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Student Travel Journal Image

Social Studies and Geography open up a child’s mind to the many cultures, climates, and people in our world. With technology, students are able to talk to people from and see pictures of places that once seemed impossibly far away. Biteslide can offer teachers and students an opportunity to create “road maps” and “travel journals” that help students review special places they have learned about while also increasing their contact with the cultures, histories, and people they have learned about in their textbooks.

Common Core State Standards covered by this project

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.1
    Ask and answer questions to demonstrate understanding of a text, referring explicitly to the text as the basis for the answers.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.3
    Describe the relationship between a series of historical events, scientific ideas or concepts, or steps in technical procedures in a text, using language that pertains to time, sequence, and cause/effect.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.7
    Use information gained from illustrations (e.g., maps, photographs) and the words in a text to demonstrate understanding of the text (e.g., where, when, why, and how key events occur).
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.10
    By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including history/social studies, science, and technical texts, at the high end of the grades 2–3 text complexity band independently and proficiently.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.2
    Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.6
    With guidance and support from adults, use technology to produce and publish writing (using keyboarding skills) as well as to interact and collaborate with others.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.7
    Conduct short research projects that build knowledge about a topic.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.3.10
    Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of discipline-specific tasks, purposes, and audiences.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.3
    Explain events, procedures, ideas, or concepts in a historical, scientific, or technical text, including what happened and why, based on specific information in the text.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.7
    Interpret information presented visually, orally, or quantitatively (e.g., in charts, graphs, diagrams, time lines, animations, or interactive elements on Web pages) and explain how the information contributes to an understanding of the text in which it appears.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.4.9
    Integrate information from two texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.6
    With some guidance and support from adults, use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of one page in a single sitting.
  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.4.8
    Recall relevant information from experiences or gather relevant information from print and digital sources; take notes and categorize information, and provide a list of sources.

Materials Needed For This Project On A Weekly Basis

  • Access to a Computer Lab and Biteslide.com
  • Relevant Textbooks/Social Studies Notes
  • Writing Utensils
  • Optional: Cheat Sheet of Relevant Questions

Activity

The students can work alone or in groups to create a yearlong “travel journal” that highlights different geographical locations that they have learned about in their classroom. The students should be able to extend their textbook knowledge into secondary websites that are informative and appropriate. The teacher might want to include or create a “cheat sheet” that the students can use all year to help them pursue decent and relevant information. Questions on the cheat sheet could include:

  1. 1. What types of animals live here?
  2. 2. Does this city have any special buildings?
  3. 3. If you had only one hour, what would you visit and why?
  4. 4. Was something invented here?
  5. 5. Is someone famous from here?

While the students are clipping and creating slides, the teacher should supervise and discuss proper sources and crediting for photographs.

At the end of the year, the students should be able to present their travel journal to the class and to their parents. As an extension, teachers should print out individual slides to pull together a bulletin board that can be changed throughout the year.

Modifications

For students with special needs or who need extra monitoring, it is easy to add editors to any individual slide show. Students can collaborate with one another to produce the best results.

ESL students should be encouraged to add words that they understand into the slide but they can also convey what they have learned with well-placed pictures and collages.

Biteslide makes it easy to store and retrieve yearlong projects. There is no classroom clutter and the project is easy to integrate into computer class and testing weeks. With so many voices crowding the Internet, teachers can use programs like Biteslide to help their students become responsible web-based researchers.

If you don’t already have an account on Biteslide, you can sign up for free here.

Kathryn Rose is an full-time educator turned full-time mom and writer focusing on parenting and educational topics. After completing her Elementary Education Certification through North Park University, she taught middle school Social Studies in Chicago, IL. She still teaches part-time and loves putting together engaging lesson plans and activities that keep kids engaged and moving.


Showcase Homeschool Learning Portfolio
This is a guest post from Misty Bailey – a homeschooling Mom and writer at the popular parenting blog We’re Just Parents.

Many homeschool parents keep records of their children’s work with a homeschool portfolio. A homeschool portfolio is a collection of the child’s work done throughout the year. This can be samples of writing, documents of field trips taken, books read, and collections of tests, really anything that shows where the child was, what they have learned, and where they are now.

Depending on what state you live in you may have to have a homeschool portfolio assessment done each year. Whether you have to have an assessment done or not it is a great idea to have some sort of a portfolio together for your child. This helps keep you accountable, and is a great way to look back on those days, months or years when you feel as though you have accomplished little.

While keeping a homeschool portfolio is a must, finding a place to store all the things you want to keep can sometimes be a hassle. This is why Biteslide is a great way to showcase your child’s homeschool portfolio!

It is all digital, so you have to keep very little on hand. It is easy to use, and slidebooks are fun to make! Here are some tips in making your child’s homeschool portfolio with Biteslide.

Make a Class for each Subject

When using Biteslide to showcase your child’s homeschool portfolio it will be helpful to already have a class made up for each subject. You should also have each student assigned to the appropriate classes. For example if I had Science set up as a class, I would want to add both of my children to this class.

Yes, they make work on some projects together, but I will also want to have some individual projects for each child showcased in each subject. Suggestions for classes could be Science, Math, Language Arts (Reading, Spelling, and Grammar), Extra classes (Art, Music, Health) and History (you could include Geography and Social Studies).

Upload Documents and Samples of Work

Upload samples of projects with your scanner. You can upload Spelling Tests, book reports, History papers, Math worksheets, any paper you would want to keep in your child’s homeschool portfolio you can upload onto your computer. If you went on field trips throughout the year upload tickets or programs from your trips. It is helpful to upload these documents and samples as a jpeg picture instead of as a document. You then take the jpeg file and upload it onto Biteslide. It is now ready to be used in a slidebook!

Upload Pictures

Find pictures that you’ve taken throughout the year. These can be pictures of projects, pictures of field trips, or smiling faces holding Spelling Tests. Any picture that was taken throughout the school year will work. If you have used Biteslide to enhance your school projects you may already have some of these pictures loaded.

Make Your Homeschool Portfolio

Now that you have all the steps in place it is time to showcase your child’s homeschool portfolio! I would suggest doing this chronologically based on subject. I would also suggest doing a separate slidebook for field trips. Depending on what grade your child is in you may have 3 or more slidebook portfolios. If you did not want to do numerous portfolios you could also merge all the classes into one extensive portfolio. There are many different ways you can use Biteslide to showcase your child’s homeschool portfolio!

Register Here For Your Free Biteslide Account


Student writing in notebook
The Common Core State Standards Initiative demands that students be able to read and understand more complex texts, write arguments and persuasive pieces with greater dexterity, and present their findings in short-term projects mirroring the tasks that will be asked of students in both college and career.

Listening and public speaking skills, as well as the incorporation of media into presentations, are also important key points to take away from the Common Core State Standards Initiative for teachers to embrace and include in their lesson planning.

Let’s accomplish all of this by incorporating Biteslide into a New York State 6th grade English Language Arts lesson within a larger unit on personal identity and personal choices with challenging texts from contemporary figures.

The lessons will last for 7 Instructional days (not including student oral presentations).

Here are the instructional foci of the unit in alignment with the New York State Common Core English Language Arts and Literacy Curriculum:

  • Incremental reading and writing skills in alignment with CCSS instructional shifts.
  • Understanding and working with textual evidence.
  • Understanding Web 2.0 tools and working with multimedia evidence.
  • Understanding and utilizing Biteslide.com as a presentation tool to convey information and argument.

And the focus texts for the lesson:

Steve Jobs’ Stanford University 2005 Commencement Address

If- by Rudyard Kipling

Day 1 – Introduction to unit, themes

Objective

The student will be able to recognize and understand how personal choices influence positive and negative outcomes in their daily lives.

Activity

Brainstorm choices for positive living. Contrast with choices which led to negative consequences.

Homework

Preview If- by Rudyard Kipling. In writing, develop your ideas about what the poem might mean in light of our discussion on personal choices today.

Evaluation

Class participation

Day 2

Objective

The student will be able to understand how people develop personal rules by which they live and how they communicate those rules to others. The student will demonstrate how personal choices are developed, how they lead to positive and negative outcomes, and how they can be communicated to others.

Activity

Read If- by Rudyard Kipling for understanding including text analysis at the paragraph, sentence, and word levels. Discuss student impressions (from homework) and clarify meanings. Students bullet their lesson introduction notes and Kipling impressions/notes in a three-column notes table with column headings labeled “Kipling,” “Jobs,” “Wonderings.”

Homework

Preview Steve Jobs’ Stanford Commencement Address. In writing, develop your ideas about what the speech might mean in light of our discussions on personal choices.

Evaluation

Class participation

Day 3

Objective

The student will be able to understand how people develop personal rules by which they live and how they communicate those rules to others. The student will demonstrate how personal choices are developed, the need for personal choices, how they lead to positive and negative outcomes, and how they can be communicated to others.

Activity

Read Steve Jobs’ Stanford University Commencement Address in small groups. Students bullet their main idea points from the reading in their three-column notes table. Whole group: Discussion of findings and wrap up.

Homework

Reread the Kipling and Jobs’ texts. Use two different colored highlighters to distinguish between personal choices and outcomes directly in the text.

Evaluation

Three-column bulleted table based on readings; Marginal notes and complexity+correctness of highlighted items in texts.

Day 4

Objective

The student will be able to synthesize the text, notes, and graphic organizers to compose an informative essay.

Activity

Students follow the writing process to compare and contrast the Kipling and Jobs’ texts against the learning objectives in response to the questions, “How and why do people develop rules by which to live, and how do they communicate those choices to others?” as well as present their own idea for ONE personal choice they made or will make for a better life.

Homework

Continue writing the informative essay.

Day 5

Objective

The student will be able to synthesize the text, notes, and graphic organizers to compose an informative essay.

Activity

Students will present their rough drafts and participate in individual writing conferences with the teacher to reflect, edit, and improve upon their draft. Students finalize their essays independently and make final edits, proofreading with a peer.

Homework

Prepare essay for final draft/publishing.

Evaluation

Writing process, final essay

Day 6

Objective

The student will be able to locate multimedia resources as evidence in support of their essay.

Activity

Students will utilize the Internet to locate relevant multimedia resources including images, video, and music. Students will upload their essays and digital evidence in support of their argument from the Internet and create a slidebook presentation of their choosing on Biteslide.com.

Homework

Continue working on Biteslide slidebook.

Day 7

Objective

The student will be able to locate multimedia resources as evidence in support of their essay.

Activity

Students will utilize the Internet to locate relevant multimedia resources including images, video, and music. Students will upload their essays and digital evidence in support of their argument from the Internet and create a slidebook presentation of their choosing on Biteslide.com. Students will also prepare an oral script with which to present their slidebooks.

Homework

Finish oral presentation script.

Evaluation

Biteslide.com slidebook presentation and appropriateness of multimedia evidence connections

Suggested broad lesson differentiation techniques:

  • Think.Pair.Share for brainstorming, activities
  • Pair above average reader with average, average-average, average-low for language-demanding reading activities.
  • Allow English language learners (ELL) to illustrate their responses or utilize incomplete phrases in English instead of grammatically perfect, developed paragraphs for homework.
  • Make accommodations for special education (SPED) students as indicated on their Individualized Educational Plan and teach to their visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or tactile preference.
  • Lessen the quantity (not quality) of final products for ELL and SPED students.
  • Create buddy research and writing pairings for ELL and SPED students to reduce frustration, maintain focus
  • Seek translated or electronic versions of materials when necessary.

Common Core Standards Assessed

RI.6.1 Cite textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

RI.6.2 Determine a central idea of a text and how it is conveyed through particular details; provide a summary of the text distinct from personal opinions or judgments.

W.6.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

W.6.5 With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.

W.6.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.

L.6.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

L.6.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.