Ms. Biehl and Ms. Saxon’s second grade Spectrum class have been persuading once again! After they wrote persuasive letters to me about books that we needed in our media center, they worked with me on writing book reviews in persuasive ways. We studied the book reviews on School Library Journal, Spaghetti Book Club, and our own media center blog to see what was needed in a book review. Then, students thought of ways to include persuasion to try to convince people to read the books they were writing about. They worked on these pieces in their classrooms. The students came back to the media center once again with their final drafts and recorded their writing as a podcast using Audacity. The podcasts can be found on our media center webpage under book talks. and they are also linked here.
Today was an exciting day for Barrow School. Our 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classes participated in a virtual presentation using Elluminate. Natalie Hicks, a spectrum teacher, organized guest speaker Lincoln Larson from UGA who presented to Mrs. Teri Sheppard’s 3rd grade class about global warming. His presentation was broadcast via Elluminate to the other 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade classrooms. During the presentation, students were able to virtually raise their hand and step to a microphone to ask their questions to the speaker. He then answered them for all to hear.
Today was important because it was a trial run for future webinars that we might offer to students at Barrow. Using a program like Elluminate allows us to bring in speakers that we might not otherwise be able to afford or travel to. We had tremendous support from Steve Piazza, Joel Frey, and Kevin Smith in order to have the technology running smoothly for teachers. The teachers were fantastic because they stepped up and tried something they had never done before and became learners with their students.
We learned a lot from this morning’s session. For example, we will do more planning with our next guest speaker so that he/she builds in space to pause and allow classrooms to have discussions before continuing in the presentation. This will allow classrooms to type in their thoughts in the chat feature or prepare questions that they might ask as a class. We’re excited about this opportunity, and we were very proud to be the first school in the district to try this with students. We can’t wait to see where this leads us! Thank you Mrs. Hicks for getting this off the ground and started in our school!