Caching in on Content Areas

With time on learning at a premium in the elementary environment, English language arts (ELA) and math are the crucial cargo. However, the content areas of science and social studies offer students opportunities to apply their core reading and math skills in authentic ways while learning about the world around them. Fortunately, technology can help maximize learning in these subjects through the use of collaborative and creative tools. Teachers at Hopkins Schools are making the most of the Chromebooks and the convenience of Google Classroom as they find innovative approaches to leverage the learning process in social studies.

Through a jigsaw approach, Grade 5 students will work in teams to create a multimedia presentation showcasing what life was like in their assigned colony. Ultimately students will defend their position on whether they would have liked to live there during the period. The presentations will then be curated and published on a map that will serve as an interactive study guide. While the project is in its early stages, here is a sneak peak of the colonial map template and at the project workflow.

Grade 5 Colony Project Workflow:

ActivitiesTech Tools & Resources
Distribute, organize, monitor & manage feedbackGoogle Classroom:
Learning management system to distribute project requirements, rubric and digital resources; monitor progress through dashboard; and provide feedback through comment and grading features.
ResearchPrinted Materials:
Colony-specific books.

Google Custom Search:
Online resources found through teacher-created Google custom search engine.
SynthesizeGoogle Docs:
Students collaborate to complete note taking template. Teacher provides feedback through comment feature.
Students capture images of life in the colonies and primary sources to create an audio account of colonial life.
Publish & curateMy Maps by Google:
Students create descriptive location pins on their colony and include a link to their Voicethread presentation.
By: Steph Doty
 Technology Integration Coordinator
 Hopkins School
 @HopkinsTechLib / @BlendedTeaching
Cross-posted to

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