Home Hopping the Web: a Project History:
Mrs. Hartford's second grade class preforming a fish schooling behavior experiment under the watchful eye of one of Mr. Schmied's seventh grade students This outline briefly explains a project in which Red Legged Frogs (Rana aurora ) were raised from egg masses to adult frogs and subsequently released into the wild.
Marie Hartford's Horace Mann Elementary, second grade class completed the project jointly with John Schmied's Kamiakin Junior High seventh grade class in the 1996/7 school year. (Both schools are within Lake Washington School District and are located about seven miles away from one another.)
The project spanned five months and included many different and exciting facets of learning including peer coaching, mentoring, electronic chat rooms, web searches, and student hands-on project development.
Mrs. Hartford and Mr. Schmied conceived, developed, and delivered this entire project. However, they received considerable technical help from Dr. Klaus Richter, King County Resource Land Section, and some good advice on electronic conferencing from Chris Gray of Lake Washington's Technology branch, and on general project development from Georgia Lindquist of Lake Washington's Staff Development branch.
Judy Johnson, principal of Horace Mann Elementary and Steve Mezich, principal of Kamiakin Junior High School were extremely supportive of this project.
This is one of a series of interactive projects Mrs. Hartford and Mr. Schmied have planned for the future.
Project Title: Hopping the Net with Red Legged Frogs
Description: This global project links two classrooms, one secondary and one elementary using frogs and their role as environmental indicators as an integrating theme. The unit involves several interlocking steps to integrate technology into every phase of the investigation. The different dimensions are:
1. Develop a continuous, structured discourse between the two classrooms via a chat room or intranet conference link. Press here to see
2. Create, understand, and maintain a healthy environment for frogs and create an interactive environment for scientific observations and questioning. Hop to it!
3. Provide guided research on the Net resulting in the identification and use of five high quality web sites involving frogs and corresponding environmental issues. Links here!
4. Conduct experiments with student mentors as leaders. See leaders and learners
5. Create and analyze a database that documents environmental parameters versus frog development. Learn how to electronically file frog data here!
6. Produce a HyperStudio stack documenting the project while using the maximum capabilities of this application. HyperStudio rubrics and stuff here!
7. Identify and develop the appropriate Washington State EALRs satisfied by this project. Jump on it!
Grade levels:Our project was originally designed for a second grade and a gifted seventh grade classroom, but could easily be adapted to any grade level where a study of amphibians is appropriate and both teachers are interested in life science and technology. A difference in ages of about five years is recommended as this age separation makes for a powerful mentoring effect for the younger students, while providing strong leadership opportunities for the older students.
This project could also be done by a single grade level with a classroom of the same age located in another part of the country. In this case we high encourage the use of parent volunteers for mentors. Use of classroom teachers as mentors is strongly discouraged for a number of reasons we discovered during the project, so that teachers can keep the big picture of the project buoyant.