If you had students keep track of the impact funds, we could make charts and graphs that students could read. We could do a "Math in real life" lesson where students need to find a job, apartment, vehicle, and calculate the cost of living. Students could create a page with their location on a map, a picture of their vehicle, and a budget spread sheet.
There are many ways that a student website can be used in conjunction with Social Studies. Even the study of the internet fits in with Social Studies. Any use of technology in the classroom is a form of application of your studies. Anytime a student actively creates something, they are first off engaged, but better yet responsible for their own learning. These students are taking charge of their creative genius and becoming better students.
You could use them as a kind of portfolio for their work. (i.e., have different pages for different kinds writing, projects, subjects, etc.)
An authentic way for students to design websites during class is to first brainstorm their ideas during class time on topics that they need help on. For instance, the majority of my students are having trouble simplifying expressions. I have students write out step by step instructions that they have taken to simplify expressions. From there, students are able to see the many different ways to simplify expressions because there are many ways to solve/simplify an expression. The website can be used more as a tutorial for other students who are having difficulties with whatever topic we are learning in class.
Family and Consumer Sciences is a class that covers broad topics. As students create websites and blogs they have the opportunity to explore the topics we cover in class. For example my students could pick one of the topics, sewing/fashion, and focus their website on it. They would be able to do clothing forecasts, trends, sewing projects, or more information or ideas regarding sewing and fashion.
Using websites and blogs in Language Arts would be useful. As students are working through the writing process their drafts could be posted for peer feedback and editing suggestions. It would provide opportunities for brainstorming and comments. Students could also use the websites as a way to share short stories, poems and books they are reading. Book clubs or reading groups could be formed and ideas could be shared via postings.
I love these ideas. I think Brown and I will definately collaborate on a student-created website regarding personal finance.
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