CoETaIL Course 4 Project and Reflection

As CoETaIL Course 4 concludes, it feels good to have completed four of the five-course requirement for the certification.  Maintaining the momentum of  the first three courses, Course 4 availed new ideas and approaches to learning which were immediately applicable in the classroom.  For next year, my team has planned two project-based activities which link to our existing curriculum.  We have contacted an international school in Indonesia and are hopeful that we will begin the year with a collaborative blog project focusing on culture.  We are excited about the year upcoming and will continue to draw on the resources we have garnered as a result of CoETaIL.  In the past, technology was used primarily as substitution.  Now, more and more, we are transforming learning activities in ways that, we believe, improve and enhance the educational opportunities of our students.

It’s been wonderful being a part of the YIS CoETaIL cohort and I extend my best to all of the members moving on to different schools in different countries.

After collaborating with my team regarding my final project for Course 4, we concluded that the current refugee unit that we teach could be enhanced through a project-based learning activity.  The unit is integrated around informational text skills and persuasive writing.  Within this unit, students are required to:

  1. Research a child refugee topic
  2. Develop an opinion based on research
  3. Persuade an audience through writing
  4. Present a call to action
These learning events are organized around eight informational text and persuasive writing focus lessons which cover the following:   summarizing, paraphrasing, personal reaction, author’s purpose, and persuasive techniques.

We have modified the existing unit to make it more collaborative and to actually require student groups to carry out their calls to action.  We feel that this activity has important real-world connections and that it will empower students to step up and make a difference.  The UbD plan is embedded here.

Without a doubt, CoETaIL has been a tremendous professional development experience. With the daily rigors of teaching, grading, meeting, and living, the added responsibility of course work made for an interesting school year.  It has been completely worth the effort and has made an important impact on me, my team, my school, and most importantly, my students.  Thanks again to Kim and Rebekah for an outstanding Course 4.  Have a great summer everyone!


About Jamie

I am currently a middle school Language Arts and Social Studies teacher at The American School in Japan.
This entry was posted in COETAIL, Projects-Based. Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to CoETaIL Course 4 Project and Reflection

  1. Love it! Had a thought: would the persuasive essay be good as a video as well? Could it be an opportunity for students to create a multimedia message that can be spread around the world – I’m thinking something kind of like this (although the topic is not yours): Dove Onslaught(er). We did a project kind of like that at ISB when I was there – let me know if you want to send this on – might add a third school to your collaboration 🙂

  2. Jean Hino says:

    I really admire that you had contacted a school at the end of last year to begin this year with a collaborative project. I have a teacher in Canada that I collaborated with some last year but we haven’t chatted about possibilities for this year yet. The unit planner looks great and it is nice to have a team to work with. Good luck with the project.

    • Jamie says:

      Dear Jean,

      I look forward to sharing the outcome of the project with you and the other CoETaILers in December. Best to you and your students as you complete your own project. Thanks so much for taking time to read the post.

      With my best,

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