Amplification of a Transportation Unit & a Survey

In a unit on Transportation, our Kindergarteners read a large picture book “On the Move!” by Donna Latham

Students got so interested into learning about different ways people around the globe got around. They were even ready to take a trip to Venice, Italy to ride in a Vaporetto.

Since our 5 & 6 year olds have gotten pretty good at using PicCollage on the iPads, their teacher Arlene Yegelwel, wanted to personalize another collaborative classroom eBook.

She took the time to find over 20 public domain images of transportation methods they had discussed in class on Wikimedia Commons and sent them in one email to each iPad.

Student’s workflow fluency looked like this:

  • opened the PicCollage app
  • chose one image of the different transportation methods
  • decided how they could best place an image of themselves onto the picture
  • asked a buddy to take an image of them acting out a particular position on the iPad
  • edited the image by clipping the background
  • resized the image to make it fit the ration of the transportation image
  • rotated the image
  • saved the image
  • emailed the image to their teacher

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Mrs. Yegelwel, downloaded the images from the e-mail and then  imported them into the BookCreator App. She sat with each students to document their comment for the image.
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As a class, they also reviewed all the different parts of a book, such as title page, dedication page and credit page. We also had a short, age appropriate discussion about copyright and how we cannot just TAKE (steal) any images we find on the web. We talked to them about some photographers who release their images into public domain, which meant we could use them. So there was a special Thank You crafted to thank these photographers :)

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We could have stopped here, but the global component (transportation AROUND THE WORLD) begged to amplify what had largely taken place in the classroom only.

We decided to involve students in crafting their own survey. Below you will find our collaborative efforts in formulating the title, description, questions and different checkboxes.

Please take a moment to fill out the form for them. We will continue to accept responses until next Friday (May 24, 2013) to then tabulate and interpret the results.

We also discussed how would we let people know about our survey? What if we stood in our school’s parking lot and shouted it out? How many people would hear us? Where would these people be geographically be from?

I showed them my Twitter account and demonstrated how I was going to give a “shout out” for our survey.

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We then sat back and literally watched the first responses to our survey “fall into” the spread sheet.  Please imagine the wows, the oohs and the aahhs for each one, especially when the first ones from Europe started falling in. Mrs. Yegelwel pulled in the globe and showed location. We also explained why most of our responses seemed to come from the US and Canada. We quickly looked up what time it was in Australia and they “shockingly” realized that Australians were deep asleep while they were in school.

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I am asking myself the following questions.

What are students learning BEYOND the reading of the original book in their classroom? How did we amplify skills and literacies, because we took “the extra step” of connecting the students to a global network? What transformative (not possible without the amplification) teaching & learning took place?

  • Geography skills (We are looking up each location  on a globe. We are learning about states, countries, continents, urban, suburban, etc.)
  • Math skills (We are using real authentic data. The results will be counted, sorted, organized and graphed)
  • Thinking skills (Why are most people in the US using a car/van to get to work? Why do most people in Japan use scooters?)
  • Global skills (They realize that we can talk TO the world, not just ABOUT the world)
  • Network skills (What are networks? How does Twitter work?)