Here is a class syllabus that I created using Venngage. I've created it based on an ideal vision of next year's 5th grade curriculum. I will need to modify this based on meetings with my teammates, but the infographic builder Venngage provides will make it easy to do so.
I've gone with a design that is mostly visual in order to communicate most effectively across the language barrier that exists between me and some of my students' parents. Most of them are primarily concerned with assessment ratios and curriculum, and I feel that this design clearly expresses the fundamentals of my class in an easy-to-understand way.
I'm hoping to begin having my students blog instead of writing weekly journals on paper next year, and will be doing a test run in the coming semester. Our passion projects are coming along reasonably well this year, so I"m sure I'll include them in our plan next year as well. I also intend to test run a makerspace in my class this year stocked by donations of recyclables and materials from my students' parents.
My decision to have strict copyright guidelines of creative commons or public domain only is something I really want to enforce in my class next year. Since we will be blogging for a wider audience and I want to share my students' work with the world, I feel it is important that we follow best practices and set an example for others. I'll make sure to teach lessons on digital citizenship and copyright before we get online, and will work together with my students to help them to do so.
Making this syllabus has me really excited for what's in store next year! I can't wait to put some of my new ideas into practice in my classroom!
This is a brief screencast I published on our class social media platform to show a couple of my students how to access online audio files to practice for the listening portion of our spring final examinations.
While Allen does not in this article define the 21st century literacies that students need to become fluent in, he does characterize them. Summarized briefly, he states that changes in technology result in the need for complex and different approaches to the application of existing literacies, and the creation and transformation of new literacies, as well as new social practices, skills, and approaches to cope with them.
Some of the advice he gives probably seems obvious to most teachers in the classroom today, such as integrating technology, and promoting critical thinking. However, there are some very interesting ideas presented as well that still seem fresh and often overlooked even 6 years after they were published.
1. Using online roleplay to discuss narrative and character development in an engaging and authentic way that promotes learner autonomy.
2. Redefining ‘original’ to include projects that synthesize, remix, or ‘mash-up’ preexisting content.
3. Strategic reading and active decision-making as a strategy to combat following off topic links during research.
Despite being published in 2010, Allan’s article contains ideas that are still pertinent and valuable to the modern educator. It was worth reading.
Matthew Boomhower is a mid-career educator with 18 years of classroom teaching and educational leadership experience. He is Head of Innovation & Learning at an international school in Malaysia and is a proud husband and father.