Effective Projects Case Study
Finding Your Family Heritage at Hampton School District
is a story about a project that started 11/1/2006.
For more information, please contact: Lori Cotter
Students learned to integrate social studies and language
arts by using technology to present the history and background of their
families, based on the study of immigration. Students researched their family
name history and photos thorugh primary source documents, internet access and
library studies. Students then presented thier findings in a power point
presentation that included scanned family photos, digital representations of
family histories, ethnic backgrounds, immigration research related to their
own personal histories, relations to famous relatives and graphs that
indicated the class ethnic background.
Funding: This project was supported by $500 from NCLB
Title II-D (Educational Technology) and $45 in local funds. The project illustrates how federal funding
supports “Technology literacy for all students
- Implementing systemic changes through robust curriculum integration with
technology (includes student work with digital tools, distance learning courses,
etc.).” The project addressed the following grades and content
EngLangArts Math SocSt
Hampton Academy is
a public school set in a rural town. We are continuously renewing our technology
applications and ability to accomodate a vast array of technology experience
to our 550 students at the middle school level. We would like to say we are
proactive in the field of technology implementation and continue to bring
this into the classroom on a daily basis.
The plot: During the planning stages, it was necessary to find
the time to work with team members to accomodate larege amounts of class time
for computer access and research time. The one classroom lab and mobile lab
had to be coordinated with other teachers in the building. This is not an
easy feat. A rubric had to be made clear and concise with timelines required
of our students. The biggest
implementation challenge was providing students time to bring in and complete
their research of information on their family. Some needed to connect with
family members and find old photos and documents. A project such as this was
successful over a holiday break where studetns could confer with many
relatives. Absences and lost information hindered our ability to use
deadlines, as well as snow days and testing days. We learned to allot larger
periods of time for some essential research and gave more time after school
for make-up sessions.
The teachers: 6
teachers were directly involved. Our six member
team in the 8th grade was responsible for some role in this project. The math
teacher assumed the teaching of Excel graphing, the science teacher asssited
with some parts of immigration research and valuable computer time. The
social studies teacher provided historical background and evidence on
immigration, research on the influence of various ethnic groups and support
in the scanning of primary source documents. The academic support teachers
assisted with digitial photography set up as did the computer teacher. The
language arts teacher reinforced the above, powerpoint text construction,
word documents, spell check, grammatical help, internet research sites and
works cited pages.
students: Students were amazed
at their final product. They had a history of their family that they could
place into their digital portfolios for ICT purposes and a “gift” to give to
a family member as a digital history of the family. As we move towards more
technological lifestyles, we find that our history, primary documents, and
primary sources are entering the digital stage of preservation.
Evaluating the final projects per the rubric,
we collected information on the style of presentations, the difference in
creativity, the processing of information and the extent to which the
research played a key role.
The difference: The
outcome was measured per the rubric assessment piece in two parts. One gain
was with the ability to form each slide in the power point with required
information in a creative/informative manner, and two, the actual oral
presentation.All was measured by the final presentation to the class. A key component was to make sure that students had a
good foundation of technical skill at presenting a power point. They needed
to know how to scan, how to present historical information, how to make a
works cited page, how to use Excel, how to insert digital photography and
images, how to use text information. We found that a huge impact on the
students was just being able to make a presentation orally!
conditions: The essential conditions to
making this project successful is computer lab/mobile lab access when needed,
timely researching techniques, availability of student historical information
and/or research and a good team of teachers that work together to make this
project happen, even after hours!
for the future: We might
consider advancing our students, if power points were more readily taught on
the lower levels, to a Windows Media or Moviemaker presentation. We are
constantly changing and upgrading our expectations to the advanced abilities
of our students. As teachers, we find
that we change our rubric every year, to accommodate new information, new
styles of research, our students abilities and what we look for in a terrific
Recommendations: Please feel free to contact us as we can give some
good insight on how to implement as a team initiative.
our story: Yes. We shared this last year at
a staff meeting with our building principal, colleagues and staff. We had a
brief write up in the local paper about this activity and we shared the
actual presentations with parents.
to share: We will include a copy of the power point presentation
shown to our staff on our Hampton Academy Web site under teams, 8 white.