Friday, June 29, 2018

4th Grade Colonial America Ignite Talks

This post was originally written for the @HeathcoteTech blog and first appeared at

This year we tried something different, we decided to try the Ignite format with 4th graders.
The Ignite Talks format is something we've done with 5th graders for a few years as part of the CapCon! capstone learning conference and this year we thought we'd roll it down to 4th grade.

So, what is an Ignite?
Ignite Talks originated in Seattle as a new style of presenting. The format is: “5 minutes, 20 slides, auto-advancing every 15 seconds… enlighten us but make it quick.”
We have modified that format for 4th grades; “7 slides, 15 seconds per slide, 1:45 to tell us your story.” For the first time trying this format with 4th grade we took the social studies unit Colonial America and centered the Ignite Talks around that idea and area of study.

Students wrote scripts about their experiences during the unit and tuned those scripts into a 1:45 talk about their learning. It wasn't easy, and it wasn't supposed to be. It took a lot of editing, revising, practicing, peer-feedback, and on and on, but they knocked it out of the park.

Check out all the 4V Colonial America Ignites here:

The students were amazing! Can't wait to see them rock CapCon! 2019 as 5th graders.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

CapCon! 2018 - a capstone learning conference

Every year the 5th graders of Scarsdale participate in Capstone. Capstone is the last two months of school, post-standardized testing. Students choose a topic, research it, and create a final product. It is designed to be a self-directed, passion/interest based assignment. And it used to end with a tri-fold board... But not any more...

Once again the 5th graders were amazing and rocked the CapCon! Capstone event.   

CapCon! a capstone learning conference is our yearly 5th grade culminating activity. For years it was a traditional tri-fold museum, but we just wrapped up the 3rd year of the switch from tri-fold Capstone to CapCon! which is all about student voice and presentations; TED and Ignite style...