Well that’s a Wrap – Prototype Submission Complete!

March of 2020, teachers every where were thrown into the world of online learning. Some where fumbling and learning their way through it as they went along and some already had a solid background and knew what to do. I was one of those teachers fumbling and learning my way through it as I went along. I already had a decent knowledge of Google Classroom, as I already had my class up and running on it since the beginning of the year. But I was learning how to deliver meaningful content for my students.

If I had learned anything over the past 2 years it has been to be flexible in my content delivery. Enter EC&I 834, this was my first class of my Master’s program and it has been so useful, I have learned about and looked at many great tools that can be incorporated into the classroom.

Course Overview

This assignment has given me the opportunity to create something meaningful and useful to use with my current class and future classes. I designed my prototype for my Grade 5 class. I decided to do a Science unit. I focused on Forces and Simple Machines which is one of my favorite units to teach. My course overview can be found here. I originally thought we had to prepare 3 modules, My first 2 modules were on Force and Motion and module 3 was going to be on Simple Machines, so two modules have been completed and the shell of the third module is ready to go. My course is designed to be completed synchronously. Students will work on the modules in class and students are given the opportunity to ask questions and work with a partner. If I have students working from home, they will be able to access all materials. All modules will be placed on Google Classroom, as this is a format my students are already familiar with. In past or previous activities, students will already know how to edit the google slide. Students will have the opportunity to do activities on Quizzizz or blooket. These activities can either be completed independently or whole class.

To access my course, I have created a mock student, you can use the following login information:

Google Classroom

user: studentECI834@gmail.com

password: classEC&I834

Simple Machines – Feedback

First of all, I would like to say I really appreciate the feedback on my first module for my Grade 5 Simple Machines unit. I really valued what both Kendra and Leah had to say – so I thank them both! I was a little worried that I was not on the right track, I questioned whether I had enough content. After reading their feedback, I felt much better.

To address some questions:

Students will already have knowledge on how the functions of google classroom and google slides, docs, forms work, they will already know how to slides as this is something we have done in other subjects.

As attendance sometimes can be an issue, students will have to opportunity to work in class or access from home. If needed, videos can be made for student instruction, for those students working from home.

Module 1 was intended to be more indendent, but in modules 2 and 3 students will be given the opportunity for hands on learning. In module 2 – students will work in groups to demonstrate their understanding of Newton’s 3 laws of motion – as this experiment will be done in class, students working from home will video their experiments to demonstrate their learning. In module 3 to wrap up student learning on Simple Machines, students will participate in a Simple Machines Stem challenge. Students will be given the idea of what the simple machine will be, but it is up to them to decide how make their simple machine and to test it out to see if their design was successful.

I never thought of the idea of, when students begin working in google slides or docs to link the google form or other activities directly in the first document they are working in, so they don have to flip back to the assignment. Thank you for that suggestion, I will keep that in mind going forward for modules 2 and 3.

Module 1 and Course Shell

Hello everyone! My course is focused on a Grade 5 Science Unit – Force and Motion and Simple Machines. You can do a walk through of my course shell and module 1 here

I have also created a sample student login that you can use to login in and explore my module:

user: studentECI834@gmail.com

password: classEC&I834

My Course is broken down into two modules:

Module 1 – Force and Motion

Module 2 – Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion

Module 3 – Simple Machines

Students will have many opportunities to demonstrate their understanding and learning.

Creating an Online Community of Learners

As I reflected back to what I have done in the past I was transported back to March 2020, when teachers everywhere were thrown into the deep end of trying to navigate their way through online learning. I thought that by the end of June I had this online learning figured out, but as the next school year approached and more online learning was on the horizon, I quickly realized that no in fact I did not have this online learning figured out. I tweaked how I did my instruction, tools that used to try and make it more meaningful for my learners. As I have begun working my way through this class, my eyes have opened, and I have realized that if there were to be another time around, I would do things much differently.

Student connections and creating a classroom community is an area that I find to be so important. At the beginning of the year, we spend so much time getting to know our students. I really focus on trying to develop a community of learners through a variety of team building activities. I also give my students a lot of opportunity to work collaboratively on assignments throughout the year. But how do we do it within an online community? Last week we spent most of our time discussing how do we create a meaningful and authentic community with our students online. In an article I found on edutopia, “students are more open to learning when they are emotionally and physically regulated, feel connected to others, and have opportunities for meaningful engagement.”

One thing that I noticed in my first round of online learning was the disconnect that the kids had with not only their peers, but with their teachers as well. We would have daily google meets to go through instruction and assignments, I would give the students the opportunity to ask questions, but I quickly learned that we had to begin our meet with a check-in to see how everyone was doing. I started bringing in different activities, we would play games like Kahoot or I would ask silly questions during our check ins to get the students interacting with each other. I noticed a change in the students and their participation during our daily meet times. Students were excited to be there and to participate, not only during our check-in times, but during out instruction time as well.

Within the google classroom LMS you can ask questions and open it to the students having an online discussion.

This is another great way to get the students to interact with each other online rather then through google meets. Break out rooms is also another great way to have small groups to interact with one another. I also find that sometimes the breakout room is can be an easier place for students to open up and share compared to opening up in front of a larger meet.

Another great article to check out on edutopia How to Forge a Strong Community in an Online Classroom

Learning new Web-based Applications

This week our assignment was to look at new web-based applications we haven’t used before. I chose to look at the Mind mapping website popplet. This website was pretty neat and fairly easy to navigate to use. I found that this website could easily be integrated into any subject area. I think that it could be a pretty useful tool for students to get their thoughts and ideas down in one place. Students can work independently or work collaboratively.

I actually wish I had come across this a month ago when I started introducing informational writing to my grade 5’s . We could have used it has a start to thinking about topics, questions they had, and what they wanted to learn about their topic. All thoughts and ideas could be in one easy accessible place. Students could then share with me and then it would be in one easy place to check in with students. Students can also link videos and websites to their mind map for future reference.

To test it out, I started to create a mind map of my own. This is to begin organizing my online module for class. Here is a rough outline of what I have started to map out.

.

I was super excited about this app and began to think about the different ways I could bring it into my classroom, but as I dug deeper, this app isn’t completely free. Upon signing up, you can create 1 free popplet, but if you want to create more you are required to pay for the subscription version. The cost is fairly inexpensive $19.99 USD for a solo subscription. The website does say that group/school subscription is coming soon, so I was unable to investigate the cost for that at this time.

I was disappointed that this app wasn’t completely free as I felt it could be something I would use with my students.

My overall review would be 2 stars – due to the fact that if I wanted to create additional popplet maps I would need to pay for the yearly subscription

Hello!

Hello welcome to my blog site. First let me introduce myself. My name is Jacquie Vierling. This is my first attempt in the world of blogging so I will definitley be learning as I go!

I have been teaching for 14 years, and I have taught every grade from K – Grade 6. I currently teach with Regina Public Schools. I teach in a Grade 5 class and it is definitely my favourite grade to teach. I am a Masters of Education Student in the Teaching, Learning and Leadership program at the University of Regina.

I am very passionate about figure skating. When I am not at school, teaching or learning, you can usually find me on the ice. I coach figure skating and learn to skate at the CityView Skating Club in White City.

 by David W. Carmichael is licensed under CC BY 3.0

I am married and I have a 13 year old step son who also keeps us very busy with hockey and baseball. We also have a 6 year old Airedale Terrier Named Barclay

Three goals that I have for my EC&I 834 class are:

  1. To learn new online learning practices that I can incorporate into my classroom on a regular basis
  2. To become more familiar with and learn how to use different and new online content and platforms
  3. Let’s face it, the digital age is among us, and the online world is constanly changing, so getting up to speed and learning about new trends in our field

Although I am new to blogging I have began a Twitter page that I use with my Grade 5 students, please feel free to check it out @jacquievierling

I am looking forward to learning with everyone this semester!