Course One | Final Project

To wrap up COETAIL’s course one, we were asked to do a final project.

Criteria:

Essentially, pick a unit that’s already planned, one you want to tweak or design a new one. You don’t have to teach it.

Goal: Show what you’d include or change as a result of your learning in course one.

The rubric can be found here.

My project

Course one of COETAIL directly coincided with an IB PYP inquiry unit the grade fours in my context were embarking on, so I felt choosing this unit for my project made the most sense.

In a nutshell, here’s the unit, using COETAIL’s UbD planner:

The timeline we shared with students. Template credit | Slidesgo

Key resources:

Key project questions – answered

 

  • Why did you choose this topic? These standards?
    • As mentioned above, this unit coincided with COETAIL course one. So it was a nice unit to suggest and make tweaks as it was contextual.
    • The standards were chosen by my team, the PYP curriculum coordinator and our instructional coach. “Sharing the planet” is one of the six transdisciplinary themes that PYP students learn from each year within IB’s PYP. You can learn more about the IB’s 6 themes on pages 2 and 3, here.
  • If you revamped a previously created learning experience, what have you changed and why? What’s been added and/or removed? Why?
    • Assessment criteria: One thing I often try to do, yet often fall short on, is co-construct assessment criteria with the children. As a team, we didn’t do this and we definitely will next year if we do this unit again.
      • What exactly needs to change? The student self-assessment (aks success criteria checklist) for their infographic.
      • Why? 21st-century learning is not teacher-led and respects agentic learning that drives learners to be self-efficacious.  This stems from the work of John Hattie and many more. However, these are some great-research based reasons why you should do co-constructing success criteria with your learners.
      • How? Easy. We could easily do a “See-think-wonder” visible thinking routine to come up with our own criteria, similar to what you see here.

        Exemplar credit – Cindy Kaardal (@innovative_inq)
    • Respecting and attributing intellectual property: This was changed this year. Not that it isn’t important, but we’ve been strongly building on this digital citizenship skill all year, and we want to keep building mastery towards this whenever it is authentic and contextual.
      • Why? Since COETAIL is so heavily aligned with the ISTE Standards, then you only need to look at the Standards for Students to offer some sound justification. Particularly from “Digital Citizen” standard indicator 2c – respecting rights and obligations with intellectual property, as well as “Creative Communicator” – 6b – with responsible repurposing.
      • How did we accomplish this?
        • We told children that they should credit their 2-3 top resources so others could seek out more information if needed. It also would add authenticity to the quality of their research, too.
        • In addition, any logos used in the infographics were either created by students in Sketches School, Keynote, or from attribution-friendly media like within Canva, Flaticon, or The Noun Project.

 

    • More choice in media to create infographics: Last year, students only used Keynote.
      • Why change? Choice is a big part of learner agency.  It is also a quintessential component of the way an IB PYP practitioner teaches. If you need a quick revisit or are new to the topic of agency, here is a great website.
      • After the first introduction of the infographic, my kids asked me, “Why just Keynote?”, and it got me wondering and inquiring within my team. The kids are fluent in Keynote but are also developing fluency in Canva and Slides, too.
      • To be totally fair to last year’s team, there was and is an Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) on the team. She was the rest of the team’s sole “techspert”. Her fluency within the medium to create infographics (which she could support the rest of the team within their learning journey), meet the marketing team’s specifications as well as promote creativity were all strong reasons for using only Keynote. And sure, probably a little Apple bias, too, as ADE’s need to keep up with their requirements. 😊
      • Another reason why? ISTE for Students – Creative Communicator – 6a – Students choose appropriate media for best communicating their idea.
      • For me, it always comes down to “What are we assessing?” – Is it, “The students’ ability to design an infographic in Keynote?” Or is it, “Design an infographic in accordance to what the lines of inquiry are about, the key concepts and/or the central idea?”.
      • Keynote is amazing; I love it, too. However, it is one way to create an infographic; not the only way. I do love that you can easily create your own icons within it and that is an advantage, absolutely. Not every designer creates their own icons – there are perfectly good sites for designers to use attribution-friendly icons, images, video and more. Our only constraint for our infographic was that it needed to be digital because the best design would be printed and put up and advertised within our primary campus. This had specific size requirements as well. Thus, this year, I supported all learners within the Studio to create an infographic in Canva, Keynote, and Slides.

        Slide pushed out to the students to allow multiple choices in media for their creations.

 

    • Peer formative assessment – feedback loop: Not sure how extensive this was done last year, if at all. Perhaps not uniform or collaborated amongst the whole team?
      • Why? Timely feedback; metacognition; social construction of knowledge; and Vygotskian Zone of Proximal Development theory, especially when thinking one learns better from peers (see “skilled partners”) just above their level than from experts.
      • COETAIL Learning Link: Since course one – week four shared an excellent Teach Thought article on 15 questions for effective EdTech Integration, here is another article from the same source about 20 tips for effective feedback.
      • In addition, this Seesaw-based feedback loop would work regardless of whether we were learning face-to-face or not. Thus, ISTE Standards for Students –  Learner Standard Indicator 1c has a beautiful fit – Students use technology to seek feedback that informs and improves their learning.
      • How did we support our learners with this? Planning for either F2F or learning from home in mind, I suggested this activity for the team to run in our expert workshops. In case you want a little more on TAG feedback, here’s a great little Edutopia video on it.
        • TAG Feedback criterion credit: Tony Vincent | Learning in Hand | learninginhand.com/blog/feedbackchat

        Student example of peer feedback given

 

    • Post infographic creation, learning from other experts activity: This changed this year.
      • Why? Connectivism – a heavily posited learning theory in week five of this course – teaches us that learning is distributed. After reading up on this theory during COETAIL orientation, I proposed the idea to my team. Needless to say, it was an easy sell as they’re all amazing educators. 😎
      • Authentic audience – Since students had to create infographics for their ISHCMC community, in addition to their peers to learn from, it gave them a very authentic audience and fuelled their intrinsic motivation to do better. Here’s a nice Edutopia article that talks about the benefits of increased engagement when students have an authentic audience.
      • F2F or learning from home? Since learning could be either or during this pandemic-ridden period time, we figured learning from others through connected Seesaw class blogs would work in either context, if we needed to “Flip the switch”, which has been heavily posited into our planning and learning experiences this year. All students needed to do was to publish their finished infographics to their respective class blogs. Since students regularly give feedback on other blogs around the school, this wasn’t another big thing that needed to be taught.
      • How did we communicate this to our learners?
        • Student instructions for jigsaw activity

         

        An example of blog feedback given.

         

        Completed jigsaw activity

         

  • How was this learning experience (unit plan) different from or similar to other learning experiences (unit plans) you have designed?
    • Honestly, having two COETAIL-ers on the team, both highly fluent in Educational Technology and how to effectively integrate it into our learning – not much has changed.
    • I feel like our units always keep getting better – the learning provocations in course one were certainly that extra fuel to think a little bit deeper as to how to make it that much better. Sometimes we are all creatures of habit that look for the path of least resistance. Teachers have to “step out of their comfort zone”, too!
    • In addition, many individuals on our team are lifelong learners who are continually engaged in professional learning throughout the year. As a benefit, creativity and innovation are our strong suits, along with being open-minded to new ideas and approaches to our craft. In general, if the outcome has the potential to benefit those under our care, then we just roll with it and throw it into the formative feedback innovation loop.

So how did the learners do?

    • Check out some of their finished infographics below!
    • How would you rate them against the self and peer-assessed success criteria?
    • What T.A.G feedback would you give them?
Some of the finished student infographics from this year

 

Last year’s winners. Which infographics will be selected to inform our primary school community this year?! – Photo credit: Cindy Kaardal

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