Project 3: En Forme au Canada
In an effort to complete a "virtual run" across Canada, participants are invited to run, walk or roll (in wheelchair). Each week, participants will send their distances to our class to be added to the grand total. This distance will be traced on a map of Canada on a Web page along with a table to keep track of the contributions of the participants. As we travel across Canada, my class will send messages to the other participants identifying the larger centres through which we pass. The students in my class will also be responsible for a research project on the provinces and territories, which will also be posted on line.
Other participants are encouraged, as well, to share information about their school and their community, their progress, how they incorporate their running activities into their day, the weather and so on.
The main curriculum area exploited in this project is Social Studies; in the grade six program in Newfoundland, Canada is the focus of study. There are obvious implications for integrating other areas of the curriculum.
Physical Education and Health are evidently involved since we are trying to incorporate physical activity into our daily routine. Our class has also studied the effects of exercise and the fact that Canada's youth are not active enough. We have shared information to that effect in our project Web pages.
Skills involved in reading maps, distance charts and graphs carry over into the area of mathematics, as do the calculations that we make to tabulate our distances.
In the area of Language Arts, communication skills are continually being developed through the various writing activities and exchanges with the other classes. As well as the individual research projects that my students will carry out, the children have produced other pieces of writing which we have shared with the other participants and posted on line. Such on line activity provides my students with meaningful contexts in which to use and develop their second language skills.
In terms of their use of technology, the students have and will continue to use word processors to compose their work, which is then to be edited into HTML format for those things which are posted online, or sent via communications software in the case of our regular exchanges with the other participants. Browsing using Netscape is a source of finding valuable, up-to-date information for our research projects.
Up until now, we have been depending on my own Stem~Net account to carry on this and other activity on line. At the beginning of the school year, I made plans to incorporate such activities in my class because over the past couple of years, Susie accounts had been available for such class projects. It was well into the year before it became apparent that such an account would not be available to this year's students. Thus they had been participating in and contributing to various on line activities, but the time constraints imposed by my limit of 10 hours meant that they often did not even see their work after it had been posted.
The STELLAR Schools Internet connection will provide us with the access that we need to carry on this very valuable activity. Having our own class account will also eliminate the inconvenience of having to transport files from my home computer via disk or resend them to be received at school, which is the case now. As well, as already indicated, 10 hours of connect time severely limits our activity.
Evaluation will take several forms, varying from observation of the ability to perform a desired activity to formal grading of a research paper. Evaluation will be based on the following outcomes: