Monday, March 14, 2016

Weather News Teams with Tech: ThingLink, ShowMe, Telestory

Let me be honest, my colleague and I team plan Science and when we came to our TEK about learners measuring and recording air pressure, temperature, wind direction, and precipitation- well, we just about physically sagged to the floor. Last year was the whirlwind that was my first year of teaching, but it wasn't just us that felt the activity of recording weather was less than interesting. This is only the beginning of multiple TEKS that are intertwined. We covered them all over the course of one week.

This year we put our heads together and decided to make it interactive and to integrate technology. Honestly, the technology provided opportunities for meaningful interactions, saved time, and saved paper. It was a true win-win.

Our first item to tackle was how to have learners record their information without having it be as mundane an activity as searching through a weather app. We decided to build the information into a ThingLink. This would provide an easily accessible hubb of data collection resources. These resources provide our "News Teams" with resources they can use to investigate various locations around the world.

Day 1: News Team Investigation ThingLink = Recording Location Information
Learners will be split into teams and then have a choice of locations. Once each team has chosen a location, they will explore the ThingLink to record the necessary information. My learners recorded their findings in table charts. I created a blank chart for each location and one with information included and some information missing. The two different tables can be used for differentiation.

Table 1: with information
Table 2: without


The great thing about ThingLink is that it is completely free! Your learners won't need a login or password to access your ThingLink either. However, you may want to check when linking resources if they will need to login to those linked databases or docs. Google docs can easily be linked, but do need to be published to the web in order to be accessed from a ThingLink.

Day 2: Now that learners have measured and recorded necessary information pertaining to weather, our purpose changes:

-How can we compare day to day weather changes in different locations at the same time?
-How can we construct bar graphs using tools to evaluate measured data?
-How can we convert temperature from Fahrenheit to Celsius?

Learners first convert temperature to Celsius and then used a bar graph template and rubric to convert their table information to bar graphs. We decided to only have learners create bar graphs for temperature and air pressure because we felt it was easiest to see relationships from these two graphs. I also did a minilesson review on parts of a bar graph before sending them off to work on it. My assistant principal ended up coming in for an unplanned observation and she commented how she liked that we were integrating Math with Science.

Day 3: Purpose/Essential Question: How can learners analyze and interpret patterns in data to construct reasonable explanations based on evidence?

Now, you may have to complete example answers with a different location as a whole group because you will have some learners that have no idea how to make connections or where to even begin looking. I went over each reflection question with my learners as a whole group and did an example with them, as well. After that, they broke into groups to answer the questions and I had them record their answers using complete sentences and evidence using the app Show Me. You will need to make a class account, but it is free for a certain amount of posts. When my posts were full I created a new account and I haven't had to set up a third...yet. At this time I hadn't used Explain Everything yet, so that is another option rather than Show Me. See my post before this one for more information.

Reflection Questions
Example Recording on ShowMe

Days 4 and 5 were related to weather, but more specifically on weather tools. I partnered learners up based on their interest in different tools. The tools included were barometer, thermometer, wind vane, and rain gauge.

Day 4: Learners use compiled resources to gather information and create a guide on how to use the tool. They choose how they want to show what they know and upload to Seesaw or Padlet when completed. Learners chose between creating a ShowMe on the iPad, using the Telestory app to create an informational News Story, creating a poster, creating a Comic with the Comic Life app, or using the Explain Everything app.

Day 5: Have learners explore Padlet or Projects via Seesaw and create "I used to think..., but now I know..." feedback.

1 comment:

  1. I love reading your blog! It can be hard to go out on a limb and try new things, but you are KNOCKING IT OUT OF THE PARK. I am so inspired by the risks you are taking and can't wait to read more about it in this blog!