Friday, August 17, 2012

Intel Education Visual Ranking Fun

How does our ranking compare to another group?
The children were fascinated by the ranking tool. 

 This week we used the theme Then and Now. I referred back to our problem solving lesson on the hunter-gatherers and we discussed inventions and discoveries. We then brainstormed some important inventions and made a list of them in a new project in Intel Education's Visual Ranking Tool. The students learned how to move the labels up and down in rank order according to their team's opinion of each invention's importance.  A few teams shared their most important invention and gave a reason why they chose it. Each team then compared their list with those of other teams. The tool gives an indication of the strength of the correlation between two lists. Correlation is a very long word for a Grade 3 child but they understood the strong and weak part. I then explained what class average means and they compared their selection to the class average.

The cool tech part of the lesson was pressing Print Screen and pasting it to a Word document. They learned how to crop the image and save it. They were then asked to type their team's reason for selecting a particular invention as the most important. I use every lesson in this series on thinking to emphasize how useful it is to become good thinkers. Although the Grade 3's are only 9 years old they have shown that they are quite capable of understanding the concepts of critical and creative thinking. I have had no problems with children being distracted or lacking concentration. They appear to enjoy "grown up" activities.

The grade 2's listened to the story of the Rainbow Fish read by Ernest Borgnine on YouTube. I had already set up a list of questions on a Google Docs form for them to complete once we had listened to the story. We only have 45 minutes for a computer lab lesson so it's a bit rushed for the children who work slowly - especially with typing, but I wanted them to have the opportunity to answer various types of questions, including open questions. It was quite successful although the spelling and punctuation part didn't go so well. Using a Google form is a new experience for them and for me. If I were a classroom teacher with a couple of computers in my room I would make more use of Google forms for quizzes and tests. It makes assessing so easy when everyone's response is on one spreadsheet.

Grade 1's had a great time. They held their hand against the screen and drew around it. They then turned their shape into a bird - a rooster? Well sort of... This worked better than I expected and the children enjoyed making their colourful feathered friends. 

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