1. Description of Our Community
We reside in a suburban diverse community near beaches; beautiful state parks with approx. 18,000 residents. The seasons are colorful and extreme in temperature. In our town the library and the schools is the central community hub as there is no 'main street'. Most families are dual working and every restaurant is crowded for dinner. People know their neighbors out of community but not many get close as no one is home. Parents are burdened with news stories of crimes of abduction as they cautiously allow their children to experience the yard.
In the last decade, single family dwellings of mini-mansion proportions have eliminated sod farms and children occasionally play where cows grazed and potatoes grew. Strip malls every tenth of a mile contain your bagel and pizza shops. Large chain super stores fill the road with the biggest parking lots, usually filled with mini-vans jeep type cars. Large movie complexes offer high back reclining stadium seats, expensive popcorn and feature a dozen first rate flicks are top on the recreational weekend list. Oh yes, Long Island Suburbia, the bigger the better, that seems to be the model of this century. Technology is available at the library and half of the families have a computer with on line access. Brave Memories was able to connect people in our community together by touching on the human spirit. There stories are an art form of their lives and paint a picture of their soul. Embracing these brave memory stories and sharing them inter-generationally helps gap the school-home-community and unites the global community.
2. Summary of Our Project
Students recall their brave moments after reading a literature selection, then their parents and grandparents are invited to e-mail their brave memories to be posted on a web site. The project was then opened to the community. Students, families and community got opportunities to read the brave memories posted on the web site. Students got opportunities to draw and use Kid Pix to create and illustrate their memories.
Many residents come from other parts of the world and this project enabled the (school)and global community to connect providing a literacy opportunity involving technology. Brave Memories Project supported New York State Learning Standards in English, Language Arts and Technology. Lesson plan and worksheet is provided for replication of project.
Students' parents who do not live with them and cannot partake in many school events embraced this project. Memories were e-mailed and these parents became part of our class that moment and forever in their child's heart. It opened up the door for involvement from a distance, next state or across the world.
Spirit development is fostered positively when we feel good about oneself and are proud of our moments and actions when decisions have to be made. To share these personal memories with the local and global community intertwine the common thread of goodness and kindness of humanity. Technology coupled with the human spirit has been the tool to establish a partnership with our neighbors all over the world.
3. Our Computer and Internet Access
A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:21-50%
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:2-3
E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):
I have two students in my class that fathers live in another state. They have never visited our class and I have had limited contact with them. I sent home the invitation flyer to participate in our Brave Memories project and was delighted when both of these dad's e-mailed me a story. Their children were so excited about the project that they called up their dads to visit the project online and send in a brave memory. The e-mails were received on different weeks; however; the delight of both children when we read their dad's stories brought tears to my eyes. They felt very special and connected at that moment. Each time the students revisit the project I know that they experience those very feelings over and over again. http://comsewogue.k12.ny.us/~csinger/projects/braveirene/parentmem.htm
4. Problems We Had To Overcome
This project was an absolute delight. We had no technical problems as far as equipment. Teaching web page design is a big task for second graders. I let the students design backround/text color, graphics, and fonts.
5. Our Project Sound Bite
This project allowed students to recognize that we all feel scared at different points in our lives. Being brave is feeling scared but gathering the courage to do it anyway. Community involvement opened the doors from our class to their homes.
6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?
This project (Brave Memories) supports the following New York State Learning Standards: Language for Information and Understanding; Language for Literary Response and Expression; Language for Critical Analysis and Evaluation; Language for Social Interaction; Students will access, generate, process and transfer information using appropriate technologies. Using the Internet to teach has become a tool that I integrate into all me lessons. The students are receptive and the classes atmosphere is proactive. Students use critical thinking skills and this expands their enthusiasm for knowledge. Cooperation is learned and project group dynamics is integrated within the lesson structure. Peer assessment is done which facilitates respect for one's work. Word processing skills were strengthened through this project. Opening e-mails, composing and sending thank yous were also learned.