Tuesday, November 20, 2012

"Shared" Field Trip Using Edmodo!

While on Twitter one evening I mentioned to a fellow fourth grade teacher that my class was traveling to Plimoth Plantation in Plymouth, MA  to learn more about the Pilgrims and Wampanoags. 

She tweeted back:  “Jealous!” 

As she is located in Indiana it made me sad to think that she and her class would never, in all likelihood, get to experience this amazing ‘living’ museum, and that’s when my “Shared Field Trip” using Edmodo was born!  

As I’m a new Edmodo user I have been looking for ways to seamlessly incorporate it into my daily lessons.  Being able to connect and collaborate on projects with classrooms around the globe makes this a valuable real world tool.  Knowing that many of my Twitter PLN also use Edmodo made me think that this would be an effective way to share our trip.

How it worked:
·      Created an Edmodo Group and Tweeted the request to join” URL a day or two before the trip
·      Students/Classes joined the Plimoth Plantation Field Trip Group
·      Links to set prior knowledge were shared to the Group
·      Groups brainstormed and asked questions about Pilgrims/Wampanoags
·      2 iPads were utilized on the field trip to retrieve/respond to the groups’ inquiries
·      Further responses were made upon our return to our classroom.

Helpful Hints:
Screen Shot of Edmodo Page
·      Group code or “request to join” URL Code should be sent out well in advance (a week or more)
·      Questions should be made known before leaving for the trip
·      Upload Video & audio links from the trip
·      Decide ahead if it “shared field trip” will be in ‘real time’
·      Check for Wifi connections before arrival
·      Try to use more than one device

·      Motivating for students
·      Makes trip even more interactive
·      Gives students greater purpose
·      Many students/groups benefit from shared knowledge
·      Connecting and Collaborating Globally

Truly my students were more motivated knowing their counterparts in the Group wanted information.  It became important for them to inquire for the ‘group’ as they realized this was a way to help the students in the far away classes.   Each one of my students wanted to be able to respond and be a part of the learning.   I heard from the other teachers in the group that their students were just as excited to receive answers from us, thereby extending the learning for all.  

In May we will be going to the Museum of Fine Arts and I know Edmodo will be right there with us! 


Cybraryman: Thanksgiving Page


Monday, November 5, 2012

Mock Presidential Election

Every four years the students at our school are treated to a Mock Presidential Election.  This year the Fourth Graders were in charge of "manning the polls".  

 In preparation of the day, students created Obama/Romney posters that were to adorn the walls of the school or to be held by the campaigners during voting hours.   
Students at the "check in" table were given class lists and conducted the check in just like it would be done  an actual election. Instead of "Street Name", the poll worker asked "Teacher's Name", then Student Name.   The child's name was crossed off the voting list. 
Checking In

Next, voters were handed a ballot and then directed to the polling booths (desks with privacy screens).  
Voting in the Booth

After choosing their candidate, the voter proceeded to the "check out" station. 
Checking Out
The most exciting moment came when the ballots were entered into the antique ballot box, which was actually used for the town's Precinct 6 many, many years ago.  As each ballot was entered, poll workers cranked the handle.  As the ballot dropped into the box a  distinctive "ding" alerted all that the ballot was officially entered!  
Ballot being Counted!
At the end of the day, Poll workers tabulated the results.  A total of 458 students and staff participated in today's event.  

The final results announced at the end of the day:
264 votes for President Barak Obama and 
221 votes for Mitt Romney    
Our results were then added to the KidVote Result Google DocSchools from all 50 states are sending in their class/school results. We will review the information at the end of the week to compare our class/school with the rest of the United States. 

This 'election' experience has given the students a better understanding of events that take place at the this special time of the year.  Hoping that this experience will remain with them not only for the next four years but for many years to come!