Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Digital Project Menus

This session focuses on digital project menus and was geared more toward middle school students. However, we are moving to a 1:1 environment in our third grade classrooms in two weeks and I feel that our students can use some tools available to middle school students since we already use tools like Moodle already.  This session was hosted by Dodie Maddox.

Digital project menus are a new twist on a differentiation strategy.  They are also known as choice boards and product menus (non-digital forms).  Choice boards allow student choice when learning skills, concepts, and objectives.  Moving choices into a digital format provides a variety of benefits.  Digital project menus can be easily reused year after year and the format is familiar for digital natives.  They are easily edit and are in a central location for directions, resources, and rubrics.  They can also provide incorporation of digital products and extend the classroom walls.

She shared a power point project a sixth grade class completed with us. It focuses on a simple project menu for Civil Rights.

Another example can include a tic-tac-toe menu. They would complete three activities from the tic-tac-toe menu similar to playing tic-tac-toe.  You could also leave the center square free as a choice where students could create their own project. An example of of a tic-tac-toe menu is below.

The four square menu involves four squares. There is a project in each square. Students choose a project in each square and must complete each square. There are some options for choice like leaving a square blank where students can fill in their own choice for a project.  An example of a four square menu of the American Revolution is shown at the link below.

A restaurant menu is another example of a digital project menu.  Students are given a minimum amount of money to spend. They then place an order for the projects they will complete. At the link below, you find an example for a Body Systems Restaurant Menu.

The final type of menu she discussed was a baseball menu. The baseball menu is a type of choice menu where students would need to understand the basics of scoring a "run" in baseball. It is best for older students.  An example for a "Biomes" Baseball menu is found at the link below.

There are a few sites she shared for digital products.  These are also linked in the above websites.  Most of these sites are free.  Some teachers mentioned sites like XtraNormal may charge after you have a few videos. However, if you email them and let them know you are an educator, they will give you free credits.  Museum Box requires that you prove you are an educator.

Magazine Covers:
Make Beliefs Comix:
Museum Box:
ToonDoo for Education:

I think the idea of Digital Project Menus is a wonderful idea!  Even though this was geared towards middle school teachers I learned so many things!  I will definitely be using digital project menus in the classroom with my third grade students. This is a great way to incorporate choice, digital projects, and rubrics in the classroom easily. I'm on my way to the next session!

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