IT's Elementary

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Entries Tagged as 'Standards'

Course 1 Final Project Reflection

October 17, 2011 by jhino2nd · 2 Comments · Coetail course 1, Learning, Standards, Unit plan

Write a unit plan using UbD that integrates technology. This sounded like a project that was going to be very practical, especially since we are “integrating technology” into 3 of our units this year. Using UbD didn’t seem unreasonable since we have spent the last 2+ years working on understanding Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe’s book Understanding by Design. When I looked at the template we were given I was a bit taken back. I had read the book and been in discussions about it and remembered the terminology, to some extent, but we use rubicon atlas for mapping. I was much relieved to find out I could use the rubicon atlas form.

This Wednesday we are having our professional learning community(PLC) meeting. As head teacher of the elementary school, it is my job to run the PLC meeting. I do this in consultation with our elementary principal. We have had 2 other meetings when teachers could work on developing units and talk to our tech facilitator. But we decided we needed teachers to commit to 3 units and when those units will be taught to help our facilitator. Grace, our facilitator, wanted to help find a way to keep track and organize our unit plans and she created this blog. She created a page for each grade level and asked we put our unit plans there. As the leader of the PLC, and taking this course, I decided I really needed to try to get all 3 of my units inputted into the blog. It took several tries, but they are here.

What did I learn as I worked on these and on the one for this course in particular? Like I wrote last week, having learning targets is really helpful/necessary. At present, we have grade level learning targets for math, language arts and bible. I was able to use the technology strands our secondary has adopted and attempt to write grade level learning target. How will this all turn out? I’m not sure. The unit I’ve submitted will be taught in January. Presently I am working on teaching the students about blogging and reflecting on their learning for others to read. We are also working on collaboratively writing stories that will be published digitally.  Do I know exactly how or what that will look like – NO. Do I think it is a worthwhile learning experience – Most  definitely. Just this evening I was reading a post by Madeleine about being a risk-taker. I hope that our present unit as I stumble and fumble will help the students to see that it is okay to make mistakes, because even in making mistakes we learn and are able to share.

One of my next challenges as I look at our present unit and I look to the future with my students creating more is how do I grade it? What will the rubric look like that will help the students know what I am expecting? Since this is the first time I’m doing this, what do I expect the students to be able to do on their own and what will take more guidance? As we work towards a “final project” that we can share, what skills do the students need to be able to do?

I know I don’t have answers to many of my questions, but I am really excited that I can learn with my students and with my colleagues.

Unit Plan – Jesus’ Miracles

Learning Targets

​Technology standards:

  • ​Students apply technology to collaborate and communicate.
  • Students apply problem-solving strategies to organize content and complete projects.

Bible, Grades K-2, Bible
1. Students know key Biblical passages, characters, and events.
  • 1.1 Retell and respond to Bible stories

  • 1.3 Recite identified Bible passages

2. Students know how the history of God’s people fits into the flow of world history.

  • 2.4 Dramatize biblical characters and events (new)

5. Students know how the Bible is organized, the types of literature the Bible includes and how to read the Bible.

  • 5.4 Dramatize Bible stories with appropriate oral expression

13. Is a discerning thinker (DT)

  • 13.K12.1. Organize and use information to support conclusions (DT3)

  • 13.K12.2. Make creative products and presentations (DT4)

15. Is an effective communicator (EC)

  • 15.K12.1. Communicate their biblical thinking (EC1)

English 2010, Grade 2, Writing
4. Students will write with a command of informal and formal English.

  • 4.02.01. I can read my own writing and find mistakes in capitalization, grammar, punctuation and spelling.

5. Students will write with clarity, logic, validity, and effectiveness on a wide range of topics and for a variety of purposes and audiences.

  • 5.02.01. I write short fiction, nonfiction and poetry.

  • 5.02.02. I write with a main idea.

  • 5.02.03. I can write complete sentences.

  • 5.02.04. I use C-U-P-S

  • -regular/irregular verbs

  • -pronouns/personal pronouns

  • -subject-verb agreement

Enduring Understandings

Bible content:

  • Jesus’ miracles showed his authority from God.
  • Jesus’ miracles showed his power over nature.
  • Jesus’ miracles showed his love for people.


  • There are appropriate ways to dramatize a story.
  • There are various ways to retell the stories of Jesus’ miracles
Essential Questions
  • What do we learn about Jesus from his miracles?
  • How can I report what I know about an event?
  • Bible memory – Matthew 4:23
  • Miracle at Cana – John 2:1-11
    • Jesus’ first miracle
  • A Soldier’s Faith – Matthew 7:28-8:1;8:5-16
    • Jesus’ love included the Gentiles
    • Jesus had the power to heal the centurion’s servant without seeing him
  • Calming the Storm – Matthew 8:23-27
    • Jesus has power over the forces of nature
  • Healing the Demoniacs – Matthew 8:28-34
    • Jesus had compassion on the men
    • He cares for both spiritual and physical needs
    • He has power over demons/devil
  • Healing the Paralytic – Matthew 9:1-8; Mark 2:1-12
    • Jesus showed he was Lord by healing those who were sick
  • Wake Up! – Matthew 9:18-26; Mark 5:21-43
    • Jesus has power over death and illness
  • Cure at Bethsaida – Mark 8:22-26
    • Jesus cared for a blind man, tending to his needs
  • Blind Bartimaeus – Mark 10:46-52
    • Bartimaeus recognized Jesus as God’s Son
  • Withered Hand – Luke 6:6-11
    • Jesus healed people because of their faith
  • Widow’s Son – Luke 7:11-17
    • Jesus raised a widow’s son from the dead
    • People were amazed and recognized Jesus as a great prophet
  • Raising of Lazarus – John 11:1-44
    • Jesus can do more than we could dream or imagine
  • Vocabulary: synagogues, authority
  • Summarize the bible stories, beginning, middle and end
  • Illustrate bible stories
  • Use a graphic organizer to plan writing
  • Analyze what the miracle teaches about Jesus(authority, power, love)
  • Memorize Bible passages
  • Dramatize stories using appropriate acting skills
    • voice
    • gestures
    • following directions
Bible memory
Teacher: competency tests
Copy, illustrate and recite the bible memory verse.
News report
Teacher: projects
Students will interview/report on Jesus’ miracles using multi-media including news type articles and video interviews/news reports for the class blog.
  • Blue binder Unit 8 on the shelf by the door
  • Student Bibles
  • Classroom bible costumes in plastic bins
  • Videos – The Miracles of Jesus from the media library, The Miracles of Jesus Family Entertainment Network (in classroom) – Show one at the beginning of the unit
  • Flash a Card – in the classroom
  • Kidspiration – planning a news article
This is already a rather long post, but I wanted to share some photos that my students took with their 5th grade buddies who emailed the  photos to me. Hope they make you smile as they did me.

photo by Samuel and Nicolas

by Jasmine and Tina

Photo by Zach, Ty and Michael

The final photo says it all – I’m in for the ride of my life!

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Learning Targets Who Needs Them?

October 11, 2011 by jhino2nd · 7 Comments · Coetail course 1, Digital Citizenship, ISTE, Learning, Standards


ISTE, NETS what are they all about? A few weeks ago I had never heard of ISTE or NETS. Standards, learning targets that’s all we’ve talked about the past few years at our school. We’ve spent a lot of time looking at various standards and then choosing to write our own most of the time. As department chairperson for the elementary division I have worked with our department on writing language arts and math grade level learning targets. We even wrote some learning targets for our Student Objectives that are listed on the elementary report card. Recently we revised our grade level bible learning targets. We still need to work on our grade level science and social studies learning targets. The technology learning targets were to be written by the technology department and taught by them too, right!?! Music, Art and Physical Education all worked that way.

Elementary students in the computer lab.

Until this year our elementary students went to “computer class” once a week. Standards and learning targets for technology were someone else’s job. Last year the elementary principal talked to us about integrating technology into our classes. We were excited, I think, but really had no idea what we were getting into. In late spring, a good friend of mine, Vivian, mentioned the Coetail course to me. The elementary librarian at our school, Ruth had already been talking about attending. We were to get a “new” elementary technology facilitator, Grace so the two of us signed up too.

I’ve tried to use technology in my classroom in the past, but I must admit that it has been mostly as a consumer. Students could “listen to reading” with Bookflix, Storyline Online, Raz-kids, practice math with IXL and World Math Day. Last year the students got very excited when they were able to use an iPad for “listening to reading” and practicing kanji in Japanese class. None of these programs are bad, but I’ve realized there is so much more to technology in the classroom.

Practicing kanji in Japanese class.

So, here we are 6 weeks into the Coetail course and about 6 weeks into the school year. Our goal in the elementary department at my school is to integrate technology into 3 units this year. What does that look like? What can/should we expect students be able to do? What are authentic assessments using technology?  With no learning targets those are difficult questions. Our middle school has some technology standards and learning targets. They took NETS standards and rewrote them for our school. I like the standards they have written and they pretty closely follow NETS.

  1. Students create original digital products.
  2. Students apply technology to collaborate and communicate.
  3. Students research efficiently and effectively using reliable online resources.
  4. Students apply problem-solving strategies to organize content and complete projects.
  5. Students address current ethical and societal issues in the use of technology by applying a Christian world-view.
  6. Students demonstrate fundamental skills related to operational systems, input methods and software applications.

I understand these, but what do they mean in 2nd grade? How do I help the other classroom teachers decide what they mean in their classroom? When I looked at grade level learning targets for the middle school I didn’t see targets that students would necessarily carryover to other subjects. I saw a final project for a 9 week course. That’s not what I think NETS is about.

Reading a lot of different pages and articles on the ISTE website has been a great help. NETS for Students 2007 has been informative, but even more so is the Students 2007 Profiles. I’ve come up with some learning targets for 2nd grade, but continue to refine and tweak them. I’ve shared them with our elementary technology facilitator and our principal I guess my next step will be to share them with the technology co-ordinator and other elementary teachers. Will they work? I’m not sure, but I think so. I’ve found it especially helpful to have some type of learning target as I work on my final project for the Coetail course. I’ve also found it easier to find units that I want to integrate technology with as I have  learning targets that I can think about. I can think of authentic assessments that will show students have understood the content and can use technology to show that understanding.

Should the NETS for Teachers be part of a teacher’s evaluation. Yes, but first of all teachers need training and then continued coaching in this area. Technology, Coaching and Community has very practical advice.

  1. Context
  2. Relevance
  3. Ongoing
I know that as I am learning new skills and have opportunity to try them with colleagues I feel more confident in using technology with my students. Does it always work out? No, but then there are non-technology lessons that also don’t work out. Can we learn together? Of course.
One example of learning a new skill that I’ve been able to begin teaching my class about is blogging. We have a class blog. I’ve done most of the posting, but had the students each write about a photo and then I typed the text and posted the photos. I’ve assigned commenting as homework a few times and have had about half of the students and or parents respond. This is a new platform for parents, students and teachers at our school as an educational tool. As we all become more familiar with it I am looking forward to how we will all grow in our learning.
Photos taken by me at CAJ in the 2010-2011 school year.

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