Kelli Grabowski, 10th Grade Earth Science teacher, and Beth McIntyre, 10th Grade ELA, collaborate all year-round as part of a 10th grade team at Cattaraugus-Little Valley Central School. Kelli states that their team is very cross-curricular, especially where it concerns literacy, research, and academic vocabulary skills. Engaging in concept-teaching is a specialty of Kelli’s and Beth’s while facilitating both Earth Science and ELA. This summer they collaborated further to work on their online, blended learning Moodle coursesfor one full day and to learn about using Mahara – an electronic portfolio system that integrates with Moodle.
Kelli and Beth work hard at understanding students and their needs to use modern learning management systems that deliver instruction. They feel the students will be more engaged if learning in the style they are most accustomed to – online. Moodle and Mahara fulfill this need for students. Kelli and Beth embed rich resources into the online portion of the class with video clips and discussion forums as well as creating a bank of questions for online quizzes.
Not only will students be able to work at their own pace and access information 24-hours-a-day, they will also experience the reality of an online class that they will almost assuredly face again in college. Links within Moodle to classroom blogs, wikis, and other online tools are also easily placed into the Moodle classroom by the teacher. Linking to other technology-based resources in this way, students will polish other college and career-readiness skills.
By Maggie Jensen, CA BOCES Learning Resources