calm breeze

Thursday, July 2, 2015

CEP 800 Technology Lesson Plan Reflection

After implementing my technology lesson plan, I reflected on the process.

Lesson Plan Description:

This lesson is a summative activity for a Forces & Motions science unit in my fifth grade classroom.  In this activity, students create a physics sportscaster audition video using WeVideo and their Chromebooks.  Students apply and demonstrate their knowledge of Newton’s Laws of Motion through their script and audio commentary of a sport clip while answering the question: What forces and motions are involved in sporting events.  A rubric was not collaboratively created, due to time constraints at the end of the year.

Implementation of the Lesson:

I implemented this lesson at the end of this school year with my fifth grade students.  After introducing this project at the beginning of our forces and motion unit, my students were very hooked on the project.  Many of them have an interest in sports and athletics, so this project was perfect to capture their attention.  As noted in my lesson plan, students were given at least three days of 40 minutes of working time over a period of three weeks to work on their projects.  They were also going through a series of hands-on lessons and labs in which they engaged in the 5 E’s (engage, explore, explain, elaborate, evaluate) for each of Newton’s Laws of Motion.  They recorded their observations in their scientific notebooks and we drew a concept map on the back whiteboard to help us visualize our thinking and progress along the way.  When they were working on their sportscaster videos, they applied their knowledge first in their script and storyboards.  I conferred with each student at least once a week, making sure to check back in on anyone who needed more support.  Overall, the lesson/project accomplished my goal: for students to apply aspects of physics (the laws of motion) to everyday events (sports).  

Here are two examples of this lesson’s product:
Group 1

Group 2


In completing this science & literacy project, students demonstrated their learning of physics in terms of forces, motion, and the laws of motion.  The learning goals for this project were for stu
dents to be able to notice, identify, and apply areas of physics in a brief clip of a sporting event.  It was my intention for this to be an integrated summative assessment that was more authentic than a paper and pencil test.  I grouped students based on ability levels, social skills, and cooperation, taking individual learning needs in reading and writing into deep thought throughout the process.  Learning was taking place constantly.  Students would come in from recess and describe how they saw an application of Newton’s laws on the playground or during practice.

Much of the classroom learning was done constructively, in small groups during the labs and activities leading up to the end of the unit.  If there was a problem with using WeVideo or a finding a video, students didn’t hesitate to ask each other for help, or to come up with ways to share their knowledge.  For example, many students struggled with uploading content into WeVideo initially.  Two of my students decided to create a Google Document with step-by-step directions for uploading media into the web app.  They shared it in our Google Classroom for everyone to access.  And they did this without prompting from me.  

For my first time through this project, it went very well.  However, I would have liked to have been able to work with students on creating crisper audio recordings and incorporating more elements of dynamic video editing to give these videos a more ‘ESPN’ feel.  My students and I had only one other experience using WeVideo before this project.  I know that with further use of the program, students will be able to create more dynamic videos.  I assumed my students knew what ESPN sportscasts looked like, and we watched several together so they could hear the ‘voice’ of the reporter.  This project required a lot of patience and monitoring to be sure students were on task and on schedule.  

Throughout the project, I conferred with groups and individual students, monitoring how tasks were shared and allocated.  I checked for understanding of the laws of motion with thoughtful questions, often asking students to show me what they meant by their explanations.  Students were also given a mini assessment at the end of each learning cycle, where they demonstrated their knowledge and understanding of one of the laws of motion with a Google Drawing.   Using our Chromebooks, Google Drive, and WeVideo allowed students to create a dynamic presentation that displayed their knowledge.  Even though these technologies and skills are still emerging, they made tremendous gains in their knowledge, above and beyond literacy and science.