Who We Are

We are a collaborative learning community of elementary educators and administrators, committed to finding innovative ways to educate every child using iPad technology. Our program is led by Frances Newsom-Lang, Social Studies/Technology teacher and Instructional Technology Specialist who works directly with students in Kindergarten through Fifth grade. She continues to be part of a collaborative learning community of Instructional Technology Specialists, established through the Office of Educational Technology (Queens), NYC Department of Education, under the Title IID, Enhancing Education Through Technology Grant Programs (2009 - 2013). She brings these years of training to our students.

Our collaborative team of educators explores Social Studies instruction using Project-Based Learning protocols through iPad technology. We adhere to the New York State Social Studies Scope & Sequence, incorporating Common Core Learning Standards into instruction. Mrs. Newsom-Lang has worked with the NYCDoE's Gifted & Talented/Social Studies Department to write SS curriculum that will be used by all New York City schools in grades K-12 in September 2016. Her work there is brought back into our school to continually enhance our work.

Our Students

Every student, including Kindergartners, Special Education students and English Language Learners, work directly on an iPad, learning how to use the device through touch. Our program is visual, tactile and auditory, specifically designed to reach all learners through multiple modalities. It is logically sequenced, incorporating the Aussie Method of Instruction (I Do/You Do/We Do It Together). No child is ever left behind.

We Can
Our students develop technology skills that allow them to take a photograph with an ipad, crop it, enhance it, save it, send it by email and use it in an app. They can fully utilize the functionality of an app, taking an image from the camera roll, adding text and recording their voices. They can access the Internet, research a topic, take notes with a pencil and incorporate their writing directly into an app, which they then record. They can move between apps, using they work in one to create something much more complex in another.

We Work Together
Our students collaborate, working in small groups, giving directions to each other and sharing their work. We move around the room, going to the SMARTBoard if we need to see detail. If you entered our classroom, you'd see that the overhead lights have been dimmed, with bright light coming from our SMARTBoard and a soft, rose glow coming from our teacher's stained glass lamp on her desk. You'd notice the light coming from each ipad, held in the hand of a student. You'd hear a low level of conversation, coming from each desk of four students. We respect each other's right to work, so we are careful not to disturb each other unnecessarily. We are excited to be using our iPads, but we are also very serious about our work. We want to do our best. We are proudly engaged in our work.

We Explore
Our students explore Social Studies with a passion. We learn to read and write by digging deeply into history. We look at physical objects, primary source documents, online images, even diaries and books of the lives of people who lived before us. We write about what we've discovered, create a digital product like an Educreations video or a Storykit essay on our iPads, then publish to the world on our wikispace.

We Dig Deeper
Our upper grade students look deeply into our American History, beginning with the Migration over the Land Bridge, the development of Native American tribes especially in New York State, the uniqueness of New Amsterdam and its impact on New York City, the origins and impact of the French and Indian War, the causes and results of our Revolutionary War, the development of the Industrial Age, the causes and impact of Child Labor, the development of our neighbor, Canada, and the ongoing impact of Immigration. Our theme throughout our study is "People". Our curiosity is boundless.

We Are 21st Century Learners
We live in two worlds. One is tactile, based on paper, pencil, books and all the physical objects that enhance our lives. Our other word is digital, multimedia, multi-sensory and paperless. Our iPads give us access into this digital world. It is the adult world we will inherit.

Our 21st Century Skills
We work to develop four 21st Century skills that mandatory for our academic, social and economic success as adults in the 21st Century.
These skills are:

Communication
    • The ability to impart and exchange information through reflection with oneself, dialogue with another and conversation with others using both speech and the written word. We must think, write, discuss, argue and present our thoughts so we can grow.
    • To develop our ability to express our thoughts in a clear, articulate, grammatically correct manner.
    • To develop our ability to listen, process, understand, reiterate and affirm the thoughts of others.
    • To develop our ability to present our ideas to a group with accuracy and confidence.
Collaboration
    • The ability to establish trust with another person or group so that we can jointly create something.
    • To develop our ability to trust others with our thoughts, knowing they will be received and treated with respect.
    • To develop our ability to work closely with others
    • To develop our ability to understand others and assist them to grow
    • To learn to work together efficiently and supportively to achieve a common goal
    • To learn to take pride in the accomplishments of the team
Critical Thinking
    • The ability to reflectively decide what is true, partially true or false; the ability to tackle a problem, break it down into its component parts and reach a solution
    • To develop a healthy skepticism that looks deeper at an issue to reach our own understanding.
    • To learn to dissect non-fiction text, seeking understanding not just of the main idea and key details, but the overall meaning of the work.
    • To develop our ability to look closely at the source of data to determine its validity.
    • To critically determine key facts and assemble them into a concise reflection of my own understanding.
Creativity
    • The ability to use our imagination and original ideas to product something uniquely our own.
    • To create evidence of our own understanding in a medium that we choose.
    • To have FUN expressing ourselves.

We Publish to Our Community

We publish evidence of our students' learning on the school wikispace, http://ps79q.wikispaces.com. These student-created products are listed on the left of the wikispace page, under "Student Work" by grade. The most recent products are listed at the top of the page, allowing us to see growth over time. Parents are encouraged to check the wikispace often to learn to their child's voice explaining what has been learned. Grandparents and relatives in other countries can also access student work via the wikispace address. Our students are proud of their work and want everyone to share in their success!

iPads Rule!


Frances Newsom-Lang

Social Studies/Technology
fnewsom-lang@schools.nyc.gov
June 2016