Effective 1:1 Teaching or Lost on Deserted Island?

CCC boy, asleep, Bar Harbor, Mt. Desert Island, Maine
CCC boy, asleep, Bar Harbor, Mt. Desert Island, Maine

Prompt:  Assume you have your first full time teaching job and the principal tells you that you’ve been selected to pilot the  “1 to 1 Project.”  What are your thoughts about the opportunities and challenges that  presents?

I honestly felt a bit confused and scared by the “1:1” teaching with the iPads. I do a fairly decent job with technology and am not really worried about that issue. The greater challenge was seeing the class progress from an excited group of highly educated adults to adolescent teenagers taking obscure pictures of each other and searching for unrelated data within 15 minutes.

I think properly implementing the technology of “1:1” in the class room would take a real commitment on the part of the teacher. Strict guidelines and clear expectations would have to be in place as well as a focused and usable format in order to get the most out of the opportunity. It’s not just enough “use it because we have it” as far as tech. A poorly designed and poorly delivered PowerPoint/iPad presentation can bore a student’s to tears just as quickly as a standard lecture.

Image Credit:



[CCC boy, asleep, Bar Harbor, Mt. Desert Island, Maine]

Call Number

LOT 12736, no. 1320 [P&P]

Source Collection

Van Vechten, Carl, 1880-1964. American scenes

Library of Congress Catalog Number


The Dog That Started The Space Race


The Dog That Started The Space Race

By John Buckley
5th Grade

Develop Historical Skills:
Sourcing and  Contextualization

Essential Question:
What were the reasons Laika was sent into space and what impact did it have on U.S. and Soviet relations?


Laika’s Journey to Space and the Cold War
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xz-vMeAa1OI]
American News Reel from 1957


Laika’s Journey to Space and the Cold War
Historical Documents: Discus the images as a class and their author’s perspective, place in history, and motive.
John Buckley

LaikaPicture2 LaikaNewspaperRussian LaikaUSSRStamp LaikaNewspaperArticle

Laika on a Soviet Postage Stamp

Laika as a Cartoon Character Hero

New York Times Newspaper Headline

Key Vocabulary Words
(To accompany article in worksheet form.) Discuss key vocabulary words as a class before having students break up into small groups to discuss the article and discussion questions.

Cold War: intense rivalry after World War II between the Soviet Union and its satellites and the democratic countries of the Western world, under the leadership of the United States.

Space Race: The competitive nature of the nations involved in space exploration.

Arms Race: Competition between countries to achieve superiority in quantity and quality of military arms.

Euthanised: To put an animal to death to end suffering or for convenience.

Depletion: The reduction in the number or quantity of something.

R–7 Sustainer: A key part of the Soviet Rocket.

ICBM: Intercontinental-Ballistic Missile, a rocket or missile type of missile that can fly from one continent to another
Laika’s Journey to Space
*Give Students worksheet below to read and discuss in small groups.

“Laika 1954 – November 3, 1957) was a Soviet space dog who became one of the first animals in space, and the first animal to orbit the Earth. Laika, a stray dog from the streets of Moscow, was selected to be the occupant of the Soviet spacecraft Sputnik 2 that was launched into outer space on November 3, 1957.
Little was known about the impact of spaceflight on living creatures at the time of Laika’s mission, and the technology to de-orbit had not yet been developed, therefore Laika’s survival was not expected. Some scientists believed humans would be unable to survive the launch or the conditions of outer space, so engineers viewed flights by animals as a necessary precursor to human missions. The experiment aimed to prove that a living passenger could survive being launched into orbit and endure weightlessness, paving the way for human spaceflight and providing scientists with some of the first data on how living organisms react to spaceflight environments.
Laika died within hours from overheating, possibly caused by a failure of the central R-7 sustainer to separate from the payload. The true cause and time of her death were not made public until 2002; instead, it was widely reported that she died when her oxygen ran out on day six or, as the Soviet government initially claimed, she was euthanized prior to oxygen depletion.”
First Animals in Space

Discussion Questions
Scaffolding questions for students to use with documents:
1. Who made the video? When? And why?
2. Why did the Soviet Union want to send animals into space?
3. Was the United States alarmed about this event? And if so, why?
4. Did the event cause any fear or anxiety in United States? If yes, why?
5. If you were the Country’s leader, would you have sent Laika into space?
6. Did this event increase or decrease tensions in the Cold War between the U.S. and the Soviet Union?
Brief description of how the documents and scaffolding questions should reinforce the targeted historic skill(s)

This will allow students to discuss and grasp the background, context, and motivation of all parties involved. It will help students further understand the scope of historical events in proper framework.

Reflection:  As it relates to the SHEG lesson model, with this lesson I tried to focus on sourcing and  contextualization in the lesson design process. The challenges  I faced in preparing this lesson plan were making sure that the education piece is placed properly in the educational process. Meaning: The children would need some preparation work before hand concerning Space Exploration, Cold War, etc. etc. I do think it provides the opportunity to help intorduce 5th graders to not just a dog, but an opportunity to look “behind the curtain” of politics and world events and realize they are never exactly what they seem to be. Teaching historical thinking skills and critical analysis is essential in proper educational formation as they move towards adulthood.

Mad Scientist 101: Introducing The Scientific Method to 5th Graders


Mad Scientists at Work

The following lesson plan introduces the scientific method to 5th graders for the first time. I took the approach asking the kids, “who wants to be a doctor, nurse, teacher, scientist, astronaut” etc? This then led to a discussion about challenges we all face in life, no matter what career field or background we come from. All these career fields, and a host of others, use problem solving skills, research, and testing; also known as the Scientific Method to help them solve every day challenges. Included are the 2 handouts I used in bringing this lesson to life.

Candidate: John Buckley Catholic School, Portland, OR
Class/Topic: Science: Introducing the Scientific Method Time: 1:20-2:00
Grade Level: 5th Grade Date: 9/18/2015

A. This central focus of the learning segment is introduce students to the Scientific Method and its’ key areas.
B. The essential skills and/or knowledge to be developed in the learning segment are to identify steps in the Scientific Method and apply it in a scenario.

National and State Standards:
Scientific Inquiry 5.3 ODE
5.3S.1 ODE
5.3S.2 ODE

-Identify and discuss key aspects of the Scientific Method today (5.3 ODE)
-Explore key vocabulary words related to the Scientific Method.
-Write data results related to their in-class experiment scenario. (5.3S.2 ODE)

-Analyze data and results in a group setting and discussion. (5.3S.1 ODE)

A. Requisite skills(s) needed to develop this strategy are.
B. This lesson builds on previous lesson
C. Students make connections between skills by
D. This lesson scaffolds student learning toward the next lesson in the learning segment by

Literacy Integration:
A. The language function addressed in the segment as a whole is
B. Key Concepts/ Vocabulary terms are: hypothesis, experiment, data, and conclusion
C. Other Academic Language that is important in the entire segment is

Formal/Informal Assessment:
Informal Assessment: Ask kids what they think Scientific Method is?
-(Have student scribe write answers on board)

Modifications/Accommodations/Differentiation: Have students work in pairs to assist those with poor reading skills/language comprehension. Will also help build collaboration and teamwork among students in a scientific setting.

Instructional Resources and Materials:
1. Scientific Method Worksheet,
2. Mike’s Bad Breath Worksheet
3. Use of Overhead for Scientific Method Worksheet

Instructional Strategies:
-Opening Prayer
-Introduce Vocabulary words: hypothesis, experiment, data, and conclusion. Have new scribe write vocabulary on board and record the students’ guesses. Give sticky note with vocabulary words to scribe.
-Have student hand out Steps of the Scientific Method Worksheet.
-Compare their vocabulary guesses to the worksheet/discuss differences and similarities. Have scribe update definition on board as needed.

-Have students pair up with a neighbor
-Have student hand out Mike’s Bad Breath worksheet
-Read and Discuss Mike’s Bad Breath Scenario
-Have student pairs complete the worksheets. Walk around classroom and be available for questions and guidance.

1:50-2:00 PM
-Discuss worksheet, answer any student questions
-Review key aspects of Scientific Method in question/answer and funny scenario/role play
-Have students put worksheets away and clean their area

Next Step:
SWBAT discuss key aspects of the Scientific Method and apply the basic principles in small groups while working through worksheet experiment.

Reflection: I did teach this lesson 2 weeks ago and it went over very well. Having lots of interaction as far as assessment vocabulary words to measure where the kids were on the subject matter, and also having a great deal of questions and answers and learning feedback helped out tremendously. Both worksheets were effective though next time I teach the lesson I would spend more time developing hypothesis with the kids and coming up with examples on the board as a class. Overall, two thumbs up and I would teach it again.

Mike’s Bad Breath Worksheet Link

Image Credit: http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/2001699130/