Thursday, May 19, 2011

Awaken Your Curriculum With Skype Interviews

Financial responsibility, goal setting, savings options and of course technology,  are just a few topics covered in a White Rock elementary school  fourth grade classes. Students in Mrs. McLeod and Mrs. Brzostowski’s collaborative classroom enjoyed learning about financial decision making using a program called “Feed the Pig”. Students worked in groups to create financial plans for piglets. They discussed their own goals and how to accomplish them. Students even created digital posters and digital stories for their peers as a campaign for proper financial decision making.

Students used technology almost every day in the White Rock classrooms. This  included digital posters using Glogster, interactive storybooks using Story Jumper and interactive simulations that reinforced what they are learning in class.  These activities not only developed 21st century skills, but students were provided with a authentic learning opportunities. They were provided with multiple avenues for assessment.  The technology options allowed them to display their creativity. It also  provided an opportunity alternative assessments and increased student engagement. This is the recipe for a successful project.

The finale of the project was held Wednesday May 18th when Mr. Ray DePalma a Certified Public Accountant Skyped with the class and discussed how to save money. Students asked Mr. DePalma what taxes were, how to become a CPA and of course, how to be the most efficient with money. Below is a clip from the event.

By using Skype to connect with subject area experts we are able to make authentic connections to the curriculum. Students can receive information, ideas and opinions from experts in a field. By combining access to individuals as well as the world wide web we move away from a classroom environment where the teacher is the only purveyor of knowledge. This new model has the teacher facilitating the learning in the classroom and providing multiple means of representing content and assessing content.

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