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

Connectivity…(part 2)

This post is a continuation of my last post were I listed 5 new connections that I have made through Twitter or blogs. All week I have been searching out the wonderful web and have found 5 more blogs that I have chosen to follow.

1. Room 308 is great!

This blog belongs to the class that I’ve been paired up with in Surrey, B.C. By adding this site to my Feedly account and on my Dashboard of my blog, I will be easily able to keep up with what is going on in their classroom.

2. Science Fix

This site is a must for anybody who is interested in teaching science to middle school children.  There are great video examples of experiments that look like fun.  What better way to teach than through visual and hands on experience.

3. Addie Education – Teacher Talk

This blog site really intrigued me because of all the free stuff. That’s right. I said “FREE”. It is geared towards elementary education.

4. Corkboard Connections

This blog has all sorts of interesting activities and ideas for lessons, but what really got my attention were the activities and lessons ideas for the Olympics as the class I have been partnered with is following the athletes and the event quite closely.

5. Composition Classroom

This blog has some really interesting posts regarding education but the posts that stuck out to me the most were based on what makes a person smarter than someone else (Find the Numbers Object Lesson), and her post on cellphone usage in the classroom. Definitely gave me some things mull over.

Thanks for checking out this post and I hope these blogs are of interest to you as well.

Connectivity… (part 1)

Well what a goal this turned out to be… That’s right, I said goal because I still haven’t added 10 new followings which was our tech task for this last weeks ECMP 355 class.  I find that I am getting distracted with all the great blogs and feel the need to read everything that seems relevant to me. Of course this might be because I really have no idea what grade level I’m most interested in teaching yet, and therefore want to check out all the neat things that everybody is doing with every level possible… and that’s a lot of stuff. Oh well. At least it’s fun.

So here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

1. Word of the Day on Twitter @wordoftheday

I thought that this Tweeter might give me a broader vocabulary. Of course that will only work if I can actually remember the word and what it means when I come into contact with it again. But hey, who knows, it could be possible. Thanks to Laura for the great lead on this one.

2. Ashleigh’s Education Journey

This blog really got my attention with the great layout and easy manoeuvring that it offered. She has amazing information that she uses in her classroom as well as some resources and lesson plans.

3, Clouducation

This blog is all about how technology is changing education and how to integrate it into your classroom.  He gives detailed explanations on how to use various techy type stuff in your lessons.

4. FaveCrafts

The main reason I added this blog was because I’m a craft nerd. I love making crafts and could spend hours browsing what others have made. I’m hoping this will be an inspirational blog and keep me motivated to show my creative side.

5. Shelly S Terrell on Twitter @ShellTerrell

Shelly gave a presentation to our ECMP355 class this last week that was focused around building our PLN. Hence, the weekly tech task of finding and following people for our own Learning Networks. She gave a great presentation and made me realize how important it is to get and stay connected.

That’s it for now. Hopefully I can come up with some more to follow without being distracted too often. I’ll keep you all posted.