PART 1: Collaborating as Teachers
Our Director of Curricular Technology, who also has a great blog, offered a PD workshop this fall before school started on “Flipping the Classroom.” It was a nice reintroduction to the school year and I was able to meet some of the fantastic new teachers in our Lower School, including Jenn Truong. Jenn teaches second grade and has some phenomenal teaching ideas and strategies. You can read more about her classroom at http://mrstruongsclass.wordpress.com/. We hit it off and started brainstorming about a cross curricular and cross divisional collaboration. I immediately thought of the amazing project that Ian Sands, from Apex High did in collaboration with a kindergarten class, an Art 1 class, and a Digital Art class.
Here are a few examples of the Apex Art project:
- Monsters in a box Part 1 http://apexhsart.blogspot.com/2011/10/monsters-in-box-part-one.html
- Final Monsters http://apexhsart.blogspot.com/2012/04/final-monsters.html
- Building the Packages http://apexhsart.blogspot.com/2012/03/monster-round-2-building-packages.html
Jenn started off her year with a project based learning lesson about class pets. Her students are actively participating in the research, persuasion, and math to find out what class pet will work best in their room. Mallory Hart (Lower School art teacher), Jenn, and I brainstormed for about two weeks and decided on a project that would work for everyone’s curriculum.
PART 2: The Project
In November, the second graders started pushing into my Digital Design class in Upper School (9th, 10th, 11th, and 12th graders). They paired with a Design partner 1:1 to digitally draw their class pet using Adobe Illustrator and our Wacom tablets (see below)! The Design partner helped to open a new file, place the image, select colors, and teach the student how to use the tablet. The students were amazed by the big screens, and even more astonished by the lack of touch screen capability (something I see regularly in our LS and MS students who regularly use iPads).
Here are some images of our students working collaboratively. One of the biggest difficulties that we encountered was scheduling. Our Lower School and Upper School are in the same building however they are on different schedules.
PART 3: The Final Results
After the images were completed we (the teachers) printed them on teeshirt transfer paper.
We bought long sleeve teeshirts and ironed the graphics onto the front of their shirts. Today the Upper Schooler brought the finished teeshirts down to their second grade friends. The shirts were wrapped up in tissue paper – adding a bit of a wow factor! They were ecstatic! Here is a video and some photos of the students enjoying their “presents.”