Overview of Our Unit Plan
For my collaborative project, I worked with Holly and Erika at the Anglo-American School of Moscow. I am a 4th-grade teacher at Concordia International School Hanoi and Erika and Holly teach 2nd and 3rd-grade students.
We decided to do a “Tackling Nonfiction Texts” Bootcamp because I am currently teaching a nonfiction unit, “Reading the Weather, Reading the World,” written by Lucy Calkins and her colleagues at Teachers College.
We planned a unit where the 4th-grade students could take their learning and knowledge of nonfiction texts to help support the learning process of 2nd and 3rd-grade learners who will be studying a nonfiction unit after us.
The process of creating this unit plan with Erika and Holly gave us the opportunity to brainstorm ideas together, communicate in an effective, timely manner, and refine our unit plan by combining our ideas.
Our group worked well together because we all took part in creating the plan and we were all flexible about the topic and activities. I got the template for our unit going and Erika and Holly were able to fill in the gaps and create resources like the Infographic Lesson Outline.
By creating a project with two educators in Russia, I was able to see that making global connections and working with others is not that difficult. Using Google Docs makes the collaborative process quite easy. Erika and I were even able to work on the unit plan at the same time while using the chat feature to ask each other clarifying questions as we developed the unit.
Developing this unit, allowed me to explore tools that I haven’t been using this year that I would like to utilize more often such as Padlet and Flipgrid. These two tools make global collaborations quite easy as well. This unit plan also allowed me to use what I learned about visual literacy in teaching my students good design principles.
Connections to Course 3 Learning
In this unit outline, we kept the learning from Course 3 in mind as we planned. We knew we wanted the students to create something visual as the final product. This seemed to be one of the big learning outcomes of Course 3. By having students create a visual aid that would support 2nd and 3rd-grade learners, we were able to teach students the CARP Design Principles that would help them produce effective visual aids.
We also wanted our students to collaborate as we did in creating this unit plan together. Students will collaborate through experiences such as a Text Features Scavenger hunt using padlet. The 4th graders will get continuous feedback throughout the process by using the comments on Padlet to improve their designs.
Our hope is that all students become better nonfiction readers because of this collaborative learning project. In addition, our hope is that students will learn how to globally collaborate with someone using tools such as Flipgrid and Padlet and use feedback to improve their designs.
Students will be able to demonstrate their learning of these concepts through their responses on the padlet exercises as well as their final responses using Flipgrid. The responses and feedback that students leave for one another will show the students’ ability to communicate effectively. We will also be able to use the final infographic visual as a way to assess students’ understanding of the CARP Design Principles that are taught in this unit plan.
3 (Knowledge Constructor) Students critically curate a variety of resources using digital tools to construct knowledge, produce creative artifacts and make meaningful learning experiences for themselves and others
- 3a Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits
- 3c Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.
6 (Creative Communicator) Students communicate clearly and express themselves creatively for a variety of purposes using the platforms, tools, styles, formats and digital media appropriate to their goals.
- 6a Students choose the appropriate platforms and tools for meeting the desired objectives of their creation or communication.
- 6b Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
- 6c Students communicate complex ideas clearly and effectively by creating or using a variety of digital objects such as visualizations, models or simulations.
- 6d Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.
7 (Global Collaborator) Students use digital tools to broaden their perspectives and enrich their learning by collaborating with others and working effectively in teams locally and globally.
- 7a Students use digital tools to connect with learners from a variety of backgrounds and cultures, engaging with them in ways that broaden mutual understanding and learning.