This is a guest post by 3rd Grade Teacher and VoiceThreader, Traci Blazosky.
Every year, my students celebrate Major League Baseball (MLB) day. This day happens in my classroom on opening day for the Pittsburgh Pirates. The entire day is devoted to baseball related activities that all align with the Common Core. For ELA, we read a poem by Ernest L. Thayer, titled Casey at the Bat and complete a comprehension activity. In math, students complete a MLB stadium number challenge in which they solve problems involving the four operations and translate information from a chart. To test their geography skills, students are challenged to use a map of the US to locate and label the American League and National League ballparks.
My favorite activity of the day, though, is the MLB Franchise collaborative project. For this project, students must demonstrate creative thinking as they plan, design, and work to establish a new MLB franchise. The geography activity is important for this project, as it helps guide their planning. Seeing where there are no ballparks is key when pitching their idea to the MLB Commissioner. Working in small groups, students use laptops to research where they may want to locate their ballpark. They take into account the area and characteristics/features of the state. From this point, colors and mascots are chosen based on their research. Students then divide tasks, and begin the process of creating their logo. Discussion on promotions to draw a crowd take place, and then the final step is to write a persuasive letter to the MLB Commissioner in hopes of becoming the next new franchise.
When the planning and creating process is complete, it’s time to publish. Voicethread has been my go-to tool for sharing my students’ projects for the last seven years. What better way to publish work for an audience and enable students to hear feedback from others than by using Voicethread? The students uploaded their images with ease, and began recording. The process was quick and easy. Now, they wait in eager anticipation to see who the winner will be.
Voicethread allows my students to share their voice and grow as fluent readers. Recording has brought many of my most passive students out of their shell, and has boosted their self- confidence when reading for an audience.
Please check out our Voicethread below, and vote for your favorite team!
About the Author:
Traci Blazosky is a third grade teacher at Clarion Area School District. She is also an adjunct instructor for the Instructional Media graduate program at Wilkes University of PA. She is a STAR Discovery Educator, and was named a Discovery Educator Guru in “Creative Construction with Multimedia.” In 2013 she received the Academy of Arts and Sciences BAMMY Award for Elementary Classroom Teacher, and in 2009 received the PAECT Teacher of the Year award. Traci has a passion for technology and education, and loves exploring new technology for meaningful use in the classroom. You can find her on Twitter at: @kti_traci.