Newsletter Number One - Summer 1999
This newsletter provides topics valuable to educators as they integrate
technology into their K-12 classrooms. Included are lesson plans, special
education topics, and using technology for college guidance. The lessons
are useful for ideas on integrating the Technology Applications (TA) Texas
Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) into the curriculum. The TA and subject
area TEKS are included in many cases. The first unit is a set of lessons
centering around the Millennium in which children are getting involved
in the upcoming event. The next four units related to space and our solar
system include activities appropriate for grades two through high school.
Fish is Fish is a language arts unit that incorporates the development
of verbal language, reading, and writing skills as students read the book.
Travel Texas is a unit full of diversity and student choice as students
study different cities in Texas.
The next three contributions are resources for special populations such as special education, guidance counseling and professional staff developers. Additional resources for these units are provided on the resource page. These include Powerpoint presentations and video clips describing the unit.
In this unit, students in grades four and/or five will learn to master the millennium. They will define and understand the concept of millennium, research inventions from the past 1,000 years to discover their impact on our world, and design their own invention for the next millennium. History, Math, Language Arts, and Science are the subject areas that will be included in this one-month unit.
To begin the unit, the students will understand the concept and definition of the word millennium. To introduce the lesson, the class will discuss why "M&Ms" are the official "spokescandies" of the millennium. The students will brainstorm and locate the definition of the word millennium. Students will visit the "M&M" website. The students should also discuss when our current millennium began and debate when the new millennium begins. The students will utilize these internet resources to solve the debate: Ask a NASA Scientist and Millennium for Kids.
Finally, the students will work in cooperative groups to calculate how many more days we have left till the new millennium begins. The students will check their predictions on the countdown clock at Greenwich 2000: Millennium FAQs.
Students will research inventions of our current millennium and their impact on daily lives. To introduce this part of the unit, the teacher will discuss the quote, "necessity is the mother of invention." The class will brainstorm names of inventions and discuss how several of these inventions impacted society. Students will then visit the "History of Invention" website. Each student will research an invention from the current millennium and how it impacted the world. The students will create a one-page report using a word processing program and present their information to the class. The class will debate and vote on the most important invention.
In cooperative groups, the students will predict what the world will be like in the following millennium and what inventions might be needed. The class will then develop a list of criteria for their inventions. (Ex. purpose, materials, procedures, etc.) The cooperative groups will design and illustrate/create a model along with a description of their invention. The group will then present their inventions to the class and they will be assessed by the previous criteria. They will share their inventions with others by posting on the following websites: National Geographic: Beyond 2000, Good Elementary Website, and Y2K for Kids.
The students should use a web-publishing program to create a futuristic
newsletter that will announce, describe, and show a digital photograph
of their invention. The class will create another rubric for this newsletter
that includes specific items needed to present this project on the World
Wide Web. These newsletters will be assessed according the class rubric
and posted on the schoolís web site.
At the end of the unit, the teacher may want to have the class participate in one of the following online projects as an enrichment activity: The Mars Millennium Project or On the Line Millennium Project.
|Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS): TA TEKS: 4B, 5A, 6C, 7B, 7B, 8A, 8C, 10A, 10B, 11A, and 12C.|
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Space Trip is a fun and exciting unit that you can teach almost any grade elementary student class. Space Trip will get your students involved with technology in several different areas, and they will probably have fun along the way. You should plan on this lesson spanning over a several week time period, depending on your students access to the Internet. Each student will be required to spend a good amount of time on the Internet in order to accomplish the assignments. Introduce this lesson by telling your children that the year is now 2050 and they have the opportunity to take a trip into space, destination: Unknown. It will be up to each student to decide which planet they would like to visit. Once they have decided on their destination they will be asked to create and print out a space shuttle ticket. During their journey students will need to keep a diary, documenting the things they learn about their planet and anything else that they might encounter on their journey. The students will also be responsible for putting together a photo album of pictures they will take on their trip. Our vacationers will be expected to send three postcards, via email, while away.
The space shuttle ticket is the first part of the assignment. This can actually be printed out and turned in to the teacher. There are a number of different applications that can be used for the creation of the ticket, depending on what is available at your school and what applications your students are comfortable using. As the teacher, you may want to designate what application the student must use or you may want to give them a choice. Kid Pix, Flying Colors, Paint Shop and Claris Works are all possible tools for creating a ticket. The ticket can look however the student wishes, as long as it gives the space shuttle flight information corresponding to their trip. This is something the children can make up. There are no right or wrong answers. You are simply wanting your children to experiment with different publishing tools available to them on the computer.
Once the ticket has been turned in to the ticket agent (aka the teacher), their trip may begin. Students will be taking their trip virtually, over the Internet, by surfing through any number of websites that the teacher makes available in a bookmark file. During their journey the children are expected to gather information that they would actually learn if they took a trip to another planet. For example: How long does it take to get there? What does it look like? What would be necessary items to pack for life support while in space? What route would they take and what would they see on the way? Did they observe any forms of life on this planet? How was the weather (atmosphere) for their vacation? etc. The children should be able to obtain this type of information and more while looking at the sites you have made available. It will be up to each individual teacher, based on your school and district policies, as to if you will allow your students to search sites other than those you have saved. The information they gather should be typed in a word processing document in the form of a travel log or daily journal. This will be turned into the teacher at the end of the journey, either on a floppy disk, student account or a printed document.
While the students are on their journey they will need to be photographing interesting sites along the way. They will do this by copying pictures from the websites they visit and saving them in a file. After the students have gathered all of their pictures they will need to put them into a Slide Show presentation. If saving all of these graphics is not a feasible option on your campus you may instead let your children print their pictures and actually put them together to make an album. Most graphic files are large in size and you may not want to take up that much room on the hard drives. Saving them to a floppy disk is an option, but again, due to large file size a few or maybe only one will fit on a disk.
The last task for our vacationers is to send three postcards, via email, to friends or family while on their trip. You may choose to team up with another teacher on your campus or elsewhere and exchange postcards. You also might think of assigning each student another class member to send one of their postcards to. That way each student will receive at least one postcard and can learn something about a different planet. Planet Twinkie: Planet Postcard is a neat website that offers the service of sending postcards, and the student gets to help create it. You might give your students the option of sending one of their postcards in this format. On this same site there is also a series of Planet Twinkie Worksheets that the students could finish for extra credit points. The worksheets tell a space story and then ask comprehension questions.
If your students really enjoyed the project you may think of extending it. A HyperStudio presentation teaching about their planet would be a great follow up activity. If you think you may want to try this extension, remember to have the students save their graphic files. They will need them for their presentation. Another follow up activity might be to polish them up and post them to a website, or have your students design a website just for this purpose.
Again, this activity can be watered down or beefed up for any grade 2-5, as well as for a variety of different levels of technology users. If your students have not had much exposure to these applications yet, you might want to do this lesson as a class or in small groups. There are usually a handful of very computer literate students in each class that could be spread among the groups in order to have an expert with each one.
Listed below are several sites for your bookmark file. These would probably
be sufficient for the lesson, however there are new sites available everyday
and I would encourage you to do a little surfing yourself. Some of these
sites are specifically for the students to gather information or to ask
an expert; although most of these sites also contain great teacher resources,
links to other sites and many more ideas for wonderful lessons. Have fun
on your journey through space.
Internet Resources for this Space
Newton's Apple: Galaxy Mapping (http://ericir.syr.edu./Projects/Newton/10/lessons/GlxyMpng.html)
Galaxies and More, Games Galore (http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/galaxies-galore/teacher/grabbag.html#images)
Searching for Just the Right Planet (http://www.memphis-schools.k12.tn.us/admin/tlapages/solar_sy.htm)
Scouting the Solar System (http://www.twinkies.com/db?MItab=twinkies&MIval=scout)
Your Sky: An Interactive Planatarum (http://www.fourmilab.ch/yoursky)
Hands-on Universe (http://hou.lbl.gov:80/index.html)
NASA Kids (http://kids.msfc.nasa.gov/)
The Official Young Astronaut Program (http://www.yac.org/yac/)
Astronomy On-line: Ask Dr. Sue (http://dlt.gsfc.nasa.gov/Ask/)
Puzzling Planets (http://www.wnet.org/wnetschool/origlessons/planets/b.html)
Jet Propulsion Lab: Why Do We Explore Space (http://eis.jpl.nasa.gov/eao/)
NASA Spacelink: An Aeronautics and Space Resource for Educators (http://spacelink.nasa.gov/.index.html)
The Solar System (http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/solar_system_level1/)
Views of the Solar System (http://www.hawastsoc.org/solar/)
The Nine Planets (http://seds.lpl.arizona.edu/nineplanets/nineplanets/nineplanets.html)
Catching the Light: The Art of Deepsky Astrophotography (http://astrosurf.com/neptune/astropix/HTML/K_MISC/TOC.HTM)
StarChild Learning Center for Young Astronomers (http://starchild.gsfc.nasa.gov/docs/StarChild/)
Solar Learning Activities (http://solar.physics.montana.edu/YPOP/Classroom/index.html)
Amazing Space (http://amazing-space.stsci.edu/)
Exploring Planets in the Classroom (http://www.soest.hawaii.edu/SPACEGRANT/class_acts/MoonFacts.html)
|TEKS: TA TEKS: Gr (3-5) 4A, 4B, 5A, 5B, 7A, 8A, 8B, 8C, 9A|
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Space is an interesting topic that lends itself to activities that involve students at various levels and with various learning styles. Many activities are included in this unit on space that seek to address these differences. There are several web sites that provide accurate information and virtual field trips that allow students to get first-hand experience with space. Children are not only learning about space, but also becoming better users of technology.
Activity 1- Space Research
In a problem-solving situation, we need to first pose a problem to the
children. For example, after studying what we need to live, we can ask
what causes there to be life on Earth and not on other planets. How are
all the planets different? We can recall the things we need to live. We
can then generate a list together determining things that may cause the
planets to be different. We can also discuss things that mystify us, such
as black holes and traveling through space. Students can then work in cooperative
groups to do research on a given topic.
Two good sites are: The Ten Best of the Nice Planets and The Nine Planets. These sites take you through a tour of the solar system. One site that provides up-to-date information on space is CNN: Space. Students can even "Ask an Expert" from various space professionals. They can even play games that deal with what they learned about space by doing online student activities at this site. Another site, Astronomy Picture of the Day, offers virtual field trips on things that lie within space, such as the black hole and neutron stars. NASA has a Space Shuttle Launch site, that shows camera views of the shuttle Columbia, as well as information dealing with the liftoff. Another site brings you Astronomy Pictures of the Day. Students can use what they learned by coming up with a way, using technology, to present this information to the class. One good way would be using a presentation package such as PowerPoint. It could include using hyperlinks to sites they used during research.
|TEKS: Science TEKS- 3.1A, 3.2A, 3.2B, 3.2C, 3.3A,
3.3B, 3.3D, 3.4A, 3.8A, 3.11A, 3.11C, 3.11D
TA TEKS- (b)(1), (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(4)(B), (b)(5), (b)(6), (b)(7), (b)(8), (b)(10)(A), (b)(10)(B), (b)(11), (b)(12)(A), (b)(12)(B)
Activity 2 - How Much do you Weigh?
A neat math activity requires students to find their weight on other
planets. First, I would show them a movie clip of men floating on
the moon. I would ask them if they think they could figure out how
much they weighed on each planet. I would have them do this
using the conversions and a calculator. Then I would have them go
Weight on Other Worlds, so they could check their calculations, as
this site converts your weight for you. They could even go a step
further and use a software application that enables them to create a graph
showing their results.
|TEKS: Math TEKS- 3.1A, 3.1B, 3.4B, 3.5A, 3.7B, 3.14A, 3.14B, 3.14C,
TA TEKS- (b)(1), (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(5)(A), (b)(6)(B), (b)(6)(C), (b)(7)(B), (b)(7)(C), (b)(8)(B), (b)(10), (b)(11), (b)(12)(A)
Activity 3 - Create Your Own Solar System
This activity requires you to create your own scale model of the solar
system. It gives you directions and suggestions of items to use. It expects
you to use what you know about the actual sizes of the planets, and then
make your own small version. This site is about the Solar
|TEKS: Math TEKS-3.1A, 3.13, 3.15, 3.16
Science TEKS- 3.3C, 3.4A TA TEKS- (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(5)(A), (b)(7)(A), (b)(8)(B), (b)(8)(C)
Activity 4 - Creative Writing
Once children have begun learning about space they can visit an imaginary
planet gallery. At this site, An
Inquirer's Guide to the Universe, they will be able to visit an imaginary
planet and read other childrenís stories about that imaginary planet. Then
they could write their own story about that imaginary planet using the
information they learned to apply it to the setting and the theme of the
story. They could use the hyperlink on that site to publish their story.
They could also use a word processor and clip art to write, edit and publish
|TEKS: LA TEKS- 3.2A, 3.3A, 3.3C, 3.3D, 3.3E, 3.4A, 3.4B, 3.4C, 3.9A,
3.9B, 3.11I, 3.14B, 3.14C, 3.15B, 3.16, 3.17, 3.18
TA TEKS-(b)(1), (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(5)(A), (b)(7), (b)(10), (b)(11) ,(b)(12)(A)
Activity 5 - Space Problem Solvers
The children can also be involved in reading novels that take place
in space. Provide several novels to choose from so the children can have
some freedom to choose according to their groupís interests and ability.
Have them read to the page in which a problem arises. Have them use what
they learned about the environment in space to come up with a reasonable
ending to the story. They can create their ending on a Hyperstudio card
stack, and then present it to the class. They can use the sites mentioned
in Activity 1 or use keyword searches to acquire information.
|TEKS: LA TEKS- 3.5, 3.6B, 3.6C, 3.7B, 3.7B, 3.7C, 3.8A-I, 3.9A, 3.9B,
TA TEKS- (b)(1), (b)(2), (b)(3), (b)(4), (b)(7), (b)(8)(A), (b10), (b)(11), (b)(12)(B)
Additional Teacher Resources
There are several resources available to teachers as well. They include sites and lesson plans for teachers to use when teaching space. Some of these sites are: A Space Archive List, Earth and Space Systems and
Space and Astronomy Sites to See.
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One of my eighth graders favorite assignments this year dealt with outer space. We spent about 3 weeks on the unit because the classes were fairly large and they needed the extra time to present their findings to their classmates. In smaller classes we used less time. One week was spent researching the topics on the Internet, one week for preparing the PowerPoint presentations and the third week for presentations.
On the first day of the unit the students selected their group, selected their topics from a prescribed list, and were given a copy of the grading rubric (which gave them an idea of what was expected). The assignment was to teach the class about their topic and to create a PowerPoint presentation using at least 10 facts about their topic. The presentation is to use transitions, build effects, pictures, graphics, color and other good presentation rules (ie 7 lines to a slide and large type).
The rest of the week we were in the computer lab and students researched their topics. Often students chose to use computers next to their partner so that they could collaborate on what they were finding. The second week they continued to work in that manner to create their presentations. Often one student was looking for a component needed for a slide or they were discussing what change to make in a slide to make it more interesting.
Topics the students could choose from consisted of (there are others that can be used)
The topics of distances and telescopes were reserved for the special education students. Telescopes and space travel were reserved for students that did not have acceptable use forms turned in. (The partners could do the actual computer work on the PowerPoint and research was done with resources in the library.)
The grading rubric was used to grade the presentations given by the students. I used the grading rubric as a checklist as they gave their presentations. As they were presenting, the rest of the class was required to take notes and were responsible for knowing the information for a test. Classmates were also given the opportunity to ask questions about the presentations.
The following is a list of URLs that can be given to students to start
them on the research for their topics.
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Contributed by David Lee
Granbury High School, Granbury ISD
The study of space has brought wonderment and excitement to many people throughout history. Using the Internet, students are able to discover more exciting and visually pleasing information in a very short time. Never before has so much information been available to students at "the touch of a finger."
Constructivism is an educational concept that states individuals construct their own understandings of the world in which they live. Twenty-three URLs have been collected to accomplish this task. Many of the web sites have an "open issues" section to draw students in to current hot topics relating to astronomy. Through investigation, students will be able to expand their understanding of our solar system and make reasonable inferences into some of the mysteries of space.
The unit begins with an overview of space, planets, and the stars. Students
will be exposed to several web sites that have fascinating information
and pictures relating to our solar system including:
An Overview of the Solar System (http://www.anu.edu.au/Physics/nineplanets/overview.html)
Windows of the Univese (http://www.windows.umich.edu/)
www.nationalgeographic.com/features/97/stars/The concepts of solar weather and the positioning of the constellations in the night sky will be discussed. http://www-ssi.colorado.edu/ExploringSpace/SpaceWeather/1.html, www.teelfamily.com/activities/aurora/nightsky/htmlThis will be followed by information about Black Holes and Neutron Star. http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/htmltest/rjn_bht.htmlComets, including the recently publicized Hale-Bopp comet, will be explored along with information about the nature of asteroids. References will be made to the recent movies "Deep Impact" and "Asteroid." www.hawastsoc.org/solar/eng/asteroid.htm,
This unit will expose students to several of the possible origins of the solar system. They will be asked to pick a position on the origin of the solar system, complete further investigation to support their theory, and construct a visual to illustrate their position. Next, the exploration of space will take the class into a more in-depth study of our sun and itís nine planets. Participants will be asked to pick a specific planet in our solar system and use the Internet to complete further investigation of the planet chosen. Students will be given an initial web site to investigate by the teacher but are expected to complete further Internet investigation. http://seds.lpl.arizona.edu/nineplanets/nineplanets/earth.html
Each studentís final product should consist of an oral and written presentation. The oral presentation should include at least two web sites that the presenter will open and explore "live" for the class. Each presentation including web exploration should be at least 5 minutes in length. The written report should discuss the history of the planet, its composition and size in relation to the Earth and peculiarities of the planet. Each report should examine at least one "open issue" relating to the planet and formulate a possible answer to the issue or at least add additional information to the issue.
The unit might culminate with a "solar system party." Students will be asked to bring desserts to class that represent the planet they studied. An informal discussion of the space unit will be a part of the party and students will be asked to provide suggestions for making the unit even better the next year.
Additional list of website resources for Astronomy
and Our Solar System
Reading Curriculum in the primary grades must be designed to include three fundamental areas: auditory, visual and language learning. This lesson plan develops language concepts as learners complete activities after reading a book. The model provides specific steps for developing talking, reading, and writing skills as students read the book, Fish is Fish. It moves developmentally from oral language, to comprehension and written expression. Multisensory, brain compatible activities and electronic resources are utilized to ensure students with varying learning styles and/or learning disabilities find success.
Major objectives include:
Activity 1: Set the stage by viewing
the world through the eyes of a fish at the Fisheye
View-Cam. Read the story, Fish is Fish, by Leo Lionni to students.
After reading the story, ask students to read the book independently. Students
with reading fluency, language or comprehension difficulties should read
the book interactively using computer reading software such as Kurzweil
software. This activity builds the students knowledge of the book and
|LA TEKS: 2.1(A), 2.1(D), 2.2(A), 2.6(B)
TA TEKS: 7(A), 8(A), 8(B)
Activity 2: Concept imagery is the ability to build a whole picture or gestalt. In emerging readers, this skill is used to develop comprehension. Once the students have read the book, Fish is Fish, they should respond to comprehension questions to assess their abilities in this area. The teacher will utilize computerized tests to determine individual comprehension level: Accelerated Reader or teacher-designed Hyperstudio questionnaire. The Hyperstudio program gives the students the opportunity to have questions read if needed. This activity encourages the development of knowledge, comprehension, and analysis skills.
| LA TEKS: 2.9(A), 2.9(G), 2.11(H), 2.13(A)
TA TEKS: 2(D),5(A), 7(A)
Activity 3: Rebus story ? as a group
and with the teacher, identify the words in the story which lend themselves
to symbols. Retell the story in rebus form. Design the book using
clip art in a presentation package such as Powerpoint. Be sure to design
the animals as the fish imagined them. This activity develops comprehension
and application skills.
| LA TEKS: 2.3(B), 2.9(C), 2.9(E), 2.9(I), 2.10(B), 2.12(G)
TA TEKS: 7(A), 7(B)
Activity 4: Haiku ? The teacher
may help studentswrite haiku poems as a group, using a dictionary or thesaurus.
When ready, students should print out their Haiku and paste on fish-shaped
pages for a class book. This activity develops analysis and application
Some useful websites that offer teacher tips for designing haiku poetry are:
The Art of Haiku Poetry (http://www.lsi.usp.br/usp/rod/poet/haiku.html )
A Haiku Homepage (http://home.clara.net/pka/haiku/hints.html)
Students can make a haiku poem electronically at Create
Your Own Pseudo-Haiku (http://www.lsi.usp.br/usp/rod/poet/haicreate.html)
|LA TEKS: 2.9(B), 2.11(A), 2.11(D)
TA TEKS: 2(C), 7(B), 8(A), 9(B)
Activity 5: Compare a fish to a
frog. Surf Internet sites to complete a databank using these categories:
Eats, Moves, Lives, Looks Like. Choose one of the animals, frog or fish.
Write a story using the facts. Share the stories with the class. Students
may use a program like Co-Writer software to write. The program uses initial
sounds typed onto the screen to predict words for the young author.
A Thousand Friends of Frogs (http://cgee.hamline.edu/frogs/)
Fish FAQ (http://www.wh.whoi.edu/faq/index.html)
|LA TEKS: 2.12(H), 2.13(B), 2.17(B), 2.18(E), 2.20(B), 2.20(D)
TA TEKS: 2(A), 2(D), 2(E), 4(A), 4(B), 5(A), 5(B), 7(B), 11(A)
Activity 6: Look at the illustrations
in the book. What does the fish in the story look like? Determine
what type of fish is in the story by accessing information from the internet.
Analysis, synthesis, and evaluation skills are developed.
Fish Link Central (http://www.fishlinkcentral.com/photos2.htm)
Fish Species List (http://vm.cfsan.fda.gov/~frf/rfe0.html#cname)
|LA TEKS: 2.11(H), 2.12(B), 2.12(H)
TA TEKS: 7(A), 8(B)
The book, Fish
is Fish, can be ordered on-line: (http://www.netstoreusa.com/jubooks/039/0394804406.shtml)
A list of other books about fish can be found on-line: (http://www.seaworld.org/Fishes/books.html)
Contributed by Joy Pickering
Rockenbaugh Elementary, Carroll ISD
Texas has so many diverse cities scattered amongst its different regions.
The fourth grade social studies curriculum involves students learning about
the different regions and cities within those regions. Learning is so much
more meaningful for students if they are actively involved. Travel Texas
gets students involved in learning about a Texas city. Students can incorporate
writing, computer skills, communication skills, creativity, and decision
making in this activity. Travel Texas can be adjusted to fit the needs
of various students and schedules.
At some point during the unit of the regions of Texas, the students will choose a city they would like to learn more about. The students can choose any city but perhaps you may want to exclude the one in which they live especially if they are native to the area. The outcome for this activity is to design a travel brochure, a web page, or a multimedia presentation describing the city each student researched. The students must present the following facts about their city:
Here is a suggested timeline for the activity:
Two weeks before you start the activity: Students choose their city and write a letter to that cityís chamber of commerce requesting a variety of information about the city. Students write their letter a word processing program of your choice. To extend this activity, the students could even email the Chamber of Commerce a message requesting the information.
Day One through Day Three: Students research their city using the information they received from the Chamber of Commerce, books, and various Internet sites. There is an Information Gathering Worksheet that can help students keep track of their information. Included in this unit is a list of helpful websites. If you have access to the Internet, this is a great opportunity to teach students about search engines and simple searching techniques on the web. Here are a few of my favorite search engines:
Day Four through Day Eight: Students design their multimedia presentation, travel brochure, or web page. If students have some choices in how they want to publish their work, they are more motivated to produce an excellent product as well as take ownership of their work. Students can use a variety of tools to publish their information. Power Point, HyperStudio, Netscape Composer, Claris Homepage, Microsoft Publisher, or any other electronic program that would create the desired outcome can be used. If students choose to create the travel brochure, they can create it by hand. This allows the artistic students to really "shine". The criteria for the final product is:
Days Nine and Ten: Students present their work to their classmates during a celebration showcase. (I usually serve popcorn and the students can bring a drink. This is a fun way to celebrate the students products.) Students might want to send their products to their perspective chambers of commerce as another means of celebration.
If the students choose to do a multimedia, web page, or other electronic product, find a place to post them on the web. The web has many places for kids to publish their work. Students think it is awesome to see their work on the Internet.
Day Eleven: Allow the children to critique their own product with the attached rubric. Take time to discuss each childís rubric with them individually and together the two of you come to a final grade.
Armadillo's Texas Studies (http://www.rice.edu/armadillo/Texas/environment.html)
Texas Almanac Teacher's Guide (http://www.texasalmanac.com/teachpg7.html)
Regions of Texas (http://www.utexas.edu/depts/grg/sanders/texashistory/newpage2.htm)
Texas History Links (http://www.bastrop.isd.tenet.edu/texhist.html)
|TEKS: TA (Gr. 3-5) 1B; 1E; 2; 2A; 2E; 3A; 4; 5A; 6; 7; 7A; 7B; 9B; 10A; 10B; 11A; 12; 12B|
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Contributed by Clark Cavin
Grade 9-12 Behavior Improvement Classroom
Western Hills High School, Ft. Worth ISD
A shortage of teachers is being projected. This shortage has especially been seen in Texas in the fields of math, science, and special education. Special educators have been and continue to be at a higher risk of leaving the field than their general education counterparts (Boe, Bobbitt, & Cook, 1993). Although some turnover is expected in any field, annual turnover rates among special education teachers have reached 30 percent in certain urban locations (Federal Register, May 6, 1991, p. 21226). In the field of behavior disorders, the average length of stay in the profession is less than 3 years. Some of the factors correlated with field abandonment include excessive paperwork, low salaries, excessive caseloads, lack of administrative support, collegial isolation, role conflict or ambiguity, challenging student behaviors, and lack of visible student progress (Cooley & Yovanoff, 1996).
The dismal outcomes of students with emotional and behavioral disorders are well documented in the body of literature. Among the findings are the facts that children with emotional and behavioral disorders: (1) do not do well academically; (2) lack social skills; (3) tend to earn less; (4) are more likely to drop out (Knitzer, Steinberg, & Fleisch, 1989). Compared to other students with disabilities, students with serious emotional disturbances have the lowest grades, fail more courses, are retained at the same grade more frequently, are absent more often and drop out more frequently (Wagner, Newman, DíAmico, Jay, Butler-Nalin, Marder, & Cox, 1991).
Furthermore, the same outcomes are true whether students are in regular education or special education placements. Moreover, these are in comparisons with students with other handicapping conditions. If compared with non-handicapped peers, the discrepancies are even greater. Of all children who carry the label of serious emotional disturbance only 42 percent graduate from high school, 56 percent drop out of school, and 58 percent of students labeled SED are arrested within five years of leaving school (Osher & Hanley, 1996a). In addition, 73 percent of those who drop out are arrested within five years (Osher & Hanley, 1996b). It is blatantly obvious that what schools have traditionally done (or not done) for students with emotional and behavioral disorders is not working.
With the advent of the Internet and increased access to the World Wide Web, much can be done to increase teachersí capacities and decrease the sense of isolation that they feel. In turn, this can enable them to stay in the field. Students with emotional and behavioral disorders are hard to reach and teach. They desperately need competent, experienced teachers. Perhaps by using some of the following Internet resources, teachers of students with challenging behaviors and the students they serve can have better outcomes.
Web Resources for teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders:
Dr. Bullock's Online
Training Modules (http://courses.unt.edu/bullock/modules.htm)
This site originates from the University of North Texas. It contains modules adapted from professional journals or created by students in the Leadership in the Field of Behavior Disorders doctoral program.
Bipolar Disorders Portal (http://www.pendulum.org/)
This is the portal to information and support on Bipolar disorders. This site has information to help teachers and parents. It also has support groups and support e-mail for persons with Bipolar disorders.
Education Technical Assistance and Dissemination Network (http://courses.unt.edu/bullock/homepage/reference.htm)
This site offers references and links to resource centers, early childhood, information clearinghouses, deaf/blind resources, finance, inclusion, policy, minorities, parenting, outcomes, teacher preparation, technology, transition, and other projects.
IDEA Partnership Practices
IDEA Practices is a web site dedicated to assisting teachers and administrators implement the 1997 amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. The regulations were released in March 1999 and are still not well defined to most special educators.
Office of Special Education
and Rehabilitation Services (http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/)
This site is the federal agency entrusted with supporting the education and rehabilitation of people with disabilities. As such, it offers numerous resources on this site.
Special Education Programs (http://www.ed.gov/offices/OSERS/OSEP/index.html)
This office has primary responsibility in the dissemination of funding and research support. In light of the recent rash of school shootings, this site has been sharing information on keeping schools safe from violence.
Behavior and Development and Behavior: Emotional Disturbances (http://www.dbpeds.org/usf/conditions/articles/emotion.html)
Although this site is medical rather than education in thrust, it can serve as a wonderful resource on defining and researching different diagnoses. Since most special education classifications do not match medical diagnoses from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, IV, often parent and educators need resources to find more information on diagnoses.
and Severely Emotionally Disturbed (http://cpt.fsu.edu/TREE/ehsed.html)
This site, offered by Florida State University offers quick links to a number of informative articles on Emotional Handicaps (the Florida moniker for emotional disturbance) and Seriously Emotionally Disturbed (the Federal moniker from which the word seriously was dropped with IDEA 1997).
Links on Mental Illness
This site is part of the network of the National Association on Mental Illness. It offers parent and educator information. Although mainly directed toward parents and families of persons with mental illness, it can be helpful for educators as well.
Oppositional Youth (http://www.badkids.com/)
This site is dedicated to teaching coping skills and techniques to parents whose children have oppositional defiant disorder. Many children who receive the DSM-IV diagnosis of Oppositional Defiant Disorder are labeled emotionally disturbed in schools.
References for this information are available.
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Contributed by Janet Miranda
Department Chair, Counseling and Guidance College Counselor
Trinity Christian Academy, Addison Texas
With the advent of technology, schools suddenly have a global audience and unlimited resource capabilities. The Internet, programs, workbooks, online questioning, and a plethora of technology-produced resources are readily available not to replace the counselor, but to add to and greatly impact what can be accomplished within the limitations of the classroom. The purpose of this article is to demonstrate possibilities of integrating computer use into College Guidance in the secondary school. Technology offers the classroom instructor the flexibility to enhance and promote learning. The following is a unit plan designed for work with secondary school juniors as part of their college investigation and planning process.
UNIT PLAN: College Guidance
Time Table: 4 fifty-minute class
Purpose: To assist students in preparing for their college search and college visits.
Environment: Computer lab
Curriculum: Integration of technology while working with Career Orientation TEKS.
Lesson 1: The students should use the computer to identify and investigate the uses of a resume by accessing and using the provided web-based resources. They should also identify what constitutes a professional looking resume in style, format, layout and print.
What is a Resume?
Building the Perfect Resume(http://www.teenresumes.com/format/whyres.html)
Resume Writing Center (http://www.careermosaic.com/cm/rwc/rwc1.html)
Preparing a Resume
High School Resumes - Examples
Anatomy of a Resume (http://www.teenresumes.com/format/anatomy.html)
Sports Resume (http://www.cybermania.com/justinfisher-footballresume.htm)
Average Student Resume (http://www.aenc.org/BRIGHTON/Resume-Sample.html)
Excellent Student Resume (http://www2.ari.net/resume/emily.htm)
Lesson 2: The student should draft a personal resume, design the layout of their personal resume, and use keyboarding skills to produce and print their final product resume. Use resources from above lesson to help the students complete their own resume.
Lesson 3: The student should complete a MINIMUM of two college searches listed below.
U.S. News Online(http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/cosearch.html)
College Express (http://www.collegexpress.com/)
College Board (http://www.collegeboard.org/)
Peterson's College Search (http://www.petersons.com/ugrad/ugsector.html)
The student should then identify a MINIMUM of five (5) colleges to which the student is qualified to attend based on the search completed above and the resume completed in Lesson 2. The student should provide a print out of the information obtained on each of the five colleges based on the search.
Lesson 4: The students should analyze and discuss resumes and findings from college searches. The students should also explore useful websites to explore possibilities for career choices and financial opportunities.
Assessment: The students should
establish a portfolio, which will include:
1) Presentable resume
2) Copies from two different college searches
3) Copies of a MINIMUM of five college homepages
In summary, students are encouraged to use the computer as their main research tool in the college selection process. Points to consider in this process include: 1) learning how to prioritize the day's work; 2) taking time to carefully plan. Time cannot be well spent in the absence of clear goals and concise objectives. While the counselor serves as an advocate for the students, the bottom line is that it is the responsibility of the student to be proactive in their college search, application process, and career options. The idea is to utilize all resources available to make the best match possible in preparing for the SAT and ACT and in choosing a college and a major.
Additional useful Web sites in the college selection process are listed below.
Exploring Occupations (http://www.umanitoba.ca/counselling/careers.html)
College Connection (http://www.careermosaic.com/cm/cc/)
Best Jobs USA (http://www.bestjobsusa.com/)
Career Search (http://www.review.com/career/templates/temp1.cfm?body=index.cfm)
The Career Interests Game (http://web.missouri.edu/~cppcwww/holland.shtml)
Scholarship Information (http://www3.dist214.k12.il.us/guidance/scholarship.htm)
Fast Web (http://www.fastweb.com)
Financial Aid from the US DOE (http://www.ed.gov/prog_info/SFA/StudentGuide/)
Scholarship Resource Network Express (http://www.rams.com/srn/)
Resources for College Athletes
Athletic Scholarship Information (http://www3.dist214.k12.il.us/guidance/athleteinfo.htm)
University Home Pages
Use www.snap.com to find any college or university on the Web
Map by state (http://isl-garnet.uah.edu/Universities/universitiestx.html)
College and Universities by Alphabetical Listing (http://www.mit.edu:8001/people/cdemello/univ.html)
Index to Critical Comparisons Database (http://www.memex-press.com/cc/schools.html)
10 Real SATs (http://www.collegeboard.org/index_this/frstlook/realsat/html/real_thr.html)
Test -Taking Strategies and Rules (http://www.collegeboard.org/index_this/frstlook/realsat/html/real_for.html)
SAT/ACT Comparisons (http://www.collegeboard.org/sat/html/admissions/stat004.html)
|TEKS: Career Orientation 127.c.1.B, 127.c.1.C, 127.c.2.A, 127.c.4.D
TEKS: Technology Applications: c.4.A, c.8.A, c.8.B, c.9.D, c.11.A, c.12.B
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Contributed by Natalie Beever
Consultant for Technical Documentation
A look at three Texas regional Centers for Professional Development (CPDT), and Educational Service Centers (ESC) in Texas was performed to find out what development classes they offered that centered on technology integration and the technology applications portions of TEKS. Since each region independently addresses professional development, it was a little difficult to find comparable information in a consistent manner.
The nature of TA TEKS emphasizes, in my mind, the word "applications." Applying technology and training teachers to plan lessons that integrate technology reinforces the effectiveness of technology. Also, in a training session, problems with technology can be identified and worked out. Teachers trained to apply technology to lesson plans in other TEKS areas confront the issues of classroom technology, and are one step closer to solving them in the classroom.
The focus here is on teacher education rather than teacher training. It seems that the training centers in Texas are striving to integrate technology and have been a wealth of resources to the teachers who are already meeting TEKS and TA TEKS requirements. The University of North Texas College of Education offers a sequence of courses at both the undergraduate and graduate levels that allow students to receive an endorsement for Technology Applications. Although most of these courses are electives, it is beneficial to students to include this endorsement sequence in their degree plan. The Texas Center for Educational Technology (TCET) maintains the START website (http://www.tcet.unt.edu/START) that specifically addresses the TA TEKS with resources to help teachers work toward integrating these TEKS into their curriculum.
I studied regions 11 , 15, and 17
(Ft.Worth, San Angelo, and Lubbock) ESCís and CPDTís for program-related
links, and searched the Texas Center
for Educational Technology (TCET) website for research related topics.
SWT CPDT located in San Angelo listed the skill sets for preservice/inservice teachers provided by center. (http://www.schooledu.swt.edu/ctrs/cpdteval/cpdttech.html). Region 17 ESC offered a course listing that was linked to a brief synopsis of the course.
In researching preservice and inservice education at the above mentioned sites, the following was found.
Preservice teachers use technology in the following ways:
Inservice teachers use technology in the following ways:
I drew two conclusions: first, there needs to be a website that offers
information on programs and locations, dates and times with a minimum of
trouble; second, program development for TA TEKS may be lacking, but I
canít find out because the information seems to be buried. I propose to
alleviate the need for a website that addresses professional development
"at a glance" so to speak, for preservice teachers, and for professional
development specialists. CPDTís and ESCís using program development for
specific TA TEKS will be apparent. Program Development specialists can
also use the website to address areas that lack updated TA TEKS training.
CPDTís and ESCís are the best bet for promoting TA TEKS awareness and for
offering solutions to preservice/inservice teachers in Texas. Accessibility
is the only factor standing in the way of disseminating useful information
to preservice educators and professional development specialists.
Resources for professional development specialists who are willing to teach TA TEKS
START (Sharing Technology Applications Resources with Teachers (http://www.tcet.unt.edu/START)
Inside Program (http://www.intel.com/education/journey/INDEX.HTM)
This web site is really neat. There is a section in the k-12 Education link that shows kids the basics of microprocessing via shockwave. Very illuminating, and definitely applies past the foundation strand because the emphasis on transistors and microprocessing provides a historical context, and a highly technical look at the computerís most basic component.
This site assists in the professional development aspect of TA TEKS. The site builder outlines the process of multimedia projects and shows the teacher what skill sets they will need in order to complete a multimedia project. Developing multimedia skills. The links to the projects is really good. The site contains materials for professional development, hence meets the assignment criteria of content above the foundation strand.
MarcoPolo Internet Content
for the Classroom (http://www.wcom.com/marcopolo/)
It seems this site, though commercial and slick, is student-centered, and a helpful resource for teachers who really need appropriate web content to satisfy the TA TEKS skill for acquiring knowledge of subject matter on the web.
Links: Technology Application (http://wb.collegestation.isd.tenet.edu/Enrichment/Links.html)
I canít believe how lush this site is. This site is valuable for every stage of technology integration. The links provide access to professional development ideas from lesson plans to setting up a computer learning environment.
Wired for Learning (http://www.wiredforlearning.org/)
This Website is a replication of the CD-Rom included in the "Wired for Learning"
Interactive Knowledge Base currently being distributed to all school districts in Texas. I think this is helpful as an example of a distance learning environment.