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BARRY RICHARD BARBER
K-2 | Health & Fitness | Video Production
Station WUNC in North Carolina
My Classroom Innovation
The PBS resource, Fizzy’s Lunch Lab, was essential in creating an active, hands on learning environment where students enjoyed learning cooperatively. Before deciding to use Fizzy’s Lunch Lab, I first considered the learning goals, activities, and assessments the learning experience would include. This PBS resource was chosen to enhance the lesson and incorporate technology to support instruction. First, I used a Lunch Lab Live! With Professor Fizzy video clip from the PBS KIDS GO! website to immediately stimulate student interest and establish a focus for instruction. This entertaining video clip not only presented and reviewed key vocabulary, information, and concepts, but it prepared my students with the knowledge they would use as participants in the subsequent whole group discussion and scaffolding activities using our interactive whiteboard. Next, students worked in cooperative pairs and small groups to use the information to write their own lyrics to a song promoting good nutrition and physical activity. Lyrics completed, we moved to the computer lab where students accessed the Fizzy’s Lunch Lab website. The variety of educational games available on the site accommodated the individual needs and interests of each student. While students explored the site, I recorded the small groups singing their song in front of a green screen; these clips would be used later to create a music video staring the students. Finally, the students exercised along with characters on the website; this combination of physical activity and technology was innovative and very successful. As evidenced in the video, the enjoyment of students engaged in this activity was remarkably contagious. Soon, the entire class was exercising together and having fun. This whole group activity was the perfect complement to a lesson on nutrition and healthy habits, and many students remarked that dancing with Professor Fizzy was their favorite part of the class.
How Students were Engaged
The lesson incorporating the PBS resource Fizzy’s Lunch Lab engaged my students on various levels and in several important ways. The video clip was shown during the initial stage of the lesson to pique student interest, assist students in the process of accessing prior knowledge, and provide information vital for participation in subsequent activities. Following the video clip, students demonstrated practical application of the knowledge by successfully contributing to a whole group discussion and participating in a variety of activities featuring our interactive whiteboard. The level of achievement demonstrated by the students during these activities was evidence of gains in student learning. Students also displayed practical application of knowledge to a new situation when they worked cooperatively in small groups to write original lyrics based on the presented material. As shown in the video, the students were very engaged during this segment. Because the PBS resource had provided key content knowledge, each student was able to contribute with confidence; this activity gave students the opportunity to practice important 21st century skills: critical thinking, communication, collaboration, and creativity. The next segment of the lesson took place in the computer lab. While small groups were performing their song for the camera, the other students were engaged by the variety of instructional games and activities available from Fizzy’s Lunch Lab on the PBS KIDS GO! website. After the taping was completed, students discovered Mixie’s Boogie Buffet. The level of student engagement this activity brings about is dramatically demonstrated in the video: soon every student is up and moving along with the exercising characters from the website. Overall, the lesson using the PBS resource was very successful: the students were highly engaged, they demonstrated authentic gains in learning, and they were able to apply knowledge in a new situation incorporating valuable 21st century skills.
PBS Program/Content Used
Fizzy's Lunch Lab