Steps What to do Example
Step 1: Find collaborating classes (see "SOW Project Teacher Workgroup" for one place to do this work). You can collaborate with classes and teachers across the hall, or across the world. Do this as a first step, though it's certainly OK to add classes after you're set up. Joe Teacher at Maxwell has used the discussion forum in the "SOW Project Teacher Workgroup" to recruit Jane Doe and several other teachers at several schools.
Step 2: Select a topic. The topic can be anything, but should be broad enough that students can self-sort themselves into sub-topics. Joe and Jane decided on a general umbrella of "student disabilities."
Step 3: Decide on an assignment submission format. If this will be embedded in the Common Core Standards for writing, select the writing Standard you want student submissions to match. Student submissions can be individual or group, and can be any media -- online writing, video, presentation, sound, or anything else  -- at the teacher's discretion. Student submissions will be in the form of narratives, in keeping with Standard W.5.3. "...Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, descriptive details, and clear event sequences..." Jane and Joe have decided that the lesson submissions will be in a medium of the student's choosing, including those supported by tools the students themselves own (but may not be available in the classroom). All submissions will be individual.
Step 4: Request a Fayette's iNetwork Project Group Space. That group will carry your topic name, and will serve as the central location for the project. You and the other teachers in your project will administer the group space. A total of four classroom teachers have joined the project, so Jane and Joe have two other group space administrators. They've decided to call the group space "Writing About Student Disabilities Workgroup."
Student Work 1) Setting the Stage  (see "The SOW Project Framework")
Step 5: Construct Your Space

Your Group Space will have at least two student forums: 

  1. "Expectations for Behavior" will be where students decide how they will act online during the project. The students will construct a "Page" which lists these expectations.
  2. "The Subtopics" -- students will start topics in this forum which constitute possible subtopics of the overall group topic, and fine-tune them through discussion.

Teachers can also construct pages of links to websites and documents to help with the student's research.

Jane and Joe have constructed the two forums, and have gently nudged the students along in both, intervening only when there's conflict, or when students have stagnated. The "Subtopics" forum asks specifically for types of disabilities, such as "hearing impaired" or "ADHD." Jane and Joe have also constructed a group page with lists of links to sites and documents which the students are free to use, though not exclusively. They also intend to encourage students (as is a part of the Standard they selected) to interview students with disabilities to help with their work. They have constructed a rubric, and submitted it to students to guide their product.
Student Work 2): Constructing the Project Subgroups
Step 6: Identify Student Leaders, and build Subgroup Spaces. Using the discussion in Step 5, teachers decide how many subtopics they want to allow, and may create ones they know are missing. Subgroup spaces on each subtopic are then constructed with student leaders, and students are allowed to choose which subgroup they'd like to join. From the discussion, Jane and Joe identified 15 disabilities. There are 100 students participating in the project so they instructed their student leaders to approve up to 7 group members.
Student Work 3): The Writing Process
Step 7: Students Work In Their Subgroups. The students can upload and share documents, and engage in forum discussions as the explore their subtopic. Individual students can produce "rough drafts" and submit them to their subgroup for comments and suggestions from their peers. Joe and Jane have added a "Questions" forum to the main Group Space, and monitor it to answer questions students might have about their project. They supply Flip camcorders to those students who have decided to use that format, and encourage the groups to submit resources and ideas for other subgroups to see.
Step 8: Students Submit Their Final Work Using personal "Pages," the students deliver their final project submissions to the original group, and teachers assess the results. Since the submission process is all electronic, Jane and Joe are able to watch/listen to/read any medium from the list of pages students submitted to the group from anywhere. They grade the submissions using the rubric.
Step 9: Student Work is Published Using one of the designated publishing platforms, teachers select and publish student work publicly. Jane and Joe have decided to publish their student's work through a public Fayette's iSchool page, with links to it from their school website.

Last modified: Tuesday, 5 June 2012, 12:03 AM
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