The goal of education is not to increase the amount of knowledge but to create the possibilities for a child to invent and discover, to create men who are capable of doing new things.
Once the discovery and exploration phase was fulfilled, the time for creation and critical thinking started, and while doing so we devoted ourselves to assess our students. We wanted to keep the motivation to full speed, and technology is always a good ally in this sense. Again the question was: which would be the best way to use technology for this purpose? Moreover, we wanted students to continue being owners of their learning by making decisions about what to show and how to do so. We made a selection of different resources to match the variety of activities they were going to carry out.
Travel Log + Coding!
They created a travel log for Felix with Scratch Jr app using the Ipads, by choosing pictures of the places he visited and recording an audio description of what he saw or did in each of them.
They coded animations of their characters by recreating them as they travelled. A perfect way of combining their assessment with an introduction to coding!
Here is the link to one of the travel logs: Link
Dash robot + coding + map skills
During their IT lessons, they were able to use robot Dash to show their knowledge on the World Map and the countries they had been researching on. They prepared clues for other students to follow a travel route on a giant World Map, while learning to direct the robot around with Blockly app. Another example of how kids can code a real robot to show their knowledge on a certain topic, integrating these skills to the curriculum.
Look at dash travelling around the world!! Link
They came up with the idea of inviting Felix to visit our country , and to be able to show him its main places of interest, fauna, flora and customs, they designed travel brochures. To be able to do this, students chose which provinces they wanted to research on and they created the brochures with the Bookpress app. Once again, it was an opportunity to integrate technology with a simple but yet powerful tool most suitable for their age.
Here is the link to one of the brochures: link
Once we had finished with the topic we asked them how we could test how much we had learnt during this project, and this is how altogether they came up with the idea of creating a game they could all play to test their knowledge on the different cities visited by Felix. As a result, they worked in groups and created a quiz using the Tiny Tap app, asking tricky questions and even recording a congratulation message for correct answers. Futhermore, they made their parents play it at home to see how much they knew on these cities.
Play Cairo game to test your knowledge! (This game has been played 100 times by users around the world)
But technology was not the only tool they used to show how much they learnt. Life is full of different opportunities and students each have their own characteristics, likes and dislikes. As part of their regular art lessons, Sonia, the art teacher, helped us resemble European Cathedral´s vitreaux.
We enjoyed a workshop where they could show their talents, make a choice of what skills to develop and have fun!!!
Students cooked pizza like Italians.
They decorated coffins and mummified their dolls, and even made their own jewelry like Egyptians,
They built shields and swords like the ones the gladiators used at the Colosseum, and they created a photo montage imagining they were gladiators fighting at the Colosseum.
They built a model of London City with recycled material.
And created instruments to resemble African ones with materials we found at home.
A very important part of the teaching and learning process is feedback as it fuels constructive reflection by the learner. We thought of feedback not only as part of assessment but also as a way for students to reflect upon their own learning process and a way to keep a record of their feelings and memories and why not, parents’ feedback too!
This year, a new tool for communicating with parents was introduced at school, Seesaw, and it gave us a wonderful opportunity to share with them their children’s “voice”. We had one to one interviews with our students about what they liked most about this project and asked them to tell us something new they had learnt. Parents wrote to us and talked to us down hallways about how much their children were enjoying, learning, involving the family and thanked us in very nice ways. They were finally up to date of what was happening in the classroom, following the various outputs of the project as it evolved.
You can listen to one of the interviews here.
Categories: Professional Development Contest 2016