Saturday, August 2, 2008

Blog Post #1 Presentation to Students


The Board of Education of the City of New York has put together in clear language a Standards-Based Scope & Sequence for Learning (SBSSL). This document is a set of specific learning goals that outlines what students should know by the end of each grade. I used the SBSSL as a guide to create this assignment. This project is designed for 3rd grade students who are studing the theme "Communities Around the World."

Please click on the play button to hear the openning greeting.

Before we get started, let's take a fun, quick survey to find out what we know about Africa as a class. Please click on the link below. We will talk about these questions further in class.

Click Here to take survey

STEP #1) Below are two maps of Africa. In your groups, decide which country you would like to choose to complete this assignment. After picking one country move on to part two of the assignment.

Please click on the maps to enlarge them!

Please click on the maps to enlarge them!

STEP #2)

For the country your group picked, research information and try and find the answers to at least 3 of the following problems.


1)Locate that country on a map using latitude and longitude and discuss the physical geography of that country. What do you think is the impact of geography on that country?

2)People in different countries depend on and modify their physical environments in different ways. List the natural resources in that country and describe how the natural resources affect its own communities.

3)Human needs and wants differ from country to country. Explore how the people in the country you picked meet their needs for shelter, clothing, and food.

4)Discuss the national holidays, monuments, and festivals of the people in that county.

5)Find out what type of government the country has formed to develop rules and laws. Recognize that people in different countries have conflicts over rules, rights, and responsibilities. Is there any current conflicts going in the country you picked. If so what are they?

I listed some links and information below to help you understand such things as natural resources, longitude and latitude, physical geography and different types of governments. Please click on the following to help you understand the assignment.

Link to find Longitude and Latitude of anyplace in the world

Links about Natural Resources

Links about Geography

Link about World Governments

Links about African Festivals

Links that have general information on Africa

Definition of Physical Geography - The physical elements and processes that make up the environment: energy, air, water, weather, climate, landforms, soils, animals, plants, and the Earth itself. Geography: Mountains, Hills, Plains, & Plateaus

Blog Post #1 Presentation to Students Continued

#3) Put together a slide show presenting the information you have discovered using Photo Story 3.

Below is an example of a finished slide show that I made on the country of Tanzania. Please take the time to view this slide show.

Below are two videos that explain how to make a slide show using Photo Story 3. Have a look, but do not worry the program is really easy and we will spend a day or two going over it in class.

Below is rubric for this assignment. A rubric lets you know how the teacher will grade and evalute this assignment. Please click on it to enlarge the size (I embedded it on this blog by using on screen capture).

When building the slide show be sure to include the following:

1. At least 20 slides

2. Voice over narration for each slide

3. Inclusion of all 3 group members on the narration (take turns talking)

4. Put in background music (do this at a soft level so your voice can still be heard

5. Answer at least 3 of the 5 main questions during the slide show

6. Include a written draft of your narration. (to turn in at the end of the project)

7. (Optional) Evaluate what you have learned about your choosen country and compare and contrast the information to your home country (The USA). What is different? What is the same? What do you find interesting about your new country? Why?


Thursday, July 31, 2008

Blog Post #2 Lesson/Unit Plan

The Board of Education of the City of New York has put together in clear language a Standards-Based Scope & Sequence for Learning (SBSSL). This document is a set of specific learning goals that outlines what students should know by the end of each grade. I used the SBSSL as a guide to create this assignment. This project is designed for 3rd grade students who are studing the theme "Communities Around the World."

Task: In groups of three, students will choose one country in Africa and research specific information about that country (The questions are listed in the directions of the project). They will then analyze, discuss, evaluate, and present their findings by creating a slide show on Photo Story Three. The students will also present their presentation to the class and engage in some accountable talk about their project.


Students will be able to (SWBAT) locate countries on maps and globes by using latitude and longitude.

SWBAT participate in group planning and decision-making discussion, recognizing that others have different but equally valid, points of view.

SWBAT demonstrate, through digital media and writing, an understanding of holidays and traditions celebrated by different cultures in Africa.

SWBAT prepare a group presentation on an African country by using a variety of media and visuals.

SWBAT discuss the impact of geography on different Aftican countries.

SWBAT describe how natural resources affect various world communites.

SWBAT explore how people in other cultures meet their needs for shelter, clothing, and food.

ELA Standards:

Standard 1: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding.
Standard 2: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for literary response and expression.
Standard 3: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for critical analysis and evaluation.
Standard 4: Students will read, write, listen, and speak for social interaction.

Social Studies Standards

Standard 3
Standard 4
Standard 5

Math Science and Technology

(Science) Standard 4 - The Living Environment (6,7)

(Technology) Standard 5 - (1,2,3,4,5,6)

Motivation: Students will have a chance to work collaboratively with their peers which will stimulate their minds. They have a lot of choice in their project which allows them to express themeselves while learnng. They can openly engage in active discussion and present their discoveries to the class

Materials: computers, access to the Internet, blog tools, Photo Story 3,

Timeflow: This will be a 5 day project where the stdents have the whole period to work and collaborate.
Day one: Overview of project
Day two: class demonstration on how to use Photo Story 3
Day three: Work in groups on project
Day four: Work in groups on project
Day five: Publish work by presenting to the class on a smartboard big screen

Presentation: On day five the students will present their project to the class and engage in accountable talk to share, discuss, and defend their choices for the slide show.

Assessment: The rubric describes the details of the assessment.

Blog Post #2 Lesson/Unit Plan Continued


Read this document on Scribd: African Photo Story Rubric

Friday, July 11, 2008

Assignment 4 Part 2

Board of Education of the city of NY states that by the end of the school year, a third grader will observe and understand the relationships between the Sun and the Earth that lead to things such as sunrise and sunset, and changes in the season. Below is an assignment that expands on this subject. Please watch the two videos and complete the questions below. The questions are due on Monday.


1. At what degrees does the world tilt?

2. What is the lower half of the earth called?

3. What causes summertime to happen in the Southern Hemisphere

4. What hemisphere does the USA belong to?

5. In your own words write as much as you can to explain this question: What causes
earth's seasons? (hint: summarize the video)

6. Bonus Question: What does the word solstice mean?

Monday, July 7, 2008


The following three podcasts and websites are great resources for ESL teachers. This website has over 300 different podcast that are perfect for English Language Learners (ELLs) who want to study different topics. I listened to podcast 381 "Watching the News." This particular podcast explored the different vocabulary that one might hear while watching the news. The speaker on the podcast talks in a clear, precise mannar and explores various news-related vernacular. is run by a team of experienced English as a Second Language professors with over 30 years of high school, adult, and university ESL teaching experience. Dr. Lucy Tse writes scripts and story ideas for the podcasts, and records many of the dialogs and stories. The host for the podcast is Dr. Jeff McQuillan, who helps read the scripts and provides explanations for them. This website has many podcast available. Andrew and Ad are two hilarious ESL teachers producing these podcast from Shanghia, China. The topics they discuss include vocabulary and semantic breakdown of common English phrases. I listened to the podcast titled "Sleepin In." In this podcast, Andrew and Ad present a dialogue bewteen a person who oversleeps and his friend who is trying to contact him. After the dialogue, Andrew and Ad talk about the phrases used and explain the idioms that were embedded in the conversation. This podcast would work well for upper intermediate or advanced students. This website is designed for ELLs who want to know more about English vocabulary and idioms that revolve around the business world. I listened to the podcast "Stress Questions." This particular podcast delt with the issue of how to interview in English. This website, Business English Pod, provides free weekly MP3 podcast ESL lessons and audio and E/book courses for intermediate and advanced business English learners. Each business English podcast lesson is focused on a particular workplace English skill (meetings, presentations, telephoning, negotiating, socializing, travel, conversation etc.) and language function (clarifying, disagreeing, questioning, expressing opinions, persuasion etc.). Business English Pod is brought to you by an expert team of language trainers with over 30 years hands-on Business English training experience with some of the worlds leading companies. Their team is able to draw on professional experience in aerospace, consulting, engineering, financial services, medical and telecommunication industries to make our podcasts relevant and applicable to the needs of our audience.