Week Four in the Lab


The week went well in general. I’m feeling like I have the basics down in general, but…some of my lessons have been off and need adjustment.

What worked

Sixth Graders did work setting goals. They had already written goals the prior week. This time, I had them view Wil E Coyote, The Fast and the Fury-ous, to reflect on poor goals and execution. Next, I introduced the concept of SMART goals, and had them refine what they had written last time so their goal was SMART.

Third graders did work on their VoiceThread on Friendship. They are adding questions about friendship, bringing higher order thinking to our project. Here it is:

“Learning experiences”

I’ve been using election and politics as part of the Fifth Grader unit on cooperation and competition. This week it was elections ads starting with competition in elections featuring “Daisy” from LBJ’s victorious run against Barry Goldwater, and the “John Smith” stick figure political ad from YouTube.  The next day featured cooperation in elections we watched Ronald Reagan’s “Morning in America” and Barack Obama’s “Yes We Can”. I asked the students to respond about what was good and bad about competition in election ads, and then what was good and bad about cooperation in election ads. This was not properly scaffolded and required WAY too much inference for 10 year olds (especially language learners). Some kids got it, but many just wrote about cooperation and competition in general, or told me about the ads. I think it would have been better to do one of these a week, identify cooperation/competition in the videos, then the next time, discuss what was good and bad about this.

There were also issues with blog responses from Fourth Graders on risks on the Internet.  I’m less concerned because fourth grade is the first full year blogging. I did do a small bit of blogging at the end of third grade last year, but only a few times. Kids were supposed answer if the risks on the Internet were worth it. The answers were all over the place. Some saying what was unsafe, some saying how to be safer, but almost none weighing the risk against the benefit. Solution, they should have just been asked to list a risk, how to avoid the bad consequences, and a benefit, separately and then verbally review and question the class, is the risk worth the benefit?

by posted under reflection, weekinclass | 4 Comments »    
4 Comments to

“Week Four in the Lab”

  1. October 8th, 2009 at 12:18 pm      Reply Devin Coyle Says:

    Hi. I was actually searching the web because I am in the same boat as you. As a new teacher, I am having some issues with my lesson plans. I will come up with a great idea and am sure the students are going to love it, but they don’t. 🙁 I came across a website called Applebatch.com and it is nice because teachers can chat about what works and doesn’t work in their classrooms. I found a couple lesson plans that some veteran teachers have used and students seem to get a kick out of them. I just thought I would share with you.

    I am also really impressed that you are showing your fifth graders the “Daisy” campaign. I didn’t learn about that until I was in college. I think its great that some students actually got it though. Don’t give up and good luck!

  2. October 8th, 2009 at 12:46 pm      Reply alicemercer Says:

    Hmm, well, this blog serves the sharing and feedback purpose for me, but it is nice of you to share the Applebatch idea with others.

    I’m not about to give up, this is part of my ongoing teaching practice, but it’s very nice to get words of encouragement! Good luck to you too.

  3. October 10th, 2009 at 11:29 am      Reply Michael Doyle Says:

    I suspect Devin is a paid agent for applebatch–he popped up on my site with a very similar message.


    • October 10th, 2009 at 1:46 pm      Reply alicemercer Says:

      Sigh…I had a feeling, but this is a lesson for others, and for Devin. See Devin, I will let folks who have products like your post comments, and then you look honest. Now, you’ve made you and your product look “sneaky”. Hint to folks with sites/services, I will usually even try your service if you ask nicely, although I’m not interested in online communities (I have many I belong to), keep in mind, I do trainings, I recommend communities like this to others, if you make a good impression, I may recommend yours.


  1. Science teacher: An edublogger poll on fraudulent responses

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