Assignment #4

A#4 Part 1
Chapter 5 of Meaning Learning with Technology highlights the various Mindtools that enable students to create visual representations of the mental processes taking place while they negotiate the paths to solve a problem or synthesize information. Additionally, the chapter talks about which components to include when creating these mental models. The creation of these models require higher thinking skills, promote metacognition and monitor comprehension. And although I didn't create these models during my academic career in the NYC public school system, I have learned to greatly appreciate the value and effectiveness of these constructions.
In the elementary school that I teach in, concept maps are often used during brainstorming or pre-writing activities, but the arrows linking each node of information are usually not described. In order for ESL students to fully grasp the relationships between each node, coordinating verbs and phrases must be written. At first the usage of these verbs and phrases can be scaffolded by presenting them in a word bank for students to choose from. Students can also be paired based on language level to brainstorm the proper descriptions. The beauty of this exercise is that it is it is collaborative and takes advantage of the efficiency of technology. As students negotiate meaning, descriptions can be altered and rearranged to better suit the semantic network. In addition to concept mapping, I found the section on spreadsheets to be particularly engaging.
Before reading this chapter I had not contemplated using spreadsheet software across the content areas. This type of application has high real-world value. Using spreadsheets not only helps students represent data, but it also helps them identify relationships and predict outcomes. The computing aspect of programs like Microsoft Excel can help students test math facts and simulate real-world problems with a multitude of variables. Since I will be teaching 2nd grade next year, I think I might try using this application to supplement the Math Box components of Everyday Mathematics.

A#4 Part 2
These tasks are structured for the two classes that I will be teaching in the Fall. The Mcgraw-Hill Treasures activities are the actual resources that we use in the school. I have tried to incorporate collaboration, differentiation and independent work. (note: The specific direction given to "Group a" is for the lower language level students.)

Class 202 and 204
We have been talking about friendship. We learned 6 new vocabulary words to help us talk about friendship: friends, playmate, partner, loyal, trust, and traits. Today I would like you to work with a partner to discuss what makes a good friend and what types of activities you enjoy doing with your friends. Please read the steps below to find out what to do. Do steps #1 and #2 with a partner and do step #3 on your own.

With a Partner
Step #1: Click on this link and watch the slide show. Turn and talk to your partner when they ask you to: Treasures Slideshow #1

Step #2: Brainstorm a list of traits that you look for in a friend. Click on this link and print out the chart: Friendship chart. Fill out the chart with your friend.

On Your Own
Step #3: Click on these links and play these two short games: Treasures Activity #1 and Treasures Activity #2. After you finish playing the games write a response about what you like to do with your friends.

Group a: You can use these sentence helpers in your response:
1) I like to play _____ with them.
2) I enjoy _____ with them.
3) We like to go to _______.
4) We always have fun ________ together.

If there is extra time, you can draw a picture to go with your response by clicking on this link: White board. Use your mouse to click and drag the crayons to make a picture. When you are finished drawing, click on the tab that says SEND and send your drawing to me at MsYam@eslbeyond.com.

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