class management

Q & A Session with Diana Williams

I had the opportunity to have a questions and answers period with my mentor teacher Diana Williams today. It’s been one busy day, as I had a Google Hangout with her class this morning where I taught them a lesson on friendship and then the interview this afternoon.

It was great to have the chance to connect with a teacher who is using technology in the classroom and to see what it’s like to tackle that terrifying task. Technology can be daunting and down right terrifying, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned by taking my ECMP355 class, it’s to not be afraid of it. After all, if it works it works, and if it doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world.

Building my PLN (Personal Learning Network) has been such a great experience and as teacher Diana said during our interview, “somebody will know somebody that can help.” It all comes down to knowing people and how to connect to the right people for the job. (Dean… you were given the kudos in knowing so many people. I may be calling upon you someday to find someone or maybe as a possible presenter.)

Diana talked about how technology offers students from lower socio-economic status’ the opportunity to see the world and gain those experiences that might not otherwise be possible. This is a great point of view, and a great sense of motivation for all educators to embrace technology and use it to its full potential.

A great big thanks to teacher Diana for the wonderful opportunity and the great feedback. It’s been a slice.

Friendship across the miles

Today has been awesome! I got to finally meet my mentor class in Surrey, B.C. via Google Hangout. The more things I learn about Google, the more I like it.

Teacher Diana and I agreed that this Wednesday would be a good time for me to Hangout with the class and present a lesson on friendship. I felt like I already knew some of the students through their blog posts that I have been reading and commenting on, but this was a great opportunity to put faces to the names. Diana’s grade 4/5 class called me this morning first thing at 9:00 a.m. and we chatted it up. I introduced myself and talked about how important friendship was. I read them the story “Ribbon Rescue” by Robert Munsch to give them a base of what good friendship was about. I also drew some pretty rocking pictures depicting being a good and bad friend for them to distinguish. The students had a good discussion about what being a good friend was and how to not be a bad friend. We talked about feelings and how being a good friend makes everyone involved feel good.

These are the pictures I drew… I admit, I googled “cartoon drawings of …” and found and attempted to reproduce them here. I’m not that great of an artist but I can reproduce if I have to. 20140402-110223.jpg 20140402-110217.jpg 20140402-110211.jpg 20140402-110201.jpg

I gave them a little project to complete on top of it all. I’ve asked them to write a story about a ‘good friend’ and post it to their blogs so that I can read them and comment on them. I can’t wait to see what they will come up with. As an added challenge to the students I asked that they try and incorporate at least 8 ‘ly’ words into their stories as their class is currently learning how to use ‘ly’ words to enhance writing. We’ll see what they can come up with. Let the imagination run wild.

At the end of our session I asked if the kids had any questions for me. Of course they did. They were all random questions, but it gave me a chance to get to know them and for them to get to know me. It makes it fun and a little more memorable that way. I can’t wait to see what they come up with.

google hangout

Exploring WeVideo

Last night I decided to explore WeVideoWeVideo is a site dedicated to making movie making very easy.  This site was mentioned during our ECMP355 class and I thought I’d give it a shot just to see how easy it really was. I was going into the whole experience fairly skeptical as I’ve had problems with making videos before on site that are “user friendly”.

I searched out the site on my laptop and signed up for an account. Sounds fairly easy right? Well then I realized that none of my videos or pictures were on my laptop. I had them all on my phone and realized, “it’s going to take forever to email all these things to myself so I can create a video on my laptop.” Well…. not to worry. There’s actually an iPhone app for WeVideo. I simply downloaded the free app on my phone and uploaded all my videos and pictures that I wanted to use through that. (This saved me a load of time).

Anyway, I then went back onto my laptop and signed back onto the site and BAM! my photos and videos were all there. I watched the short tutorial video and played around with it a bit. This is what I ended up with:

Even though it’s my first ever video, I think it turned out well. I know my children love seeing themselves as the feature actor and actress.

I would strongly encourage anybody new to movie making to try this site out. I’m a newbie making this type of video, so anybody can make this type of video. I think that this would be a great resource for students in middle to upper years to make video documentaries or projects with. It doesn’t take extensive movie making knowledge to operate.

I personally think that I will use this as a teacher to make a video of the year in review and send it to all the students and their families. It would be a nice little memento of their time in my class.

So my questions for you are:

1. Have you used this site to create a video? (because you should check it out)

2. What ways can you see this being a great resource for school? (or anything else)

 

Padlet Power

As part of this week’s tech task we were asked to explore some of the resources that were give to us by Adam Bellow and Steve Dembo during our ECMP355 class. Right off the bat, we were introduced to an amazing site called Padlet. This site is essential a bulletin board. You make different “bulletin boards” where you can store all sorts of different information. It’s possible to link websites, videos, pictures, or documents and each “bulletin board” can be customized by using different backgrounds and choosing the method to sort your posts. Padlet has so many different uses for the classroom. I chose to make a board that has all sorts of different brain breaks available to me at a moments notice because we all know that when students need a brain break, they need it now! I figured that if they were all ready and waiting for me to grab, I’d be more likely to use them. I love how it’s easy to add, delete, and rearrange the board as well. Here is a screenshot of my first board:

Padlet

This will be a work in progress that I can add to anytime I find a good resource. I can see the value in having a central location for all your information when developing lesson plans and units as well.

During our class it was also mentioned that this resource could be used as a sorting activity for kids as it’s easy to drag and drop photos to different areas of the screen and “in a sense” sort them out.

A great big thanks goes out to Steve and Adam. This is a great resource that I will certainly be putting to use.

Does anyone else have any ideas how this resource could be used in the classroom?

Fidgets!

What? Fidgets? … This was my initial reaction to a post by one of my class mates in ECMP355, Chelsea Lyons. I had honestly never heard the term fidgets, and I don’t know why. I’d have to say that I have heard of the exercise ball rather than a chair, or the use of cushions to sit on, but I haven’t seen fidgets implemented into a classroom.  I can see how they would be distracting to other students or could be used as a means of keeping occupied rather than paying attention, but I can also see the benefits of these fidgets. For the student that needs something to manipulate, they would be life changing.

Here is a link to Chelsea’s blog. Feel free to check it out.

How would you implement fidgets into your classroom and what kind of rules would have to go along with them?