Thursday, January 10, 2013

8th Graders as Teachers

In the beginning of this year, one of the things that most excited my students was the idea of connecting with younger students.   We watched the anti-bullying PSA made by students in the district, and it really sparked their interest in being more involved in our community.

Before the Winter Break, an opportunity presented itself for us to collabortate with a nearby elemenaty school, Cedar Creek Elementary.   It is within walking distance which would make the legistics much easier.

After letting my students decide what they wanted to do to connect with younger children, they elected to teach a lesson on the American Revolution.  We used the state standards for the American Revolution as our starting point.  In Texas, 5th grade social studies has very similar standards to those in 8th grade.   Additionally, the 5th grade at Cedar Creek Elementary had a 1:1 iPads in their classrooms.  Our goal was to make several mini-lessons on a variety of topics and then compile them into a iBooks Author eBook to share with the 5th grade.

I formed homogenous groups. Then as a class, we viewed the standards on the projector screen and students chose the topics of their interest.   Once the topics were assigned, student groups were to decide what they believed would be the best iPad medium to explain their topics to 5th graders.

Some groups chose to make Puppet Pal shows using the characters of their much beloved "Liberty's Kids" show.   Others would make Nearpod presentations to share on their iPads. 
 Still others decided to make Keynote presentations with You Tube videos embedded.  All of my classes worked on these projects until the Winter Break began.

After we returned to school in January, my students were very excited to resume working on their projects and it was decided we would go in two groups to Cedar Creek to share in our work in rotations.  In order to trouble shoot in advance, we did mock presentations of our work to each other.

I created this form for students to record their evaluations of each other.

Please use this form to complete your evaluation.

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