Thanksgiving. Pilgrims. Mayflower. Indians. Food. Freedom.
Third graders studied the book Molly's Pilgrim prior to the Thanksgiving holiday last week. There were fun, interactive activities on the SMART Board, games at their computers, and much reading aloud as the book was shared and discussed. Themes of fairness, freedom, acceptance, and racial prejudice were brought to light as my students shared their thoughts and feelings last week.
Today in Reading class we began a study of story elements: setting, characters, feelings, and problem. Molly's Pilgrim was used as an example and the discussion began again about fairness and acceptance. To build upon the teachable moment, I quickly opened Audacity and recorded each student's reflections about the story. As each audio track was laid down, excitement built as it became time for the next student to reflect. When the class left for P.E., I used Notebook to build their class file, and then attached each mp3 file to their picture. When they returned, I showed it on the SMART Board and they really enjoyed the presentation. Some remarked they wished they'd added this or that thought, or giggled when they heard their voice. Typical reactions from an 8 year old. (For privacy reasons, I will not be posting the Notebook page with their photos.) The activity was so engaging, the students have asked to learn how to use Audacity on their own. They already know SMART Recorder, so this program should be an easy learning challenge.
From this challenge I was reminded to take a risk with technology during class time. I've used both SMART recorder and Audacity many times after hours, but never during actual class time. It went so well, I'm considering using this Reflection Activity during my annual appraisal .