Week 3 Post

My GAME Plan is to develop a lesson to reach my students using technology and a real life situation. I wanted to create a budgeting activity to show students how to save, spend, and budget accordingly to plan an event of their own choosing. What I am learning towards now is to have my students research a way to make our school a school with enough technology to support the students comfortably on an actual budget set by the school board, but I wasn’t sure if I would have the resources to do so. I know that my students would have to be able to research what items they would need to make a new computer lab, including computers, a SMART Board with a projector, a new color printer, and software that the school desperately needs. I would also like to see my students choose between a computer that is more cost effective, but not equipped with the proper software or hardware, or spending more money on more expensive computers that may last a longer time.

To do this I believe that my students will have to research the differences between different computers. At this time in the year most of my students have had a technology class (or at least has started a technology class) with the exception of students who are pulled for BSI. I think that for this project I would need to work together with the technology teacher. Luckily, starting April 20th, I will become In-Class Support with the 5th grade technology class so this works out well. I have already discussed this project with her and we are hoping to be able to begin once I arrive as In-Class Support.

I will ask the board secretary if it is possible to get a figure of how much money in the school budget was allotted towards technology. I have also obtained catalogs that my school uses to purchase their technology so that my students are able to see how their teachers and administrators order technology. They are then also able compare and contrast prices that they are able to gather on the Internet. Students will be discouraged from using eBay as a source because prices are not set. I believe a project like this is not only important because students are able to learn a real life skill, but this could possibly be something that could have a real impact on the school. I’m hoping that my students understand the importance of research before they buy something, how shopping around to find a better price could benefit them, and hopefully the importance of money.


9 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jill Morris
    Mar 17, 2012 @ 04:05:30

    Hi Jillian! I love your idea of having students create a plan for technology on a budget. This could really be a powerful lesson. When you said you will have In-Class support, what does that mean? Will you have extra help at that time?

    Currently, I am doing a project that is somewhat similar to your budget idea. The project my students are currently doing is called The Million Dollar project. Students have to pick a theme (i.e. World travel, video game business, animal rescue center, etc.) and budget out how they would spend a $1,000,000 on that theme. Students pick at least five categories and research costs and keep data on the money they spent. They are expected to spend as close to a million dollars as possible. Then they create a chart showing how they change the amount of each category into a fraction, decimal and percent. They use this information to create a percent chart. Finally, the students bring all of this together into a project. Currently we are in the project phase and the students will share their final project this coming Thursday. I am thrilled with their work so far and the students really have loved this project, even though many found it very challenging. I am looking forward to their final presentations. I already have seen one PowerPoint. I also have students creating music, VoiceThreads, Prezis, Vokis, etc. One non-digital project is a Van shoe store by a couple of girls. They are creating a model of the floor plan of the store and a presentation. They love the choice and I love how creative they are.

    I think your project will be great. Perhaps, you may be able to have the students present to your district’s budget committee. This would be fantastic real world application that the students would never forget! Good luck on your project! You seem very well planned and I believe it will turn out great!

    -Jill Morris


    • missengelhardt
      Mar 21, 2012 @ 02:08:41

      I think your project is amazing!

      In-Class Support basically means they put a certified teacher into a class (most of the time because there are special need students in the room, this time it is just because I have finished teaching a section of basic skills instruction (BSI) before the NJASK). I am excited to work in the tech lab because I have access to the SMART Board!! Woo Hoo! I will be in there from April 20th until the end of the year. Definitely time to implement my lesson and then learn a few things about the technology that we have.

      Also I love your idea of presenting to the board! I will definitely look into that!


  2. Judy Spears
    Mar 17, 2012 @ 21:41:22

    Wow! Your plan seems to be coming together very well. I really like your idea of having the students practice their skills in a real life situation that they can relate to. I believe the school budget is public information so you should not have any problems there. It would be great to see if your students could create a plan, present it to the board and actually have their voices heard to help improve their own school. Your plan is a great way to integrate technology while learning a real life situation that they may be part of some day. Good luck with your project. I am looking corward to hearing how it turns out.

    Judy Spears


  3. seanbosley
    Mar 17, 2012 @ 22:13:50

    This is a great research project. I have a suggestion to also research the cost of building their own computer. I have had several friends that have built their own computers because it is cheaper. This would also interest those students who enjoy building and fixing things. You could also have students write to computer companies to see if there is a student discount available. This could be tied into the language arts/writing curriculum. I also think allowing students to research a variety of stores and sites for the computers is a great idea. You could almost have a contest to see which student or group could find the most inexpensive computers that meet the desired need.

    Good luck and I look forward to hearing more,
    Sean Bosley


    • missengelhardt
      Mar 21, 2012 @ 02:10:33

      What a smart idea! I definitely love having them write a grant or even creating a fundraiser. I’m sure that something like that will get parents involved and excited about bringing technology into our little school. I have also heard about asking local businesses like Best Buy if they would like to donate any materials. I love all of your suggestions! Will definitely be adding a few of yours into my plan!


  4. Nicole
    Mar 18, 2012 @ 17:51:06

    Your goal and your plan are very specific and you seem to have a great foundation for how you will achieve your goal. You certainly have a great idea for how to integrate technology into your project and your students will also be able to learn about some of the technology itself by researching cost effective vs. long last computers. Do you have any plans for you students to report or present their findings? If this is a real issue in your school, it may be great to pull together a “board” for you students to present to such as the principal, media specialist/technology teacher, etc.

    It is really great that you are going to work with the technology teacher in order to complete this project. Will the students be working in groups or individually for this project? I could see the benefit of students working in groups while researching on the computers. There are many great ways to integrate technology here and it sounds like there is a lot of learning potential for your students! Good luck!

    Nicole deMoll


    • missengelhardt
      Mar 21, 2012 @ 02:12:46

      I am going to have students choose whether they would like to work with a group or alone. I have a handful of students who are amazing on their own an actually do much better work alone. Then I have another group of students who work so much better with a group and actually add so much more to a project when they have that extra support.

      I think presenting their information to the board or administration is definitely the way to go with this project. I’m glad that everyone brought that up because it is such a great idea to get everyone involved and excited about their work. Hopefully it even pays off in the end and we can get some much needed technology in our school.


  5. Koreen Humphries
    Mar 18, 2012 @ 22:17:22

    Your plan sounds fantastic! I love the real world application and authentic nature of your activity. I think it’s great that you have already reached out to colleagues to collaborate and included administration from the school and district.

    One thought I had as a resource for funding the technology depending on what the budget allotment ends up being, is to have the the students do the research and then write a grant or hold a fundraiser to collect more funds. Students could do a persuasive writing to the school board to solicit more funding for the technology that the students have determined is necessary to support the students comfortably.

    Good luck! I am excited to hear how things go.
    Koreen Humphries


  6. missengelhardt
    Mar 21, 2012 @ 02:13:55

    I just wanted to thank everyone for participating in my blog this week! I am so sorry that I was unable to participate at the end of the week, but I had a little bit of an emergency come up.

    I love everyone’s suggestions and I am definitely excited about adding them to my GAME plan!


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