Thursday, January 24, 2013

Status Updates from the Past

Originally posted on Weebly 12/28/2012

When I had finally finished my Constitutional Convention unit I wanted a really great culminating activity to top it all off! I had been trolling the net for ideas on how to use Facebook pages and had found some really great things. Most of the templates I found were wonderful and PowerPoint Presentations but they just weren't for me. The PowerPoint format meant my kiddos were going to spend a lot of time searching for pictures and inserting text boxes. I felt like this would distract them from what they were really trying to do. I decided to give Fakebook a try. My friend had sent it to me a couple of years ago and I had avoided it because of a couple of things:

  1. It has ads embedded into the work sheet. The ads don't show up when you print it but I was worried my students with attentional difficulties would find the ads distracting.
  2. It's free but sometimes free means difficulties. Although they give an option for saving I was worried it wouldn't be good enough.
I decided to give it a whirl. I loved how it automatically added pictures for you and you didn't have to worry about formatting. The kiddos were going to make a Fakebook page for the Founding Father they had represented during th simulation. They needed to include the following information:

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After explaining the project I had the kids complete a rough draft graphic organizer.

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Once we got in the computer lab I was absolutely honest with the kiddos and let them know that I had never used this before and this might blow up in my face. I looooove to use technology and I think the first thing you need to embrace is that things might fail... So you might as well let the kids come along for the ride.
The first day was slightly horrible. Something must have been wrong with the website or our server because we had a lot of glitches... So many that I almost gave up. I'm really glad I pushed through it though because the next day was smooth sailing and the kids produced really amazing artificacts!


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When the kids printed it out they had to go through and highlight the fifteen words and phrases they had to use. My three days in the lab turned into five but at least it was the week before Christmas.
On a totally separate but connected note, when we were in the lab we got to try out PollEverywhere.
I used it the first day in the lab and they loved it. Of course I got some stupid comments but I told the kids I wanted them to only post questions that didn't need an immediate response and the answer would probably benefit other students as well. I would work with kids around the lab and in between helping I would answer new questions that had surfaced.


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Of course some of the comments were brown nosing but I will take brown nosing everyday!!!
Overall the project was a major success... Now I just need to grade them:(

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