This time, let me share my Grade 7 curriculum as it was and as it developed as shown on our wiki-centric classroom website.
We started the year with a 'Dreamweaver' unit. As an application -based unit this is a little outdated and not what I would normally teach, however given certain other extraneous influences, it was a matter of being easier to stick to this 'set curriculum' as the time and work through it. Don't get me wrong, I love Dreamweaver, I just don't like the inward focus of an application-based IT approach.
The unit was called 'Disaster!' and students were challenged to think how an online resource could help people before, during or after a disaster. A community and service area of interaction was discussed (IBO) and students investigated typical disasters such as tsunami, hurricane etc. Three web pages minimum was the requirement. Of course we looked at good and bad web page design, navigation, image placement and editing etc etc. At the end of the unit of course students shared their work in class, but were ultimately disappointed their work was not 'online'!
The second unit for the year was about exploring animation as a way to communicate. From the class wiki:
For this unit you will develop skills using animation tools and explore how animation can enhance communication.
You will have a choice of tools to create your final product. These are:
- Macromedia Flash (on school PCs)
- My Game
So, students explored and created their own, self-determined project. This was enormously successful. Even the simple game sites such as Sploder had students creating games of differing ability levels and sharing ideas and strategies. Most chose the online working environment, only a handful chose to work with Flash (ultimately more difficult, especially as the requirement was to 'work it out yourself').
One student Abdullah, in collaboration with Yousif, created a game using Flash and managed to post it online. This online flash game had an operating system theme (see image)
Here are 2 Grade 7 blogs of distinction showing how they maintained their process journal as a blog and posted material to the blog for assessment - Rawan and Dana (both include Toondoo images).
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Thanks so much for sharing all this! Now I have finished grading (my 420 students over 10 levels). I will set aside some time to take advantage and browse. I see today is your last day at Quatar, so I hope you can begin to relax. On Saturday I am going to JOSTI in Washington, so I am sure that will be interesting. Also, thanks for quoting me on your flat classroom review page!
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