1. Description of Our Community
The community of Christiana, DE includes persons of various races, religions, and socioeconomic backgrounds. The community is accurately mirrored in the school’s population. Homes in the area range from the historical structures pictured on the website to typical suburban neighborhoods, to townhouses, and apartments. Christiana is a section in the city of Newark, DE. A large part of Christiana is comprised of retail centers including strip malls, shopping centers, and one of Delaware’s largest malls, The Christiana Mall. This makes Christiana a popular destination for citizens of surrounding states as Delaware is “the home of tax-free shopping.”
2. Summary of Our Project
This CyberFair project is all about the historical significance of the town of Christiana, DE. Our town is on The National Register of Historic places. There are homes, schools(including our own), and businesses that maintain a place in Delaware’s history all located in Christiana. The project addresses the historical facts surrounding these places, as well as the current state of some of the town’s revival efforts.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%
B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:2-3
C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection
D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
Students in this school are from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. Though many have computers and Internet access at home, they are still behind their more affluent peers in the use of the computer as a tool for instruction and/or research. This project had assisted my students in making gains to catch up to their peers in the area of technology.
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
The first problem that we faced was not being able to find the information we were looking for. There was very little information to be found on our topic- Historical Landmarks in our Community. Then, once we tapped into some information, we found that the reading level was too high for fourth graders. One of the ways that we overcame this barrier was contacting the president of the Christiana Historical Society. He was able to explain the history of the town, and different landmarks in a student friendly manner. It was necessary to work around his schedule, though. Another obstacle became time. Once it was realized that students would need a significant amount of scaffolding through their research it became difficult to accomplish any large amount of work in one sitting, or class period. This had to be overcome by spending more than one class period at a time on research; which unfortunately, meant missing a few other subjects at times.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
Participation in this year’s CyberFair competition has helped to put the little town of Christiana, DE “on the map.” Research of the town has shed light on many interesting facts that citizens of the school community, and community at large had not previously been aware of.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
This project tapped into many curriculum requirements in different disciplines. The Social Studies Standards include Geography 4 the study of regions; and History 2 gather, examine, and analyze historical data. It should also be noted that a main component of Delaware’s fourth grade Social Studies curriculum is Delaware History. This CyberFair project also addresses all four of Delaware’s English/Language Arts standards. ELA1: Use Written and Oral Language; ELA2: Construct, examine, and extend the meaning of informative and technical text; ELA3; Access, organize, and evaluate information gained through reading listening, and viewing; ELA4: Use literary knowledge gained through print and visual media to connect self to society and culture.