From the Superintendent:
"We're excited to announce that a team from Edgar
Middle School has applied to the Follett Challenge, a program run by Follett to
recognize and reward schools for their work applying technology, content and
creativity in ways that engage students, foster literacy and promote critical
thinking. Six winning schools will
be awarded with the cash-equivalent of a total of $200,000 worth of products
As part of the competition, Roseann Misrahi and Jane
Brown created a short video about their Graphic Biography project. The video is now posted on the Follett
Challenge website for the public to vote for their favorite school. 30% of the school's total entry is
determined by the number of votes its video receives.
The public will
vote until March 15th for the school with the best video overview about their
library program. Edgar's submission is available on the Follett Challenge website under the "View Entries" tab at the following link http://www.follettchallenge.com/video.cfm?id=327
please go back and vote for our school once per day !!.
Follett Challenge winners will be notified by April 5, 2013. To cast your vote or learn more about
Challenge, visit www.follettchallenge.com.
The Graphic Biography project is a literacy
technology project for students in 5th grade at Edgar Middle School that asks
students to explore the life of a famous person. The purpose of the project is to teach students how to
acquire new knowledge even if they know nothing about a particular topic.
Students are taught how to build knowledge with a reliable first source and then use that knowledge to scaffold additional knowledge on the specific topic. Along the way, they are taught how to ask good questions to further refine their internet- based searches; helping them to find those extra bits of information without getting lost in a mound of noise. Using Comic Life by Plasq, students move from knowledge acquisitionist to first-rate story tellers by producing a biographical comic book. The comic books have visual clues and text playing off each other in a way that offers an engaging medium to share with classmates. While the overall test scores in language arts has been strong, this project addressed specific reading skills assessed on the NJASK. The project has had a positive effect on student outcome contributing to an increase in our mean score in reading by 7.8% for total student population.
English Language Arts (ELA) standards drive this project as it requires reading informational text and using research skills to build and present knowledge specifically Reading Standards for Informational Text K-5 , Integration of Knowledge and Ideas R5.7 and R5.9 and Writing Standards K-5, Research to Build and Present Knowledge, 5.7, 5.8 and 5.9. Even though the project is technology based, students would not be able to achieve the technology standards without a strong achievement level in the ELA standards. Reading, writing and technology are linked together for student success.
The Graphic Biography project helps students gain experience on several aspects of the research process, as well as transferring their findings to a creative product.
Follett created the Follett Challenge to reward innovation in schools. "There's a lot of change happening in education and many challenges with the economy," says Tom Schenck, the President of Follett School & Library Group. "We want to reward educators with innovative ideas, who rise to the occasion through all the chaos using technology and new teaching techniques."