My name is Elyse Durham, and I want to say welcome to the conference. This feels like home to me being in Charlotte because I originally grew up in Troy about an hour from here. It’s been a while since I have been here, but Charlotte is very familiar territory for me. I am now from Cherokee County at the other end of the state touching the Tennessee and Georgia line. I work as a Media Coordinator at the only K-12 school in our county. If you aren’t familiar with Cherokee County, we are the farthest county in the state. If you’ve ever heard the saying from Murphy to Manteo, driving on Hwy. 64 then you are familiar with Cherokee County. We are set back in the middle of the mountains and valleys in a beautiful but rural area.
In this modern world where technology is running faster than any of us can imagine we have to learn to keep up with our kids. Personally I was excited this past fall to get my first I-phone. I’m still having fun playing with it, and figuring out all the clever things it can do, but I can guarantee there are already kids in my school that have the new I-phone 5! Technology is coming at us all at a rapid rate. My five year old, who does not have an I-pad yet by our own parental choice, talks about his stuffed animals shopping online. Some of us can probably remember when teachers actually wrote on a chalkboard and took notes in a notebook. But in this fast paced world we live in we have to become just as tech savvy as our students. I want everyone to picture in your mind your classroom of students right now. Do you have the image? Now think about one, maybe two, or even three that when you give a class assignment they are always the first to get done. Everything is correct and precise, then their response is, “I’m finished, what do I do now?” So many of us have told them to take out a book to read and wait quietly while the others finish. Or we might have a few fillers now and then, but it gets hard to find fillers. You run out of ideas to give the “gifted” or brighter students in your rooms.
Cherokee County began brainstorming ideas for our gifted program because as you know this was an area that was cut state wide. We decided within our county we were going to take in house our entire online program for our high school because of the cost of North Carolina Virtual. Along with it we decided to pilot two Enrichment courses for our gifted or advanced students. Our catch for doing this was we were given three weeks to have our courses ready to go. The second week of August last year, we were given a one week Moodle “Boot Camp” to learn moodle and how to design and then have a full course ready to run at the start of school. Being a former second grade teacher that taught Ancient Greece for ten years I decided mine would be on Greece and be around the book The Lightning Thief.
It was not limited to simply AG students. We did an all call and put it out there for parents to make the decision that they wanted something else to challenge their children in the classroom. It was on a first come first serve basis for the first 20 students enrolled. I sent out emails to all of the principals, 5th grade teachers, and librarians, and told them to encourage their students they knew would enjoy the class and be successful and see if they would be interested.
The greatest challenge with working with 5th graders was this was truly their first online experience. It did take a good week to give them a kick start to get going in the class. Even though I thought I had set the class up to be click here, then here, they were overwhelmed by many things. The media specialist was there to support and guide them in each school. After about a week of adjustments we got into our groove.
The course is broken down into 8 weeks. What I currently have up on the site is the second time the class was taught when it was offered to sixth graders in the spring. This time went much smoother because they were more competent in their computer skills. I think I also felt more confident in teaching the class. Each week I provided an overview to let them know their expectations and give them a time table for the week. I tried to provide activities that would go along with Ancient Greek culture and then tie in well with the book as we were reading. Some favorite activities were: introducing our name in Greek, Walk the Map, Greek God Powerpoints, Medusa’s Obituary, and my personal favorite– the Modern Trading card. From the trading card you are really able to see their growth and development in their conversation and questions with each other they ask of each other.
In my future I hope to be teaching more online. Are there any questions?
The Lightning Thief
Online Moodle CourseTo Enrich Students Minds and Inspire them to Learn!
What do you do for the gifted student who finishes first?
Pilot two online courses for our advanced students The Lightning Thief/Ancient Greece
The course was opened in September to fifth graders throughout the county.The course was limited to 20 students.
The first class with fifth grade ended up having around 4-5 students from each school. This was helpful because the students were able to ask one another questions.
RL. 6.3- Describe how a particular story’s plot unfolds in a series of episodes as well as how the character responds or change as the plot moves toward a resolution. W.6.3- Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using technique, relevant descriptive details, and well structured event sequences. W.6.7- Conduct short research projects to answer a question, drawing on several sources and refocusing the inquiry when appropriate.
SL.6.1- Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions on grade level topics, texts, and issues building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly. SL.6.1(C)- Pose and respond to specific questions with elaboration and detail by making comments that contribute to the topic, text, or issue under discussion
Let’s take a look at the course. The Lightning Thief
My other course I have designed and am teaching is The Hunger Games for upper Middle School Contact for Information: Elyse Durham: email@example.com