River Glen School Reflection:
Originally only the eighth grade students at River Glen were going to participate in this collaborative project. They wrote their introductory poems and river poems during at poetry unit at the beginning of the school year. They then developed their Think.com web pages and learned to use PowerPoint so that they could make PowerPoint slideshows of their river poems. All these activities went well, and the students were excited about sharing their work with the students in the other classes. Using the river pictures proved effective in introducing the students to ways to write poetry about nature. At this point, however, the eighth grade students needed to start a literature unit and learning to write response to literature essays. There didn't seem to be enough time to work on writing persuasive and informational essays with that group.
Since the seventh grade RSP class was beginning a unit that included reading nonfiction articles and writing informational and persuasive essays, they then were included in the collaborative project. Their introduction to the Environmental Concerns in the Community project involved seeing the eighth graders' PowerPoint river poem presentations, viewing the BioSITE web pages that discussed what the students at Almaden Elementary were doing, and hearing about the public service announcements that the Zanker students would be producing. The students became excited about being part of the project. They read nonfiction articles on water resources, learned how to write informational essays, and then published them on Think.com web pages. The students loved having their own web pages. The students also wrote essays urging people to take action to reduce a type of pollution. They enjoyed putting these essays up on their web sites as well.
Overall, the project seemed to be very successful in motivating the students to master the skills addressed in the standards covered by this project. Having their own web pages proved especially exciting to them. Many of them worked on their web pages at home and during lunchtime at school. The students enjoyed communicating with the students at Zanker and knowing that the Zanker students would be reading what the River Glen students had written. They were really impressed that their essays were being read as part of a class activity at Almaden Elementary.
Below are some of the reflections that the students wrote:
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