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Showing Marybeth McCormick

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K-2 | Reading & Language Arts | Digital Storytelling

Station WSIU in Illinois

My Classroom Innovation

Throughout the year, our second grade class has been working on collaboration. My goal is for my students to work with their team pods to express their own ideas and build upon others’ ideas through the use of literature and digital media.

We have been exploring a story titled, Lemonade for Sale. The children in the story have to work together to generate ideas to make money to rebuild their
clubhouse. My students and I discussed the story and how collaboration amongst the kids led to their success.

After having read and discussed the story, my students viewed the first part of a video on our Smart Board from the PBS Learning Media site called, How Do You Keep Lemonade Cool? (
The children in this video must collaborate with each other to design and build a lemonade stand. My students “turned and talked” with their team pods while making connections between the video and book. Their discussions led to a team vote via iPads concerning the outcome of the video. The results were sent wirelessly to my iPad. We watched the rest of the video to see how their predictions lined up with the results in the PBS video.

With their team pods, my students worked cooperatively to design a lemonade stand. They had to:
•decide how to keep the lemonade cool on a hot day
•pick a location for the most exposure
•pick a price that would create revenue

After designing their lemonade stands, my team pods placed their creations under our document camera and presented them to the class. The students in the audience were able to make comments and ask questions. At the conclusion of the lesson, lemonade was enjoyed by all!

How Students were Engaged

Collaboration is extremely important in student engagement. In this lesson, they connected the concrete words in the literature book to the children in the digital media while collaborating amongst their peers. I have found the more connections their brains make, the more enhancing the learning experience becomes. Due to the use of various forms of technology and the hands on/minds on engagement of my students, they stayed on task and were full participants the entire time!

Utilizing combinations of digital media, other technology, collaboration, and literature in this lesson, as well as others, has increased my students’ willingness and ability to learn in numerous ways. The story came alive for my children; therefore, it increased their reading comprehension for this story. Now they are eager to explore more literature in similar ways. In addition, this experience has enhanced their ability to communicate with their team pods, as well as the class as a whole. Viewing the video footage I took has made them more aware of their presence in the classroom and their ability to teach their peers. This has improved their self-esteem dramatically. Not only have I seen activities such as this one challenge my students academically, they have increased social abilities and verbal skills as well.

I am very pleased with how this lesson turned out. They were able to move seamlessly from the literature, to viewing and interacting with the video through iPads, to designing a lemonade stand, all while communicating effectively. Most of all, I am excited to see them cooperatively collaborating and justifying their ideas in other subjects too!

PBS Program/Content Used

How Do You Keep Lemonade Cool?