By Steven Caringella autumn hancock Barbara Finkle Sonia Castaneda
Table of Contents: Overview Think.com Learning about Think.com and Netiquette About Me Five-Paragraph Essay Multiple Intelligences Multiple Intelligence Survey M. I. Based Presentation Interest Presentations Interests Adele Harrison Middle School Project Summary, Reflection, and Student Sample Egan Junior High Project Summary, Reflection, and Student Sample Oster Elementary Project Summary and Reflection Zanker Elementary Project Summary, Reflection, and Student Sample Timeline Project Timeline Resources Resources Internet Resources URLs Resources
Students will discover, explore and capitalize on individual interests and dominant intelligences. They will apply these strengths in their projects as they collaborate and will produce several learning products.
Learning about Think.com and Netiquette
Prior to introducing students to Think.com, the teachers will have explained the project and website to the parents. Parents will be encouraged to use the Think.com parent website as a means to stay more connected to what their children are doing in the classroom, thus keeping the parents involved and informed of the project.
Students will be taught appropriate and safe use of the Internet through lessons provided by Think.com and Netsmartz.org
Students will be introduced to Think.com and will set up their pages to be ready for the project.
Each student will be assigned two students from the other schools, one in their own grade level and one from the other grade level. They will read and respond to their partners uploaded work on Think.com throughout the duration of the project.
The students will write an introductory essay about themselves. A variety of writing resources will be used, including Scholastic "10 Easy Writing Lessons That Get Kids Ready For Writing Assessments", as well as Step Up to Writing.
Students will be read and respond to the essays of one or two partners assigned to them from the other schools, using think.com.
California Content Standards
English and Language Arts
ELA.4.2.0 Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
ELA.4.2.1. Write narratives: a. Relate ideas, observations, or recollections of an event or experience. b. Provide a context to enable the reader to imagine the world of the event or experience. c. Use concrete sensory details. d. Provide insight into why the selected event or experience is memorable.
Multiple Intelligence Survey
Students will complete a multiple intelligence survey to determine their strongest areas within the Multiple Intelligence framework.
M. I. Based Presentation
Teachers will introduce a concept.
Students will be grouped according to their M. I. strengths to develop lessons utilizing strategies and activities that capitalize on that M. I.
These presentations will be recorded and posted on Think.com project pages to share with the other schools.
Students form the other schools will listen and give feedback.
Each student will post a reflection of their experience utilizing their multiple intelligence.
Groups will be formed around common interests.
By making use of their unique multiple intelligences, each student will contribute to the creation of a lesson that will be presented to the class about that common interest.
Groups will plan, research, write storyboards and scripts to present to their own class.
The teacher will record the presentations with an audio device, so that they can be uploaded and shared with other schools by posting them on their Think.com Interest Presentation pages.
Students will then write reflections on the group experience with this activity and post it on their Think.com pages.
Through this activity, the students will gain an introduction to podcasting.
Students from the other schools will listen to the podcasts and write responses to the audio presentations on their think.com pages.
Adele Harrison Middle School:
Project Summary, Reflection, and Student Sample
Last year I had done an EWYL project with some of the students. In my class this year I had four of the students from last year and the rest were all new students. I have 17 ELL students’ all-together five RSP students; one beginner in English and the rest vary from early intermediate-to-intermediate levels of Spanish. I introduced Think.com to the students using an LCD machine. Soon after they were shown what it was we used the new laptops that are on a mobile cart. The students were very exited to be trying something new. It was a challenge because so many of them do not have computers at home and was their first time navigating the internet. I have an aid that helps me and between the two of us we had all the kids adding information on the site. I explained to the students that we were going to work with three other schools and that they were going to have partners. The students were so excited about the email option in Think.com. Even though we did not use this feature with other schools, the students used a feature called stickies and were thrilled to leave messages for their partners.
All About Me
The students were asked to bring a bag with three items that represented them. When they brought in the bag we had group discussions about what the content of the bag was. Once the students had shared with one another we got started writing an essay together. I modeled my own essay and showed them three items from my own bag. They all typed their essays first, then they were edited until they were ready to post. It was a challenge getting them on Think.com because I had to teach them so many skills. They had to learn how to highlight, copy and paste into Think.com.
Students were given two multiple intelligence tests. The first was online and we were able to print out their results, the second was done on paper. Once the students had found out their multiple intelligences I had them write their intelligences on an index card to keep record of their intelligences. The beginner in English student worked with the bilingual aid to have the test translated. The students were very curious what each other’s intelligences were. We wrote a brief summary about them and posted them on Think.com.
This was my favorite part of the project. The students were asked to go into the hallway. I had all of the multiple intelligences on 81/2x11 cards. I taped all of the intelligence around our quad area. I asked the students to take out their index cards to review their multiple intelligences. I asked them to go to the intelligence they still felt suited them the best. As typical middle school students they all grouped with their friends that had similar multiple intelligences, however, I reminded them to keep in mind what they had wrote on their index cards. I then told them I was going to put them into groups. The students were so surprised that I pulled from each intelligence and made groups of three students in them. It worked perfectly! I had them go back in the classroom and explained to them their interest presentation. At first I might as well have been speaking a different language. It took a lot of coaching and repetition to get them to understand what an interest presentation was. The kids chose very interest topics; they worked well when they were compiling information about what each group chose. They all had to record each of the parts they were presenting as a group individually first. Then they worked as a group and did a mock recording through.
Throughout the project the students build on their technical skills. I had students that finished posting their work faster than others on Think.com and they then became my technical assistants. The students loved changing their icons on Think.com. After a while the students would get up and work with one another when they didn’t understand what they were doing. Especially for the interest presentations the students really worked collaboratively as a group. The students were very excited about their projects and often called each other to come and read about their project, or asked each other for understanding of how to research on the internet.
I would have to say where I became most excited about the project when we started to do Pod Casts. The students were so shy the very first time I introduced them to Pod Casts. We created eight Pod Casts in total. I had the Sonoma Index Tribune come and photograph the students and talk to them about their experiences doing this project. The students were so exited to use computers and garage band. I was most impressed when they wanted to share their own Pod Casts to the rest of the class. For years I had tried to get ELL students to talk and this was my first experience seeing the students recording their own voices. Their presentations were phenomenal. They went into YouTube, and found music and visuals. When they presented we had two laptops and a snowball microphone recording their presentations. They did a fantastic job presenting. At that point they were no longer shy because of all the previous recordings they had done.
Student Work Sample
Alexis, Vidal and Johana are the most unlike group to be together. All three have different multiple intelligences. Alexis is very mathematical and logical, he would like to be very verbal but is quite shy, he has been in my class for three years, language has been a challenge for him. Vidal is very musical and mathematical, and methodical and logical, he is also my new comer, but very advanced in Spanish skills. Johanna has been with me two years; she is very shy, but very popular with her friends. Her intelligences were movement and music. The group chose Daddy Yankee. They listened to his music together; they researched about him, went on You Tube, and captured everyone’s attention in the class. They really worked together as a team and discussed what they were going to do for the project really well and helped Vidal with his English to get him ready to present. For their final presentation, Alexis surprised me when he introduced the members of his team. All three spoke really clearly and were not the shy students I had been working with since the beginning of the year.
Egan Junior High:
Project Summary, Reflection, and Student Sample
THINK DOT COM ORIENTATION
I discussed Internet safety to the students before unveiling Think.com to the students. Next, I demonstrated Think.com to the class of 9 beginning to intermediate ELL students. I explained the project, which included teachers and buddies from other schools. The students were especially excited to see their own web pages, and couldn’t wait to get started.
ALL ABOUT ME:
As a warm-up, students reviewed their interviews (from the start of the year), to get a head start on writing content. They were instructed how to add more details. Essays were written, re-written, until ready to post. Some students added visuals to their Think.com site to embellish their writing.
Students were given a multiple intelligences test. Teacher introduced the concept by using herself as an example while reading through the multiple intelligences test. She discussed her strengths, weaknesses, and used her family as examples. The students were extremely interested in analyzing their own family members. Initially, an upper-grade test was used, but due to the fact that the students are ELL, the elementary test fit better. (We also sampled Barbara’s test, and the students agreed that her test was the best one.)
The test took a few days to complete; a Japanese and Mexican student needed native-language interpreters. Much discussion was had over the questions. Once done, a student who realized that math was her strength, designed a detailed chart which showed the students’ scores in each area.
Students changed their ideas and groups almost daily for the first week. The more they processed the idea of a presentation, the more ideas they had. Many wavered from being in a group, to working individually. Over the weeks that followed, the groups disintegrated, and all students ended with their own individual idea.
Throughout the project, students assisted each other with technical help. Each student seemed to be a natural expert in aspects of Think.com (for example, one student learned how to upload pictures, another discovered how to edit the pictures, another figured out how to upload music, etc.). A wonderful sense of collaboration pervaded the working environment at all times. Each child learned a multitude of skills from their peers.
Additionally, my class loved having buddies at other schools, and enjoyed getting to know them. We focused on how to write responses to essays and messages.
The class bonded as a family faster than any other in my years of teaching. Studying and exploring our multiple intelligences provided a way to get to know each other quickly. Discussing our intelligences is a part of our classroom culture now, and it often comes up in casual discussion. It’s an avenue to providing authentic positive messages to a child, that are clear and useful.
Due to my class being English learners, we found that video was the medium that allowed them to express themselves more fully. (Also, most have very strong accents, and are often very hard to understand.)
STUDENT WORK SAMPLE
Note: This is a video made by our tech-wizard kid, Kiet, who was the student who showed us all how to edit our images from the web. He used the application “I Show U” to make the video, and later turned it into a movie. Once compressed, the movie was very small and hard to read. Kiet addressed this problem by typing out the instructions on his site. Enjoy!
Students were given lessons on Internet etiquette and safety prior to being introduced to think.com. After being given their user name and password, they logged on and created their user icon, changed their passwords and posted their first essay. Students were then shown how to access the project pages, how to locate their partners from the other schools, and the procedure for responding to their partners.
All About Me
My students wrote about themselves as part of the beginning of the school year “getting to know each other” activity. They each brought 3 things to school that represented an aspect of their personality or an interest. They then wrote their first essay of the year based on these things. Later, they posted this essay on think.com.
The students took a survey about multiple intelligences and responded to the resulting evaluation of their areas of strength. They posted their thoughts about their intelligences on one of their think.com pages. For the most part, my students were already aware of their multiple intelligence strengths, but some were surprised to find that they were “People Smart” or “Self Smart” as they had not thought in those terms prior to this activity. Many had thought of intelligence only in academic terms, and were glad to know that "Picture Smart," Nature Smart," "Music Smart," and "Body Smart" were also types of intelligences. I think it helped many of the students see themselves in a more positive light.
Groups were formed based on common interests. The students then planned presentations keeping in mind their multiple intelligence strengths to help them decide how they would work within the group. For example, students with artistic skills created posters for their group, and those who were musical wrote songs for part of their groups presentation. The students’ presentations were recorded using garageband, and converted to Mp3 files in iTunes, and then posted to think.com.
My students really enjoyed communicating with their partners from the other schools. They learned how to respond to others, by focusing on their partners writing first, and then adding their own responses. They looked forward to reading their partners’ comments about their own writing.
I think my students took more care I their writing, knowing that their classmates and partners would be reading their work. They were excited to be able to use the Internet in such a personal and productive manner. They learned to recognize and value diverse abilities within themselves and others through the multiple intelligence activities. At first, they found working in groups for their presentations to be quite challenging, especially within the larger groups. They learned that dividing the responsibilities according the individuals strengths was an effective way to get things done. They were excited to to able to access their presentations through think.com
Zanker students were taught a lesson on proper and safe use of the Internet prior to using Think.com. Students then learned how to use the tools and features of Think.com, as well as the difference between their site, the teacher’s site, and the What Makes Me Unique? project site, within Think.com. Students set up their Think.com sites for each phase of the project.
All About Me
Students were partnered with one or two students from the other school sites. Zanker students wrote about themselves, while maintaining online safety by not including personal information. Their partners also wrote about themselves. These multi-classroom partners were able to get to know each other online, and responded to each others’ posts with further questions and comments.
Zanker students were given a student-friendly Multiple Intelligences survey, to help them determine one or more areas that are dominant learning preferences. Students who had more than one were encouraged to reflect on this information, and choose one that they felt best described them. Students wrote a reflection on the results of their survey on their Think.com sites, shared this with their project partners, and received feedback from them. Students compared similarities and differences between themselves and their partners.
For the Interest Presentation phase, student groups were formed by mixing students with different dominant intelligences. First, students formed groups of the same dominant intelligence, then the project groups were formed by taking one or two students from each of the Intelligences groups, until all six groups were hetergeneously mixed. Next, these six groups were given a broad range of topics to choose from for the interest presentation. Each of these topics related to the content standards. Groups decided on a topic to study and present. The teacher then provided each group with articles to read on that topic. Students in each group completed a KWL chart to determine what they already knew about the topic, and what they thought they needed to know before reading the articles. The teacher provided guidance through this process, helping each group come up with five or six research questions about the topic, that could be answered through the reading. Each member of each group chose one of these research questions to focus on. They answered the questions by reading about the topic.
At the same time, individual students in each group chose an activity to do to teach the answer to their research questions. The activities were chosen by the students based on their dominant intelligence. A list of suggested activities for each of the seven Multiple Intelligences was provided to students to help them in this process. In this way, the entire group presented on one topic, but each individual member presented on one aspect of the topic, using their dominant intelligence to determine how that learning would be presented.
Finally, audio and video recording were conducted for each group. Each member presented in the order of the research questions.
Zanker students learned a lot about themselves through taking the Multiple Intelligences survey. The students also demonstrated great creativity as they generated their own ideas about how they would present the material they learned. The teacher acted as a guide, and allowed the students to determine what they needed, and what they would do for their presentations.
The multi-classroom collaboration was valuable for the students, as they were more concious of what they were writing, as it would not only be read by their partners, but responses and feedback would be given in return. The students could not wait to receive feedback from their partners during each phase of the project. Zanker students learned about the similarities and differences in how they learn and work, as compared to how their partners in the other schools learn and work.