Saint Anastasia School

Team Members: Brad Kohlhepp (team leader), Carolyn Brown, Judy Dunn, Diana Frosch, Ky Mc Nichol, Nicole Nolan, Terri Woodruff

Community: Archdiocese of Philadelphia Year 2, 2010-2011

Grade: Cross-grade and cross-curriculum: Math (5th and 7th), Social Studies (4th and 5th), ILA (4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th), Art & Technology (4th, 5th, 7th, and 8th).

SAS Fairytale Newscast from Brad Kohlhepp on Vimeo.

As we designed our unit focusing on project based learning we developed a project around the core principles defined by edutopia.com. “Project based learning is a dynamic approach to teaching in which students explore real-world problems and challenges, simultaneously developing cross-curriculum skills while working in small collaborative groups. In addition, students develop confidence and self-direction as they move through both team-based and independent work. They quickly see how academic work can connect to real-life issues — and may even be inspired to pursue a career or engage in activism that relates to the project they developed.” As a team our goal was to incorporate these beliefs into our project. We felt that our project would allow students to develop important interpersonal skills they can use in the future.
Our broad goal was to create a newscast that meets the following criteria: cross-curriculum and cross-grade. Our final project is a cohesive newscast that uses the curriculum to investigate real world situations. The students incorporate the following skills: both written and oral communication with peers and adults, organization and research skills, integration of technology into the curriculum, development and understanding for project based learning, and artistic expression.
Each teacher created their own rubric based on their expectations and curriculum guidelines to assess their own students’ performance. News Story Project Sample (.doc) News Story Rubric

– ILA /8th grade-create news stories based on what happened after the fairy tales or from another character’s point of view (have fairytales take place in specific areas of the United States)

– Social Studies/5th grade- Students will use their knowledge of where natural disaster occur to present a weather forecast.

– Math/7th grade & 5th grade-Students will incorporate comparisons based on their knowledge of percents, money, and idea of the “better deal.” (Consumer Math)

– Math/5th grade & 7th grade-Students will incorporate consumer math, addition and subtraction, speed/ distance, make comparisons, to support the story line.

– Social Studies/4th grade-Students will incorporate the history of Pennsylvania and historical landmarks in travel/tourism stories.

We plan on introducing our project by showing a montage of students waving, to entice the viewer to “Come Take A Look” at our project.
Our culminating activity is to upload our newscast on to Vimeo. Our school’s website will then provide a link to our video for parents, students, and collegues to view.
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Sheryl is the co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Powerful Learning Practice. She works with schools and districts from around the world helping them to infuse technology into their curriculums and by leading other digital conversion efforts. Sheryl also consults with governments, educational organizations and non-profits in development of their various professional learning initiatives. Sheryl is a sought-after presenter at national and international events, speaking on topics related to digital and online learning, teacher and educational leadership, online community building, and other educational issues impacting children of poverty. Sheryl served on the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) Board of Directors for six years. She co-authored The Connected Educator: Learning and Leading in a Digital Age with Lani Ritter Hall. Sheryl has four children and four grandsons, Luke, Logan, Levi and Tanner and a trio of dachshunds. You can find out more on her blog and on Twitter @snbeach.
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