Good morning! It’s Thanksgiving week which means for many of us, we will only have three days of school this week! It also means that we are looking ahead to the second part of the school year as January will sneak in in just a few weeks. These are times that I spend reassessing how I am helping students learn the technology tools they will need to be successful both in middle school and high school and beyond.
Our school system established Google accounts late last year which have been used on a hit and miss basis around my building. The kids are almost always more willing to jump into something new than the grownups because their fear of failure is far less so that willingness made students a “no-brainer”
for rolling out all things Google Drive.
As with the majority of my activities, I use either science or social studies as the content that I want the technology skills to enhance. (Occasionally, I throw in something of high interest to the kids such as music artists, television, video games, etc.)
I created a Digital Interactive Notebook to be used in Google Drive (but can be easily converted to Microsoft OneDrive) on Simple Machines. In North Carolina, the students must take an End-of-Grade Science test in the fifth grade. The test covers content taught from kindergarten through grade five so this digital INB could be used to introduce new content or reinforce prior learning.
The DINB includes a cover page like any notebook, as well as some “I Can” statements to keep kids focused. As with every lesson, I still stop class at least once to bring everybody back to the lesson objective.
As the kids worked their way through the notebook, they viewed a video about the six simple machines and had to define and identify real life examples, sorted and classified eighteen pictures of all six machines on a digital sorting mat, played one of the most engaging simple machine games and wrote about it, and applied their knowledge of simple machines to help solve production problems in a candy factory. The final activity included the famous video of first grader, Audri Clemmons’ and his fantastic Rube Goldberg machine!
Covering the concepts of Simple Machines through a Digital Interactive Notebook was beneficial in many ways:
–It truly was a paperless learning experience. (At times, I think I use more paper now with technology!) Now the students have a permanent record of their learning that they can use when they prepare for the state science test later this spring! We all know how kids lose things, and this is something they will be able to find easily and keep organized!
–It was engaging and self paced. Students who process information a little more slowly were not rushed along because a teacher or class was ready to move on.
–It allowed students to use their computer skills to navigate through a new environment.
–There’s no doubt that I will be creating more units like this both for teaching instructional technology skills, but for using them in core areas such as science and social studies!
If you are interested in finding out more, please click here to see it in my TPT shop.
Wishing you a wonderful week!