As technology continues to take the lead in today’s classrooms, Jack Abrams STEM Magnet School is staying at the forefront of it all.
A pair of fourth grade classes recently participated in a videoconferencing collaborative project facilitated by New York State Distance Learning Consortium. The initiative focused on the fourth grade social studies curriculum centered on New York.
The two participating classes led by teachers Michelle Audia, Patrice Monks and Angela Turner were asked to connect with two other fourth grade classes from other regions in the state through a four way video conference as they each represented one of four regions of New York.
Each class provided clues and information related to geography, history, economics, social/political and current events in relation to their region. “What better way to learn about the regions of New York than from the students that live here?” Principal Donna Moro asked.
The students were thrilled and excited to be part of such an experience. They worked collaboratively with peers to put together seven minute presentations, which highlighted their research and knowledge of New York State, while also displaying their creativity.
Mrs. Monks and Ms. Turner used their artistic creativity and talent to transform their classroom into historical reenactments as they created short skits, which depicted various important clues about Western New York.
Mrs. Audia’s class followed suit as they transformed into a New York City news team, where breaking historical news focusing on the metropolitan area region was “broadcast” across the globe.
“It was such a wonderful experience to be able to share our creativity and knowledge with other fourth grade classes from all over the state,” Mrs. Audia said. “It is amazing to me how far we have come with the use of technology in our classrooms. The possibilities seem endless.”
The students were enthusiastic about being asked to participate in the web conference. The youngsters accepted the challenge head on and put their knowledge of New York State to the test, guessing which region each class was presenting.
“Being able to interact with other fourth graders around New York State was fascinating to the students in our class,” Mrs. Monks said.
The STEM students felt invigorated by the conclusion of the initiative. “They loved preparing their props and practicing their speeches,” Ms. Turner said. “It was a memorable event that our students will always remember.”
“This was an experience that will surely be the first of many more,” Ms. Moro said.