Every month the gifted 6th grade students in our parish (district) are getting together to work on a collaborative project. We started this program four years ago as a way of overcoming 6th grade underachievement and to get all our students together for one purpose. In our district there are often only one or two gifted students in each grade in each school. Isolation and low motivation were hampering our oldest students. This program has also helped the students as they move on to middle school in 7th grade.
This week was our second meeting with these students. The theme for this year is Wonder. We are looking at different Wonders of the World as well as reading Wonder and thinking about other wonders such as art and oak trees. I led a technology lesson on the use of Thinglink. I opened the program and led them through step by step by making a mock Thinglink on cats. Then I showed them one I had done on the Aurora Borealis.
While many technology lessons were learned (how to link, fair use of images, and reliable sources), I don’t think the students learned much about their chosen topic. I know this because I asked my sixth graders to present their Thinglinks to the other students in our class. One student presented his Thinglink about Mt. Everest. He didn’t even know where it was located. So what was the problem?
Expectations! Ah, yes. When I introduced using the Thinglink, I did not set up expectations through a rubric. Today, I am working to solve that issue before I have my own students try Thinglink. We are beginning quarterly book talks. Thinglink would make a great site for creating a book talk.
I searched online for rubrics for Thinglink. Here is one in pdf form by Spokane Schools.
I edited another rubric using some of my own requirements. The downfall in my lesson for the 6th graders was I did not set up a content requirement ahead of time. If I’m not intentional, students will play with the app adding in link after link without ever learning anything about the topic. Here is a general RubricforThinglinkProject I created for Thinglink projects.
https://www.thinglink.com/scene/571760040139030530 (Click here to go to Thinglink on Analyzing Tone.)
Thinglink is a great app for teaching as well as for student projects. I need to teach my students about tone in literature and poetry. I found a blog post complete with images and videos to analyze. So for my lesson on tone, I linked up a Thinglink. (The content for this Thinglink was gathered from David Sebek.) You are welcome to use it, but please let me know how it goes.