International Schools CyberFair 97
Project Narrative


Historical Landmarks of Escondido

Information About Our Site

1. Link to our CyberFair 97 Entry
Link to our School Home Page
2. Date of Project: March, 8, 1997
3. School: L. R. Green School
District: Escondido Union School District
City: Escondido, California, USA
4. Teachers or Classes: 2
Mrs. Berhman: 3rd Grade
Mrs. Hayden: Grade 7-8 Technology Elective
5. How many students worked on this project? 40
Their ages were: 8-12 years of age
6. Project Contact Email: khayden@sdcoe.k12.ca.us


Project Overview

We entered our Web site in CyberFair Category:

Historical Landmarks

Description of "Our Community"

The community of Escondido is located 15 miles inland from the Pacific Coast of California in the Northeastern part of San Diego County. It is surrounded by both urban and rural areas. Escondido means "hidden" but has long been a popular location for people to live due to climate, wealth of resources, and location. Historical sites bring visitors yearly to tour and visit historical landmarks such as Grape Day Park, Felicita Park, and San Pasqual Battlefield. Escondido's latitude is 33 degrees North and its longitude is 7 degrees West. Our city consists of 35.6 square. miles. It's elevation is 684 feet. The total population of Escondido is125,000 people. Our ethnically diverse population includes 77% Anglo, 21% Hispanic, 3% Asian, 1% Black, 1% Native American, and less than 1% Pacific Islands.

Summary of Our Project

California third grade social studies curriculum focuses on studying local community. L. R. Green teachers have included field trips, interviews with local experts, and research on Escondido history as key parts of their classroom activities. The curriculum is further enhanced by the use of technology. This provides students the opportunity to share their learning and use creativity in their projects. Multimedia Mentor Students (M & Ms) from a 7th and 8th grade Technology Elective Class act as facilitators in all classrooms K-8. Mrs. Berhman's third grade class worked with the M&M students to gather information, develop a web page about historical sites in our community, and publish it on the Internet. Interviews, pictures, and writings were done by third graders and the M & Ms planned and developed the web page using a variety of resources. Both classes have worked hard to bring this information to the global community. Over the past two years, Mrs. Berhman's third grade classes have created historical multimedia projects using HyperStudio. Now, by publishing on the Internet, this historical information can be shared with everyone in the world! These students united with community experts to document our community and make learning more meaningful.

Our Internet Access

L. R. Green School, was awarded a State Technology Grant in 1995 to become a model school for use of the Internet in curricular areas. This " Building the Future" grant included wiring and hardware in order to bring the Internet and email into the classrooms and computer lab for grades 6-8, as well as the school library. The connection via a 56 KB Frame Relay line also provides a local area network within this school environment. Our Internet connection and email accounts are provided by the San Diego County Office of Education. Our district provides the connection through a WAN as well as resources such as a server for hosting our school web pages. All other classrooms in our school have the opportunity to access Internet and email using classroom modems and County or America Online connections.

Problems We Had To Overcome

The biggest problem to overcome in completing this project was time. The teachers involved met before and after school on a regular basis in order to plan and share progress. The 7-8th grade technology elective class was limited to one 50 miniute period per day. Students came in before school and worked extra time whenever possible. Due to the fact that our school is on year-round scheduling, there were times when one or the other of the collaborating classes were off-track. Students and teachers met during off-track time in order to continue the project. Creativity in matching schedules between grade levels in elementary and middle school allowed us to meet whenever necessary. Field trips required special authorization and planning in order to include 3rd, 7th and 8th grade students on different tracks. Technical problems included using equipment in other classrooms when our equipment broke down. For instance, the scanner broke down and access was provided by a 5th grade teacher next door. Equipment in the 3rd grade classroom needed repair and other classroom teachers allowed students to use their computer stations for writing during parts of the school day.

Our Project Sound Bite

Linking students with the community, history, and curriculum in order to reach out beyond the classroom walls was a powerful and rewarding experience for all. The community leaders expressed enthusiasm and appreciation for this opportunity to share their knowledge of our rich cultural past with a wider audience. This project brought together people of all ages that took pride in their community and the project will continue to be updated as more people become involved.


Project Elements

1. How did your activities and research for this International School CyberFair 97 project support your required coursework and curriculum requirements?


As stated in the California State Framework (History/Social Science - 1988), Major Topics of study in third grade focus on continuity and change with emphasis on :
*Our local history: Discovering our past and traditions. "Third graders can begin to think about continuity and change in their locality and nation. By exploring their locality and locating some of the features that were built by people who lived long ago children can make contact with times past and with people whose activities have left their mark on the land."

"Through studies of continuity and change in their locality, children can begin to think about chronological relationships and to analyze how some things change and others remain the same. To understand changes occurring today, children should explore the ways their locality continues to evolve. Finally, teachers should introduce children to the great legacy of local, regional and national traditions that provide common memories and a shared sense of peoplehood for all of us. " Through viewing and evaluating other sites, students learn to compare and contrast their community with other parts of the world.

In addition, our curricular goals were to enhance reading, writing, listening, and thinking skills across the curriculum with emphasis on critical and creative thinking. This integration of content curriculum was achieved through the reading information from a variety of sources, interviewing local experts, and writing about what they learned. Students also acquired new skills in the use of technology and using the Internet to access information and share learning.

This project helped students to learn to work together as cross-age partners within our school (8th graders and 3rd graders), and with knowledgeable people in our community. The result was a win-win situation for children and community organizations.


2. What information tools and technologies did you use to complete yourCyberFair project?


Two of the most important tools that we used were the computer and the Internet. We researched, visited sites, spoke with experts in our community, wrote, revised, and rewrote. We printed out work for our writing portfolios and saved information on disks so we could put together information we had been gathering. We also reviewed multimedia projects and reports from Mrs. Berhman's previous classes. We used the Internet to find links to resources and looked at what others had included in their web projects.

Other tools we used:
Telephone
School mini-lab" Multimedia Equipment
Escondido Public Library
Historical research at Pioneer Historical Room at local library.
Museums located at Felicita Park and Grape Day Park Heritage House
Interviews with experts at Historical Locations and the library
Classroom PowerMac
Computer Lab of 36 Macintosh computers and Multimedia Stations
Apple Scanner and HP Scanner
Apple QuickTake Digital Camera, and Kodak Digital Camera DC25
Display Monitors, VCR
35 mm Camera


Software we used:
Hyperstudio 3.0
ClarisWorks 4.0
Ofoto
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe PageMill
Netscape Navigator


3. In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.


As we put this project together the 8th grade students frequently communicated with the 3rd grade teacher and students to check on project progress. They read student portfolio entries and decided which writings should be included in the project. They reviewed local history along with the 3rd-graders as they accompanied them on visits to historical sites. Many of these visits were after school and during off-track times (we are a year-round site and 1/4 of our students are off-track throughout the year). They called to arrange for speakers to come to our site for interviews and to give us background information. Students visited locations in the community on field trips which enhanced their learning through first-hand contact. Community members and organizations have been very helpful in providing resources and research information through interviews, slide presentations, and historical re-enactments, etc. Eighth grade students used email to communicate with people in other states to ask questions as they designed the web pages. They were responsible for planning, creating, checking due dates and requirements for the Cyberfair Contest. The community experts came to view the web pages and discuss details with the students regarding written information and accuracy. It was a delight to see the excitement of the experts about what the students were learning and the valuable resource created for our community.



4. What has been the impact of your project on your community?


Escondido Historical Landmarks project was created to link students with the community, history, and curriculum. It has brought the community closer to the educational process. It has allowed different parts of our community to have a historical meeting ground. It allowed students to create a learning partnership with mentors in our community. It has provided us with a tool to bring together information in one place that did not exist before. It has allowed us to realize that our community has an interesting history, that should be documented for all people to appreciate. It has helped us to relate information in our Social Studies textbook with our community. The project has provided a way to collect historical information and present it in a usable format for students as well as interested community members. It has allowed us to establish new relationships with key people in the community. It provided a way to document and preserve information about our local past. We will invite parents, other 3rd-grade classes, and others in the community to see our work. This project allowed students to provide a valuable service to the Escondido community. Students and teachers will present this project at meetings and conferences in the near future. The Escondido City Hall has already linked our Project Site to their Home Page.


5. How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?


Our project involved members of our community at each of the historical sites: Norm Syler, Director of the Escondido Historical Society, along with Alice Bartley, and Marie Tuck were valuable sources of information. Mr. Syler gave us a slide presentation about Escondido history and told stories about key historical figures. Alice Bartley and Marie Tuck served as docents at Heritage Park and made our visit meaningful. Marla Barlow and the staff at Felicita Park were very helpful sources in sharing information about the early Indian inhabitants of this area. Ms. Barlow's tour of the Felicita Museum and highlights in the park made history come alive for students. Betty Beach and the other members of the San Pasqual Battlefield Volunteers Association were extremely generous with their time in arranging to talk with students and set up a date for them to visit the site.
Special thanks also go to:
Bill Simpson, Escondido Union School District Director of Technology for his support in the use of technology in curriculum. The administrators at our school have provided support by allowing teachers the flexibility to use innovative teaching techniques, modified scheduling, and special learning opportunities to enhance the curriculum through the use of technology. Frank Maggi, 5th grade teacher, Brad Pascoe, 2nd-3rd grade teacher, and Robert Fisher, School Computer Technician, provided technology support and assistance during the project. Parent volunteers like Karen Peterson (parent of 8th grader) gave their support throughout and their service was critical to our success.

6. Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises


The students involved with with project found that learning can be fun. The 7th and 8th graders were surprisingly excited about going on a field trip with younger students. We were amazed that the 8th grade students could learn the web page programming so fast and that they were anxious to get started each morning.

The most important discovery was that the community also can get really excited about creating a web project. They were so impressed with the students capabilities in following through with this project.

Lessons learned include: There are a lot of resources available and people willing to help, if you just set our exploring the possibilities. When you plan a meaningful project, others will join in to help you be successful. The finishing touches to projects take more time than you think. Parents are supportive when they see meaningful learning and creative projects.


Link to our CyberFair 97 Entry
Link to our School Home Page


 

International Schools CyberFair 97 Winners