It was only two years ago that a tornado tore up parts of Merrill, Wis., so when the deadly tornado swept through Oklahoma recently, students in Merrill's Jefferson Elementary School wanted to show support for the children who experienced the storm. Fourth-grade students made cards and wrote letters of hope and support to their peers in Oklahoma.
The Prairie School in Wisconsin was temporarily transformed into a "Window to the World" museum that reflects what the elementary-school students are learning about the world, history and their role and responsibilities in it. The museum was open to fellow students, families and the community to allow students from kindergarten through fourth grade to share what they have learned about topics, including how Native Americans made maple syrup and mined copper.
Teachers say an iPad pilot program in the Wausau School District in Wisconsin has inspired students to research, read and write more. The devices, distributed in September to 1,000 to elementary- and eighth-grade students, have been used in various projects, such as making e-books, digital presentations and blogs, and the program may expand to include ninth-grade students. "I think it's been a highly effective and successful project for students and student learning," said Jon Euting, principal of Franklin Elementary School.
A Wisconsin school district plans to test the use of iPad tablet computers in the next academic year at some elementary and middle schools. The pilot program, which includes the purchase of 1,255 tablet computers, is intended to help determine whether the iPads can help boost student achievement. First-grade students recently used the devices to make movies, in which they answered questions from kindergartners in digital clips.
Students in two Edgerton, Wis., elementary schools are using webcams and whiteboards to get to know each other. Four days a week, for 15 to 30 minutes a day, third- and fourth-grade students use Skype to participate in videoconferences, sharing class activities and projects. Teachers say they plan to expand the project to include videoconferences with students in other states and countries.