As a computer teacher in an elementary school, I have had the privilege to work with many classroom and special area teachers over the past 6 years. Students come to the computer lab for class once a week for 40 minutes during each six day cycle. What I truly love about my role is that I can listen to the teacher’s needs and then plan my lessons accordingly.
Although sometimes I will utilize websites to have students practice a certain skill that they have just learned, I definitely prefer to introduce a project that is more of a capstone piece for students. They take what they have learned and, using an authoring application, create something of meaning to them.
Here is a lesson in which I collaborated with the P.E. teacher.
Fifth grade students in P.E. were learning about taking their heart rates at different intervals during various activities in P.E. class. As they went through various activities at different stations, they recorded their rates with pencil and paper. The next time they came into my class, they brought this information with them. They were shown how to use Excel to create a line graph. After plotting their points, they analyzed their graphs and were able to see how their heart rates changed over the course of their activities. Because the P.E. teacher wanted to make sure they met the objective of the lesson, I asked them to type a short analysis of their findings below the graph. Students also printed their work. They were excited to see the visual representation of the line graphs and began comparing them and talking about what took place. They had a deeper understanding of how their own heart rate increased and decreased depending on how active they were. The classroom teachers decided to hang the pages in the classroom; they realized how much this project meant to their students and how proud they were of their work, both in P.E. and in computer class.