First day for Kinder Buddies. Each sixth grade student works with a kindergarten student. Students login to complete levels on code.org for pre-readers. Sixth graders test their patience and teaching skills at every kinder buddy session.
CUSD Project ProposalCurrently, students in calexico face a big challenge when it comes to fieldtrips. Access to field trips is limited by funds, time and geographic location. My idea is enrich the social studies and language arts curriculum using google cardboard virtual reality apps through android os smartphones. If I receive the CUSD Innovator grant I would purchase 15 unlocked smartphones and 15 mattel viewers. My goal is download virtual reality apps that allows students to participate in interactive social studies lessons. I will need to download applications on each smartphone for students to go on a virtual tour. In sixth grade, the social studies curriculum focus on ancient civilizations. One essential standard is for students to understand the relationship between geographical factors and accomplishments of a civilization. Using virtual reality augments students’ schema of geographical factors. For instance, this year was very difficult because many of my students had not travel outside of calexico. During social studies, students had difficulties comprehending the importance of mountains, climate, vegetation in relation to the success of a civilization. In science, students struggle with identifying the characteristics of biomes. In language arts, we read a futuristic dystopian novel and many students had difficulties with visualizing a skyscrapers, rapids, railroads, mansion, etc. With the help of virtual reality students can explore these places and build schema about the physical world around them. Additionally, the common core English language art standards identify presentation of knowledge through the use of multimedia platforms. Virtual reality quests apply to the four ISTE student standards. The ISTE student standards these lessons will target: 1.C, 2.C, 3.A, 3.B, 3.C, 3.D and 4.D. The ISTE teacher standards these lessons will target: 2.A, 2.B, 2.C, 2.D and 3.A. As an educator, I am willing to train others to use virtual reality to enrich their lessons. My goal is to create a curriculum for the sixth grade team to use. Also, my goal is to make myself and other staff comfortable with using virtual reality so that our students can create quests as well. Furthermore, I would like to increase my experience with android devices as my expertise lie with mac products. Lastly, my motivation to bring virtual reality to CUSD is to give students the opportunity to venture outside their usual surroundings and learn about the world they live in.
Building creativity helps when you have a starting point. During the last twenty minutes of class, students worked on a mandala art project. Students picked a coloring sheet with an intricate design of their choice. Next, the students selected a set amount of crayons to trace the edges of the design. Additionally, students were encourage to leave large space blank. Once students were done coloring, they proceeded with watercolors. Students used paintbrushes to go over uncolored areas. Each student's designed was exhibited during a gallery walk in the classroom.
Welcome Back! The new school year is off to a great start. Today, we had a big morning meeting. Students discussed their favorite heroes, sports, and movies. Secondly, students worked on digital citizenship lessons and set up their edmodo accounts. Lastly, students began reading the book, Wonder by Rj Palacios.
Michelle Villasenor is an elementary teacher that focuses on educational technology and student-centered learning to promote love for learning.