Saturday, December 8, 2012

How this project came to be. By Syndney R.

November 26, 2012
Essential Question- why does what happen in the past matter to me today and how will it affect my future?

                Today, when we came to class, the desks were arranged in a circle-like formation. Confused, we sat down.  This was about the time Mrs. Blackburn came into the classroom, and she was probably the most excited we had ever seen her.  The first thing she did was hand out a paper, which talked about how history has impacted us today.  It explained the GSE (Grade Span Expectation) HP2-Connecting the past with the present.  The standard focused on Rhode Island History.  Mrs. Blackburn explained to us that this kind of learning would be new to us and it was new to her too, but it would also be fun, but most of all challenging. We discussed starting a project that could help us understand more about RI (its history, how things have changed over time, and to envision how it will continue to change, and why this is important to us.)  Mrs. Blackburn then challenged us to design the project and then execute, and publish its final piece using social media and the internet so we could connect with other classrooms around the world.

Mrs. Blackburn’s challenge was very exciting because our class has been communicating, collaborating and using many 21st century skills all year.  The class decided to try to use what most of us know well, social media and the digital word (blogging, emails, web searches and twitter) to communicate with others around the world and learn how other students learn in other classes.  We have decided to research our state, RI,  city, Cranston, school (WHMS), and our classroom.  We will look at the past, we will analyze the changes that have taken place, and we will predict what may develop in our future. We will then create a media presentation to publish our research. 
We would love to challenge other classroom to reseach where they are from, and how it has changed over time.  We would also like other classrooms to show us how they learn, how they create, and how they publish projects!

December 14, 2012
While we are working on the project, we continue to learn about American History. We are currently studying the French and Indian War and are leading to the American Revolution. We are working in groups and independently on an interactive study guide. As we continue on, we see the connections to RI’s history. Our project research is helpful to us because we are learning more about the history of our state, and how it has changed over time. It also helps us make connections to our community today and how it developed since the founding and the wars that took place.
Project Update-
As the project develops one of our groups has found several possible classroom blogs to communicate with. We realize that classes may not be able to complete a project like ours; however we have also designed a simple method of connecting to other classrooms to give as an alternative. We have designed a student questionnaire in GOOGLE DOCS. The questionnaire has many awesome questions, and we are excited to see the information that we will collect from the questionnaire. The link to our survey is or you can access it direct from our website. We welcome any class or student, in any city, state, or country to participate.
The history group has set up a Wall Wisher, where they post easily accessible facts about Rhode Island, Cranston, and Western Hills. We have been using Wall Wisher in our class all year. Wall Wisher is a 2.0 web based blogging site that helps us connect with our classmates and other classes on our team. The wall is already filled with the history of RI. At the end of our project, we will use the wall to access information needed in the final publication. One great advantage to wall wisher is that all classmates can access the wall on home computers, ipads, and even our cell phones. Wall Wisher can hold pictures, power points, videos, comments and current notes.,
The Team Dynamite group, who are working on current trends in RI and Cranston has put together many of the popular places, and items that we all can’t seem to live without. I won't give to many details about this information because it is the hottest topic in our classroom. We all have a lot of import on what we think is cool and can't wait to show this off in the presentation.
The technology group has already set up our website, and now has completed the introduction to our final media presentation. The group had used movie maker, a PREZI, and multimedia software. One of our classmates is also trying to translate the blog into other languages. We are all busy…..and we can’t wait to show the world our FINAL PROJECT! It won’t be long now.



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