Melissa’s article…Layers of Meaning
The article I read was about 4th grade students with special needs learning about the world’s rainforests. The teachers use a variety of technologies, i.e., internet, handhelds, traditional textbooks, etc. The purpose of the handhelds are to enable the students to take notes immediately on what they have read or what they have learned. They are then synced onto a PC where they are turned into electronic presentations. A picture of the student working is included with his/her presentation. In June, the students share their reports with the entire school.
The teachers like this unit because it helps to mainstream their students, as well as showing them that everyone is important and smart. The students started to recycle paper so they could save the trees.
I picked this article because in our reading series we have a story entitled, “The Great Kapok Tree.” The story is about a man who is going to chop down a tree and falls asleep. While he is asleep all of the animals of the rainforest tell him why he should not cut the tree. My third grade students become obsessed with finding as much information as possible on the rainforest. Using the handhelds and various other technologies the students would write a research paper for a science grade without even realizing it.