Today, I introduced the project to the 3rd grade class. Their reaction is everything I hoped for. They were so excited and wanting to learn. I gave them a sneak preview of stations by standing in the three areas of the stations. First, I went to the teacher station area and told them about it. I didn’t get much of a reaction. Then, I went to the Promethean board and said this would also be center. The students perked up, gave lots of smiles and head nods. Last, I walked over to the last area and told them this would be the iPad station. This got the biggest reaction. There were a lot of “YES”, “Alright”, and “WOW”. Everyone was smiling. I then asked everyone to line up so we could go to the computer lab to take the pre-assessment on Discovery Education. The class so quiet walking down the hallway. It could feel their excitement. The pre-assessment took approximately 15 minutes. The results were like I thought they would be. A third of the class already has a good knowledge base of fractions, one- third understands about 50% of the concepts, and one-third missed close to 75% of the assessment. So I feel the differentiated approach for the unit was right.
Once we were back in the classroom, the students sat on the carpet and we talked about how the unit was going to be ran. Giving them this opportunity to discuss and absorb the plan created a sense of community with the group and myself. Students then went back to their desks and I walked through the expectations for each station. While I did go over the expectations today, I will briefly go over them again with the students on Friday while practicing the stations.
The last task was to pass out the math notebooks. The students were instructed to write two goals they have for this math unit. I then collected the notebooks to bring home to read. Inside their math notebooks, I taped in their Edmodo usernames and passwords. Almost half the class has used Edmodo before during Summer Connections. This is a district summer program for elementary students. As I am typing this right now, there are 4 girls in small group “chat” in our Edmodo class just talking. (I created the small group “chat” in case I had students that wanted to get on at home and talk to their classmates. By creating the small group, I am eliminating the clutter on the main page which we are using for instructional purpose.) I have quickly posted a poll asking the students how excited they are to start this project. One student has responded with “very excited”. The part that I am amazed with is the students didn’t keep their notebooks with the Edmodo information. They have just remembered the usernames and passwords. This is a true testament that our students even as young as 3rd grade are willing and ready to learn using technology.
I will post again on Friday after the practice stations.