Please use this page to update everyone on your progress with the project!

Update from Karen: 10/9/07

As of this week, we have introduced the project to our class. In our last lesson, using Inspiration, we brainstormed as a class 'what we want to find out' about Native American tribes. The class came up with the following categories: Geography (where is the tribe located; how does the location effect their lives); Food (what did they eat; how did they get food; what weapons did they use); Culture (traditions, customs, role of children); and History. After that, the class was divided into teams to research the 5 different Iroquois tribes. Each student was then instructed to start their own Inspiration map on their particular topic to break the topic down into different areas of research. This week (we see them on Wednesdays), the class will finish their concept maps and then will be introduced to the class wiki, the resources they will use for research (we will have them use books, websites, and Facts for Learning- an online database). Time allowing, we will have them save their Inspiration maps as outlines and embed the outlines into their pages in the wiki.

Update from JoNelle: 10/29/07

Students learned how to post information on wikispaces safely and with good manners to prepare for this project.
We then introduced the Native American project. The first step was to create a graphic organizer using Inspiration. We created one together as a class (to print out) and then students created their own for their electronic file.
Students are currently using their graphic organizer to record information gathered about their assigned Native American group. (Classes are trying different approaches to information gathering. In the teams, one will record on the team’s electronic graphic organizer. Others prefer to use a hard copy to record their research.) Classes are divided into regions according to our SC Social Studies standards: Eastern Woodlands, Southeastern, Plains, Southwestern, and Pacific Northwestern. Students will be able to compare the everyday life, physical environment, and culture of the major Native American cultural groupings.
Each group is viewing a clip from a video from United Streaming. They may watch it as often as needed and discuss in their group. Next step is to post their findings on their wiki to share and learn with other groups.

Update from Karen: 11/2/07

We are really starting to make progress now! Our students have finished posting their notes in their wiki and are now synthesizing their notes into written paragraphs. They are also starting to collect images. Their homework for this week is to write a blog entry answering this essential question: How did your tribe's geographical location affect their way of life?
The link for our class blog is:
The link for our student wiki is:
JoNelle, please feel free to have your students visit our blog and comment on our student blogs - the students are in Mr. Dugger's class.
Future plans:
  1. Introduce students to CommunityWalk map, have them place markers on their tribe's location. Eventually markers will contain links to their final product and an introductory podcast.
  2. Tribe teams will create their final product in VoiceThread - there is a way to get the class in without them having emails.
  3. Videoconference using Skype to meet JoNelle's class - hope to do this twice - once just to meet and talk and then at the end - Noel is setting this up.
  4. Love JoNelle's idea about watching videoclips from United Streaming! I think I will look into our streaming video resource and see what's there for our students - help them get the big picture! Thanks JoNelle!

Update from Noel: 11/8/07

JoNelle and I are planning to have our first "face-to-face" with one of her classes and one of Karen and mine using a webcam and Skype. Here are my initial thoughts about preparing for this "visit":
-discuss proper videoconferencing etiquette with students
-have the students brainstorm some questions they might want to ask your class about the project-have the students brainstorm some questions about life at Gold Hill Elementary School-we will set up a "talking chair" that a child will sit on when they want to speak

Update from Karen: 11/29/07

Please welcome Jan Starr from Michigan to the project! If you are on this distribution list and NOT doing the project, please email me and let me know. I apologize if you have already notified me and I haven't removed you.

Yesterday Adam Dugger's 4th grade class videoconferenced with JoNelle Gardner's 4th grade class in SC. The students got to say hello to each other and learn a little bit about each other. Our students thoroughly enjoyed this, as it was the first time we ever did anything like that. They wrote about it in their blogs -

One problem was that Skype was a little dicey. JoNelle - there is a new, free videoconference service called ooVoo - which I think we should experiment with. Right now, ooVoo only works on pc (not mac), but mac is supposed to be coming soon.

If you would like to set up a brief experiment after you downloaded it, please email Noel or myself.

Our students have collected all of their research, synthesized it, and are ready to put it into a presentation format. We will most likely have them put it into powerpoint, although we may use photostory or voicethread. Once the presentations are finished, we will embed them into our wiki and invite other participating classes to view them and leave comments.

We will also link the presentations to our communitywalk map.