Friday, September 19, 2014

From Recess to Science in Seconds

As Michelle Klamm’s (@klammlovesmnms) students came in from recess, they were a crabby bunch, as crabby as a mom without her morning coffee.  The older kids had taken command of the basketball and soccer fields, so recess was not as much fun as it should have been for her students.  Mrs. Klamm listened to them carefully and then said in a cheerful voice, “It’s time to learn about some new class guests, our anoles. I made you an iTunes U course to help you discover many interesting things about them.”

Each 3rd grader slipped on headphones, tapped open iTunes U and off they went, independently learning in just seconds.   It was impressive how quickly the students transitioned to science straight from recess.    Each child was sucked into the action, just like an insect drawn into a spider web.  All the recess worries were out of their heads as the anoles took over the iPad screens.  They were hooked.  Once in a while, a small chuckle would erupt from a student as they discovered a funny part in the video.
Listening and learning, this 3rd grader is focused.  

Klamm spices up her documents for the iTunes U course in Pages and converts them to PDF files. Students enjoy the colorful documents which they open in Notability and complete in their handwriting. For this lesson, they worked on science vocabulary and observation notes.  Students naturally choose different colors to write with.   The materials are shared back to Klamm via a shared Google Drive folder.  

Klamm's 3rd graders are learning all about Anoles

Klamm loves delivering the curriculum via iTunes U courses she creates for her 3rd graders because it is an efficient and effective way to craft a media rich learning environment.  Not a moment of golden class time is lost.  The curriculum objectives are clear and students navigate the course independently.  Indeed, this student centered classroom with the iTunes U workflow is a model of self-directed learning that is so engaging students go from recess to science in seconds.     

Written by Ann Feldmann

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