migrate back to where they were born.
I initially planned to use Google Maps on iPads using AirServer, so as I taught, students would be able to follow along on their iPads. However, my AirServer was not working. Because one of my goals was for students to use Google Maps to search locations, I decided to use my laptop. Since I wasn’t able to show students how to use Google Maps on iPads, I made the choice to not have students use theirs. After I taught students the different stages, I used my laptop to show the exact locations and we printed those pictures for our final art projects.
Some of the successes I had in my unit included preparation and note taking. Prior to teaching my unit, I used my HDMI cord to project the outline of the salmon’s body onto my white board. Students got one salmon outline and had to cut it out themselves. This made time go by so much faster. If I had students trace their own salmon, it would have taken up a lot of instructional and independent work time. Students were able to go from note taking, to working on their art project instead of waiting.
I made my own salmon life cycle art project before I taught the unit. This was used as a visual for the final product. The students referred to this throughout the unit. It really helped those students who were struggling working independently. I also had students scan a QR code to take them to pictures of king salmon. For instance, one of the QR codes was a link to the fish and game website: http://www.adfg.alaska.gov/index.cfm?adfg=chinook.main
Students used the picture to draw and color in the attributes of a king salmon.
Another success included note taking. I used my pre-made note-taking template (which was initially for slow writers) and printed off a copy for each student. At the pace we were going, I knew that if I had those fast writers take their own notes, it would double the amount of instructional time. I used my HDMI cord to project my note-taking template, and I typed my notes and students filled in their notes. I introduced two stages each day in the salmon’s life cycle and showed a picture of that stage. Students took notes and drew pictures; we Google mapped that location, screenshot and printed it off. At the end of each day, I asked students what they learned and if we answered any of our W questions on our KWL Chart.
It’s interesting to see the differences in UbD approaches among teachers. One of the things I recommended to Kate, was that sometimes its best to focus on one standard or narrow it down to just a few. However I really like he unit. It’s well thought out and understandable. I like that she’s integrating local resources (field trip). Some people didn’t have common core, or even technology goals listed in their UbD. I gave Aleta good advice, to come up with a list of questions as a group and interview the school cooks (if they have some).