WOW Wednesday: Ardis Kamenicky, KES

Hi Ardis Kamenicky here reporting from Krause Elementary. I teach fourth grade Reading, Writing, and Social Studies. This has been an amazing year. It started out just like all the others. Big dreams of setting the world on fire and trying all kinds of unique and creative ideas. The WOW Academy got my mind spinning with all sorts of creative ways to present material to students and then having the material presented back to me. Those big dreams truly came true. This group of students took all the challenges I had and ate them up. They produced the most incredible projects I have ever seen. We started the year with a PBL in social studies. I presented them with the question "From the tribes we studied, which do you consider to be the most powerful?" That began a 6 week study of power and tribes of Texas. They used internet skills, GoAnimate, Google presentation, ToonDo, GoogleDocs and good old fashion group working skills. The presentations amazed me. We continued throughout the year with other projects. We followed the Olympic games in Sochi. We had a Symbaloo page that contained the sites needed to learn about the Olympics, Sochi and Olympic events. They had to keep a running record of the day-to-day occurence of their particular event. They then had to present their findings to the class using either Read,Write,Think cube creator or a Narrable. We have concluded the year with a novel study. They were reading and responding to the novel via GoogleDocs. They then built a Little Bird Tales summary of the book. 
I found that it really was never about the technology, (that is the cherry on top of the ice cream sundae) -- it is the cooperative learning that was going on. The students had to learn communication skills and problem solving. One time we watched Wall-E the movie to learn more about Earth Day. The students had to fill out a GoogleForm while watching the movie. Since there is only one set of Chromebooks for the two classes, they had to partner up with someone from the switch class. That was an interesting combination of working partners. It taught them to work with a variety of people. I know the students have grown as much as I have. We now depend on our computers for our day-to-day learning. THANKS WOW Academy. 
---I had big dreams and they really did come true.