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Technology Across the Curriculum


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Keywords: symmetry, language arts, technology, camera, science, eye, scrapbooks
Subject(s): Science, Geometry, English/Language Arts, Biology, Technology, Math
Grades K through 5
Original Author: Stacey Pratt, Bristol
I teach fifth grade in a small elementary school in Bristol, Connecticut. Our curriculum dictates that students be well versed in technology by the end of eighth grade. This makes our grade level somewhat crucial for teaching skills. Integrating technology becomes a challenge, trying to come up with just the right plan. Having the use of digital cameras and The Tool Factory Software would allow for us to integrate across the curriculum. There are three subject areas that would allow this technology to be used in a creative and interactive way for our students.
Math
Who would have thought that teaching math would involve the use of cameras? That is exactly what the students will do in this project. During our geometry study, students are exposed to the concept of symmetry. I believe the use of cameras will be highly effective here.
The students will begin by going around the school and playground. They will take pictures of items they believe have at least one line of symmetry. Students will then be able to print their photos out in class.
Next, they will analyze the items they photographed. They will continue by entering the names of their pictures into a spreadsheet. They will then input information about lines of symmetry, including how many lines, vertical, horizontal, etc. to have a running list of their photos.
Next, comes the really exciting part. They will be manipulating their photos using Whole Class Fresco. Based on their lines of symmetry, students will manipulate and change their image along the line. The result will be a semi-asymmetrical image.
Next, students will write about their experience and enter it using Tool Factory Workshop’s word processor. Finally, using MultiMedia Lab V, students will create a showcase or montage to display their work.
This activity will not only integrate technology but ties directly to our district math curriculum. I feel the students will get a deeper understanding of symmetry and be able to apply real-world images to the concept.
Language Arts
The Language Arts project I have created is a year-long project. In my district, elementary school runs PK-5. That means my students go on to middle school when they leave me. We do a variety of “memory makers,” but students are not involved with the design process. I feel that by having the Olympus tools and cameras, we can make that happen.
Students would use the cameras throughout the year to take photos of various things such as field trips, projects, Science Fair, friends, DARE, etc. anything they would want to remember. Once they have images, they will use journaling skills and Tool Factory Workshop to describe their photos. By the end of the year, students will have a scrapbook of their final year of elementary school.
Students would be able to use MultiMedia Lab V to create their montage or scrapbook page. Whole Class Fresco would allow the students to touch up images to make them truly fit their memory.
This project times into local curriculum standards in two ways. The first is in Language Arts. Students are required to express themselves in multiple writing forms as well as edit and revise pieces. We also have technology standards to which this project would lend itself nicely.
Science
Finally, I have a science project. Our curriculum dictates that we teach about the sense of sight. However, we must do it in a very specific way. We must show students how our eyes work just like a camera. What better way to teach this than by having a camera available to them to discover the similarities and differences?
Being able to physically manipulate a camera and compare it to what their own eyes are doing would be a tremendous way for students to truly understand the process.
Students would be able to use the spreadsheet to keep track of similarities and differences in what the camera sees versus what their eyes are seeing. They can manipulate the pictures to show what they are seeing. This would be helpful for some students to also understand color blindness by having a partner manipulate their picture to express what they see.
The largest benefit for this project is to allow the students a hands-on approach to learning the required curriculum.
In summary, I feel that winning this grant would be a wonderful addition to help teach our curriculum. Students will become engaged and motivated by the use of hands-on learning materials. It will also help to sharpen their technology skills in a tech-driven world. Thank you for considering my request.
Materials: Worksheets, Slideshow, Database, Spreadsheet, Word Processor, Flash/USB Drives, Camera Bags, Digital SLR
Other Items: 3 1 GB Memory cards, $70.00 each, total of $210.00
3 Tripods, $20.00 each, total of $60.00
2 Canon iP1600 PIXMA Photo Printer/Paper/Ink Cartridge, $82.97 each, total of $165.94
3 Camera Bags, $20.00 each, total of $60.00