It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year…I’m Done My Major Project!

 “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” -Lau Tzu

Jump For Joy

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 I am so excited to announce that I have completed my EC&I832 Major Digital Project!  I am so happy with how my project came together and what I was able to accomplish in just one semester.  I decided to create a screencast for my final post about my project and to take everyone on a tour of my personal blog and my classroom blog to highlight some key posts.  In the screencast I will also explain my project and discuss the integrated unit plans that I created for my grade two classroom.




Throughout this project I have referred back to the Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Scope and Sequence and all the lesson plans numerous times.  This website has been a huge resource for me as I have been teaching digital citizenship in my classroom as it filled with great resources.  I have accounts for many great educational websites and I was very excited that I did not have to pay to access all of the lesson plans and resources that Common Sense Media have on their website.  Educators just need to make sure they register for the website so they can access to all of the documents and downloads offered on the website!  By registering it also allows Common Sense to show the groups that fund their website how many educators have been accessing the resources and lessons. Near the end of November I also completed the Elementary School Curriculum Training that took one hour.  The video walks you through the resources and a few of the lessons.  It has training for middle years and for high school as well.   I wish I would have completed the training earlier in the semester, but it was good to listen to what they had to say.  During this semester I have also been referring to the  Digital Citizenship Education in Schools and the Government of Saskatchewan Digital Citizenship Continuum from Kindergarten to Grade Twelve documents constantly!

Often people know the importance of teaching students about safety when teaching  digital citizenship in the classroom, but there are so many other areas that students need to know.  Students need to be taught lessons that cover all Ribble’s Nine Elements to support students learning digital citizenship.  I think the Common Sense does a good job covering most of the elements, but it does not touch on the eighth element- Digital Health and Wellness.  As an educator I would make sure I teach my students about this element while students are taking part in lessons that have students use technology.  For example, I have had my students complete body breaks and discuss the importance of take a break and moving our bodies around and stretching.  I have also talked to my students about keeping their eyes healthy and that their eyes need a break from looking at screens too.  I would spend a bit more time on teaching Digital Law and Digital Rights and Responsibilities.   There were not as many lessons in the Common Sense units that connect to those elements.  I know I will be able to connect those elements to social studies outcomes when my students learn and explore  explore rights and responsibilities and decision making in the new year! 

Here are the three integrate units that I created using Common Sense Media lesson scope and sequence: 

EC&I832 Major Project Unit One

EC&I832 Major Project Unit Two

EC&I832 Major Project Unit Three

 

I am looking forward to continuing my journey and educating my students on how to be good citizens!

In the new year I am excited to teach my students all the lessons from unit two and three so we can continue to have good discussions about digital citizenship.  My students have learned so many skills from blogging over the last three months and often my class tells me their favourite part of the week is when we blog.  My students amaze me every day and I know I will continue to see tremendous growth in the second half of our school year.  Please continue to explore our classroom blog!!  Last week I started talking to Ms. Ryan a grade three teacher from northern California! In the new year our classrooms our going to begin to explore each other’s classroom blogs and respond back to each other’s blog posts!  I know it will be a fabulous learning experience for my students as they will get to ask questions to students who live in a different country.  Thanks Jeannine for introducing me to  Student-to-students Blog Connect #S2SBC on Twitter!  It is a tool that allows teachers to connect and find other teachers to allow for students to have peer audiences comment on their blogs.  All you have to do is fill in this form that allows for teachers to contact you and you are also able to can see the list of classrooms so you can contact teachers as well!

I would appreciate any kind of feedback because even though my project it complete I believe lessons are always a work in progress.  There is always room for growth and I love learning about new resources I can use to help me become a better teacher for my students.  I hope my unit plans are helpful and that educators can adapt my lessons to fit their grade levels.  If any one wants a copy of the template that I used to create my lessons please leave me a comment on my blog or send me a message on Twitter @JNSteph87.  Also check out my EC&I832 classmate’s projects!  Everyone has done a great job so make sure you take the time to read their blog posts reflecting on their learning, discussing their projectd, and explore the resources that they have created!

journey quote picture

  Photo Credit: Justine Stephanson-Kyle

(I painted this picture when I was in the Early Learning Summer Institute and I just added in the quote using a photo app.)

Unit One….Complete!

“Shoot for the moon, because even if you miss you miss, you’ll land in the stars.”  Les Brown

stars

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These last two weeks my class has been busy learning more about digital citizenship through completing more lessons created by Common Sense Media.  My class have worked on the two remaining lessons from unit one.  The first lesson we completed was called Keep It Private.  The big ideas and concepts for the students to learn about were privacy, safety, knowing what personal information is, and how to create a username.  The essential question for the lesson was, “What kinds of information should I keep to myself when I use the Internet?”  As a class we  had a conversation and we brainstormed ideas about personal information and what they thought personal information was.  Later on we discussed why it was important not to share our personal information with people we do not know when we are talking to someone online and in person.

I also showed my students two videos that talks about Internet safety and personal information.  For the second video called “What is Personal Information?” I found a Kindergarten to Grade Three version and a Grade Four to Grade Six version.

Here are the videos that my students watched:

*Internet Safety for Kids K-3 Video- This video talks about the Internet safety and about keeping personal information private.

*NetSafe Episode 2: What is Personal Information? (Grades K-3)-This video discusses how a person has personal information and tells the viewers what personal information is.

*NetSafe Episode 6: What is Personal Information? (Grades 4-6)-This video explains what personal information is your private property and why it is important to keep personal information to yourself.

From watching the two short videos my students were able to compare their answers and see if the ideas they wrote down were similar to what the video said about personal information.  After my students understood what personal information was and why they need to keep their personal information private we talked about what to do if a game asked you to create a username.  We discussed that they needed to create a username that did not include their personal information such as their name, age, phone number, or where they live.   We became detectives and read different usernames!  Together we decided if the usernames told personal information or not!  After my students created and brainstormed three usernames that we could use that did not include personal information along with their learning buddies.

You can see my student’s work on our classroom blog, Keeping Your Identity Private.  On the blog post I explained what my students learned about in the lesson and at the end of the post you can see pictures of all of my students username ideas.  After they were done creating their usernames my students wrote a blog post explaining what they know about personal information and how to stay safe.  I encourage you read my student’s reflections!   Secret Agent #5’s wrote a post called No Sharing Your StuffSecret Agent #15 wrote about staying safe and Secret Agent #15 talked about safety as well.  All of my students did a fantastic job!  Teaching this lesson I was able to cover quite a few outcomes from the curriculum while teaching my students about digital citizenship.

ELA Outcome: CR2.3

Listen and retell (with support from the text) the key literal and inferential ideas (messages) and important details heard in small- and large-group activities, and follow oral directions and demonstrations.

  • Listen courteously during discussions and while working in pairs and small groups to share ideas, obtain information, solve problems, and ask and respond to relevant questions.

ELA Outcome: CC2.4

Write stories, poems, friendly letters, reports, and observations using appropriate and relevant details in clear and complete sentences and paragraphs of at least six sentences.

  • Write a response with supporting details.

ELA Outcome: AR2.1

Reflect on and assess their viewing, listening, reading, speaking, writing, and other representing experiences and strategies by participating in discussions and relating work to a set of criteria (e.g., “What did I learn?”).

  • Explain strategies used and why they were used.

Health Outcome: USC2.5

Recognize potential safety risks in community “play areas” and determine safe practices/behaviours to identify, assess, and reduce the risks.

  • Examine expected behaviours and general safety rules in community “play areas”
  • Discuss how safety rules/guidelines are established to reduce risks.

Health Outcome: DM2.1

Demonstrate how, why, and when to ask for help and/or advice when discovering healthy connections related to thoughts-feelings-actions, healthy snacking, affects of illness/disease, respect, safety, and diversity.

  • Determine safety supports (e.g., teachers, peers, elder, bus driver, significant and trusted adults) in the community.
  • Practice asking for help in appropriate situations and recognize possible consequences of not asking for help.

Social Studies Outcome: PA2.3

Analyze rights and responsibilities of citizens in the school and local community.

  • Differentiate between the nature of the rights of children and of adult citizens in the community.
email pic

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I also taught my students another Common Sense Media lesson called Sending Email.  I was very happy with how the lesson went so I made sure we talked about the lesson on our classroom blog.  My class and I had a really good discussion after I asked m the essential question “how do you connect with others through email?”  My students talked about sending family and friends emails.  They also told me about their parents sending emails for work.  We had a good conversation about how people are able to send emails on the computer, on a tablet, and on a phone.  As a class we discussed why people send messages and talked about mailing letters.  We also watched a video that gives students tips on how to show etiquette when emailing others.


In ELA my students have been learning how to write letters so this lesson was perfect for my students.  We reviewed all of the important parts of a letter that need to be included and then the whole class wrote a letter together.  After each student was assigned to write a letter to their classmate.  As a class we brainstormed some ideas on what they could write about in their letter and questions they could ask their classmates.  Finally my students were able to start writing their own letter!  They are beginning to improve in their writing skills and are starting to understand how a letter is formatted.  I know we will be continuing to work on this form of writing.  During recess I scanned all of my student’s letters and posted their work onto their individual blogs since I have not taught my students on how to insert photos and other media into their post.  This week we have been working on replying back to our classmate’s letters and setting criteria on what a good response should look like.  We have also been working on the “3C + Q Model” for commenting on blog posts that Jennifer Stewart-Mitchell @jstewiestewie shared with me!  We decided to follow the same type of format for writing a personal letter.  I am very grateful for all of the resources and tips that Jennifer has shared with me this semester and for helping me last year when I took EC&I831.  For this particular lesson I was also able to link grade two Saskatchewan curriculum outcomes from different subject areas to this lesson:

ELA Outcome: CR2.4

Read and demonstrate comprehension of grade-appropriate literary and informational texts read silently and orally by relating and retelling key events and ideas in sequence with specific details and discussing how, why, and what if questions.

  • Understand and apply the appropriate cues and conventions (pragmatic, textual, syntactical, semantic/lexical/morphological, graphophonic, and other) to construct and confirm meaning when reading.
  • Follow written instructions.

ELA Outcome: CC2.4

Write stories, poems, friendly letters, reports, and observations using appropriate and relevant details in clear and complete sentences and paragraphs of at least six sentences.

  • Write a friendly letter complete with date, salutation, body, closing, and signature.

Health Outcome: USC2.4

Examine social and personal meanings of “respect” and establish ways to show respect for self, persons, living things, possessions, and the environment.

  • Illustrate what respect looks like, sounds like, and feels like.

Arts Education Outcome: CP2.4

Contribute ideas when engaged in a variety of drama strategies (e.g., role, parallel play, journeys, meetings) and during periods of reflection.

  • Contribute to drama discussions with stories of own experience

I am very happy that I have worked through the first unit developed by Common Sense Media!  My students are beginning to learn important concepts about emails, online safety, protecting their personal information, how to search using the alphabet, and understanding their digital footprint.  I look forward to continue on this journey and teaching the other two units that Common Sense Media has created.  It is rewarding knowing that I am helping my students become good citizens by teaching them valuable lessons!

I Teach

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I’m Almost Finished My Major Project!

thumbs up

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I am so excited that I am getting very close to completing my EC&I832 Major Digital Project.  I have been working very hard at putting this assignment together.  I have the introduction and the first unit completely finished!  I wanted to share the first unit with everyone and get feedback on what everyone thinks of formatting before I post the rest of my assignment.  I was originally thinking about all the different possibilities of spaces that I could have used to create my assignment, but collecting all the of information took me longer than I have anticipated so I decided to create the document using publisher.  To upload the assignment into my blog I converted the file into a PDF.  Click the link below to view my assignment:

Major Project For EC&I832 Unit One

Information About My EC&I832 Major Digital Project

I am excited to continue to use my classroom blog for my Major Digital Project for my EC&I832 Digital Citizenship and Media Literacy Class.  For this project I am going to document my journey using resources such as, the Digital Citizenship Education in Schools, Common Sense Media Digital Citizenship Scope and Sequence, the Government of Saskatchewan Digital Citizenship Continuum from Kindergarten to Grade Twelve and other resources that I find.  My students will blog about their experiences and what they are learning about in regards to digital citizenship.  As a class along with our grade six learning buddies we are hoping to create a final project to promote other students in our school to have a positive digital footprint, how to stay safe while online, and teach everyone how to be digital citizens.

mrs kyle's blog

Please check out our classroom blog

My students would love to read your thoughts and write back to you!

Making Progress…Road Blocks Have Been Lifted!

Oh Wow! I can not believe that we are seven days away from December!! Where did the last few weeks go?? In my last post I was talking about all of the different road blocks that I had or was about to be facing.  Even though the last few weeks had been busy with finishing assessments for report cards, getting portfolios together, and getting prepared for student led conferences my students and I still had time to create posts for our classroom blog and complete some digital citizenship lessons created by common sense media I do apologize that there has been a bit of a gap since my last post, but that does not mean I have not been busy working on my major project.  During this last three weeks I felt that the road blocks were slowly beginning to disappear one by one.  I was happy that we were able to accomplish more than what I originally thought we would ever be able to complete.   Now the road is clear, but it is a bit curvy and it has a few hills that we will need to continue to climb.  I know the journey will continue to be exciting and I am looking forward to see my student`s progress.

curvy road

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Major Project Update:

Over the last few weeks we were able to complete some of the lessons created by common sense media.   I did a lot of modeling for The A-B-C Searching lesson plan.  As a class we talked about the alphabet and why it might be easier to find things online using the alphabet.  In Daily 5 my students have been learning a lot about alphabetical order and how it is easier to find the word you are looking for when it is in order.  I also introduced students to dictionaries as so many of my students never heard of a dictionary before.  They were surprised to see how thick a dictionary is!  I thought back to my childhood and remembered using dictionaries and thesauruses in the classroom.  Now you do not need to have a hard copy of those documents, but people can access them online.  I also showed my students that dictionaries can be found online.  Then we looked at the Enchanting Learning website and the NASA picture dictionary that were suggested in the lesson plan.  I like that there are good websites that students can explore on safely!  We had a good conversation about searching online and staying safe!  All of the my students were very excited when I showed them the two websites because they are very fascinated about science.  We explored the two websites as a class on the Smartboard so we could have group discussions and the reading level on the websites is at a frustration level for some of the students in my classroom.  After we were finished searching my students enjoyed making a class picture dictionary.  This lesson not only taught my students searching skills, but the lesson covered ELA outcomes as well.  Down below I posted all of the English Language Arts outcomes that I able to cover while  we worked on this less.  I was excited that I was able to cover ELA outcomes while teaching my students important skills that they need to have growing up in a digital world.  It is vital that teachers teach students concepts and lessons that are geared to towards student learning in the 21st century.

ELA Outcome: CR2.2

View and explain (with support from the text) the key literal and inferential ideas (messages), important details, and how elements (such as colour, layout, medium, and special fonts) enhance meaning in grade-appropriate visual and multimedia texts.

  • Obtain information from different media (e.g., multimedia clips, websites, video clips, magazine photographs).

ELA Outcome: CR2.3

Listen and retell (with support from the text) the key literal and inferential ideas (messages) and important details heard in small- and large-group activities, and follow oral directions and demonstrations.

  • Listen to and follow independently a series of related directions or instructions related to class activities.

ELA Outcome: CR2.4

Read and demonstrate comprehension of grade-appropriate literary and informational texts read silently and orally by relating and retelling key events and ideas in sequence with specific details and discussing how, why, and what if questions.

  • Read and retell the key ideas and elements (including main idea, supporting details, diagrams, headings, table of contents, glossary) of informational texts including First Nations and Métis resources.

ELA Outcome: CC2.2

Use a variety of ways to represent understanding and to communicate ideas, procedures, stories, and feelings in a clear manner with essential details.

  • Combine illustrations and written text (e.g., captions, labels) to express ideas, feelings, and information.

boy drawing

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Another lesson I worked on with my students from the commons sense website was called My Creative Work.  During this lesson I showed my students some different paintings that had no names on the pieces and then some of art work that had artists names signed on the corners of the piece.  I asked my students- why do you think artists sign their name on their work?  We also discussed why many artists give their art work a title and a name.  I worked through the warm-up part of the commons sense lesson, but I did not have my students complete the self-portrait of themselves since they already completed a self-portrait in October.  (You can check out my student`s self portraits on our classroom blog!) Sometime I would like to try using picassohead with my students as it is a free online tool that students can use to draw.  I think my students would have a lot of fun.  Later in the year they could create a new avatar for their individual blog.  Since my students were learning about Remembrance Day I had my students complete a Remembrance Day poster instead.  My students brainstormed ideas for their poster and then we reviewed our criteria for when we create representations in the classroom.  We call it the ABCDE`s of representing!

Area (use the whole area of the paper)

Big (make your drawing big enough so it can be easily seen)

Colourful (make the poster colourful)

Details (add lots of exciting details to your work)

Extreme Neatness (make sure you take your time so your drawing is extremely neat)

 

Before my students started to work on their poster I discussed adding in a title for their piece, writing their name in the corner of their piece, and adding in the date as well. (Part of the `teach 2` portion of the commons sense lessons).  As a class we brainstormed possible ideas for a title for their Remembrance Day poster as well.  My students were eager to get started on their poster.  I encourage you to check out all of my students Remembrance Day posters that are posted on their individual blogs.  Check out our classroom blog to find the links for all my seventeen secret agent students.  They would love it if you were able to leave a comment on their work!  After my students were finished they shared their posters with everyone in the classroom.  Finally we completed some of the wrap-up questions that were suggested in the lesson.  The only problem that we ran into for this lesson was I forgot to have my students write their secret agent numbers on their poster instead of their name so it could be posted on their blog page.  It did open up again the conversation on why I like keeping my students names off of the blog and use their secret agent numbers instead.  To save time I wrote their secret agent numbers on a small piece of index card to cover of their name so we could upload a picture of their work on their blog.  I was very proud of all of my students and how much pride they took in creating their poster.  Many students also created a blog post about Remembrance Day on their blog as well! Once again this lesson covered many grade two outcomes from the Saskatchewan Curriculum.

ELA Outcome: CC2.2

Use a variety of ways to represent understanding and to communicate ideas, procedures, stories, and feelings in a clear manner with essential details.

  • Combine illustrations and written text (e.g., captions, labels) to express ideas, feelings, and information.
  • Design a visual representation (e.g., a picture, puppetry, a chart, a model, physical movement, a concrete graph, a pictographic, a demonstration, an advertisement for a toy) to demonstrate understanding.

ELA Outcome: CC2.4

Write stories, poems, friendly letters, reports, and observations using appropriate and relevant details in clear and complete sentences and paragraphs of at least six sentences.

  • Write groups of clear sentences that develop a central idea.

Arts Education Outcome: CP2.7

Create visual art works that draw on observations and express ideas about own communities.

  • Identify sources of inspiration and describe decisions made in creating own art works.

Arts Education Outcome: CP2.8

Create art works using a variety of visual art concepts (e.g., secondary colours), forms (e.g., collage, drawing, painting, sculpture, mobile, traditional art), and media (e.g., paper, found objects, paint, crayons).

  • Demonstrate co-ordination and skills in using simple visual art tools and materials.

Arts Education Outcome: CH2.1

Identify key features of arts and cultural traditions in own community.

  • View and listen to the work of artists.

Common sense media has been a life saver for me so far this semester!!  So many teachers I have talked to commented on not knowing where to begin to teach digital citizenship and other important 21st Century skills that students need to know.  Now that I have used many lessons from this resource I will be highly recommending it to colleagues and other educators.  I like that the lessons have a very good flow, filled with good questions, includes assessment pages that you could use, and provides resources to go along with each lesson.  I think this website would help teachers feel more comfortable teaching 21st Century skills and is a good starting point to begin teaching students how to be good digital citizens. 

Check back later this week!  I am going to step out of my comfort zone and do a screen cast about my major digital project!

teacher watching student on the computer

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Road Block…

road block
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I could relate a lot to this picture these last couples of days! Actually these last few weeks have been a whirl wind and I can not believe that it is almost November! Where did September and October go? I have had a great two months with my grade two students. They are such a creative and inquisitive group of students! I can relate to the picture above because I feel that I am that vehicle at the very back and moving along very slowly.  I can see all of my goals and things that I want to achieve, but sometimes obstacles slowly start adding up…Now I feel the road looks more like this!

several animals on the road

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I am so happy that I am taking graduate classes and perusing my Masters Degree in Curriculum and Instruction.  Many of the classes that I have taken so far have challenged me in a positive way!  It has introduced me to different resources and ways of teaching that allows my students to be more interactive.  My classroom is becoming even more student centered.  My students get the opportunity to create projects, play, and use technology to enhance their learning of the curricular outcomes that need to be covered in grade two.  Over the summer I took classes and attended the Early Learning Institute. It was the best decision that I have ever made! Those two classes confirmed my beliefs with Saskatchewan Play and Exploration Early Learning Program Guide that outlines the Four Principles of Early Learning:

  1. Children as Competent Learners
  2. Holistic Development and Learning
  3. Strong Positive Relationships
  4. Stimulating and Dynamic Environments

I believe that those four principles should be principles of learning and not just early learning principles.  All students are competent learners!  It is important to remember to focus on the different domains of development and not just the intellectual domain when they are in elementary school, middles years, and in high school.  All students need to gain and have strong positive relationships while learning in an environment that is stimulating and dynamic!  During the summer in the institute I continued to learn about the value of play and that it should be incorporated into early learning classrooms in the higher grades and not just in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten.

Play nourishes every aspect of children’s development-it forms the foundation of intellectual, social, physical, and emotional skills necessary for success in school and in life. (Canadian Council on Learning).

I also learned about the all the different types of play there are and learned to trust the process even more.  I think sometimes in education the importance of the process gets lost at times because many people want to see the final product and what their students have learned.  People get so worried about the end result or the final grade.  I have found students learn more from the process compared to what the final project or product even can begin to represent.  Having conversations and taking the time to sit back and observe your students is very important.  The learning process needs to be documented in a variety of ways such as observations, conversations, photographs, students journaling or blogging about their journey.  Then you can get a better picture of what students are capable of and what they know about the topic they are exploring or learning about.  During the class we did a lot of process art and our art pieces that we created represented what the topics we were learning about in class.  It was amazing to see everyone’s pieces and their projects throughout the class.  My favourite part was listening to everyone share their pieces with the class.  Then I was able to hear their process, what they learned, and what that piece truly represented.  I liked that everyone was given the same instructions, but we all had creative choice and our imagination was not boxed by very small specific instructions.  We were given very  brief and broad details of what was expected.  I liked that they were broad enough to given us freedom to create the pieces and projects that fit our style so we could share our journey and learning.  Some people painted while others used a variety of different mediums.  Many students wrote poems, songs, or journal entries!  Last fall I also was lucky to get into the ECI831 Social Media class and was introduced to so many great ideas and ways I could incorporate technology into my classroom that allowed my students to learn and represent their learning in a variety of ways.  I learned about student blogging, the maker movement, Google Documents, and digital story telling just to name a few.  I have shaped my classroom pedagogy based around lots of the topics and concepts that I learned from both of those classes and experiences.  I love teaching this way and those classes helped energize me to be creative with my teaching again!

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Road Block Direction Signs

So why do I feel that the obstacles are adding up?  

First off I was very lucky to have the opportunity to go to Toronto to watch the Blue Jays. I work hard coaching and directing extra curricular activities to have those earn days off saved to use them when I need to take a few days off.  I never worry about being out of my classroom because we have the best substitute teachers! All of the substitute teachers that I have had in my classroom work so hard to follow the plans that I leave, make connections with my students, and try to make sure routines continue for my class.  I was lucky again to have another great substitute teacher to teach my class one day this week while I had to go the dentist because I broke my tooth.  So why do I feel that I have to travel lately in so many different directions on the road?  Even though we have fantastic substitute teachers many of them are not familiar with blogging and a lot of the other ways I use technology in my classroom.  My students are independent enough to get the computers ready for Daily 5 math, but it is still early in the year to leave blogging with a substitute teacher.  I also did not want to leave my digital citizenship lessons because being in a rural area many of the fabulous substitutes are retired teachers and many do not have a lot knowledge about digital citizenship, technology, or social media.  Also when my students complete project learning my classroom can get a little messy from my students creating and it gets a little louder because of the excitement and awesome conversations.  When my students are creating their projects I just help them with the hot glue or help them cut something out if the material is thick.  But they have to tell me where to hot glue and draw the line on the material so I know where to cut. It is their project and vision and I am just the fascinator; however, not everyone can handle a bit of an organized mess, a louder classroom, or can let the students design the project even if it is more fantasy than reality.  Lots of people want to lead and not just facilitate.  When I am out of the classroom I feel like these projects have to go on hold because I do not want to make a substitute teacher uncomfortable in my classroom.  I want everyone to have a day full of learning and feels successful including the substitute teacher.  But, what do you do when you are away from the classroom?  I find it hard to plan sometimes because my students do not complete worksheets everyday and it can be hard to explain a project to a substitute teacher over a sub plan and what the hands on learning in my classroom looks like.

Another obstacle is report cards  as they are just around the corner.  So that means more assessments need to be completed during this time of year. It is hard to assess students on their reading while observing hands on learning when the classroom tends to get louder with the excitement and the discussions.  I know this first week in November will be busy with assessments so I might not get as much time to focus on my digital citizenship lessons or begin our new animal project, but soon I will soon be able to continue doing what I love best.  Facilitating lessons and allowing my students to learn about the world and new topics through inquiry, conversations, books, technology, and hands on learning!

I am excited to get back onto that sunny road where students are creative, ask questions, make new discoveries, and carry on meaningful conversations!

beautiful road

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Hip Hip Hooray!

hip hip horray

Photo Credit: SewSweetViolet via Compfight cc

We had another fantastic week in my classroom!  At the end of the week the last blog permission form came back to school.  Now all sixteen of my grade two students have permission to take part in our classroom blog and create posts on their own blog.  Everyone is allowed to have their picture posted onto our blog and can have videos or audio clips posted onto the blog as well.  (Insert happy dance!!)  I was able to finishing creating the remaining individual student blogs for those two students who handed in their permission forms.  I was beginning to think about what those two students would have done if they did not return their forms back while the other fourteen students were blogging.  I was thinking about students creating a notebook blog and if they handed in their form then I could scan their work and upload it onto their blog. Has anyone else experienced students not handing in a permission form?  If you had students that could not participate on the blog what did you have those students do while other students were blogging?

My students are almost finished their community project!  Please take a look at my students working on building their community projects!  They all have been working very hard at finishing up their project and adding in their own creativity.  It has been a lot of fun watching their designs come to life.  Next week we are going to put the final touches on the project by creating roads and placing their buildings on the roads around the community.  I was hoping to record an audio clip or video of my students finishing up this project and talk about their community.  I was wondering if anyone knows if you are able to post audio clips or videos without using Youtube? Or is Youtube one of the only ways you can post videos easily onto a blog?  If Youtube is the main way to post videos onto a blog then do teachers need to get parents to fill out another permission form if you are uploading videos onto Youtube?  If you have any tips or advice on the best way to post videos or audio clips onto a blog please leave me a comment on my blog.  I would really appreciate it!

I was able to accomplish almost everything from my to do list that I wrote about in my previous post.  My students each drew a self portrait of themselves.   A few students were away so they will need to finish their self portrait next week.  I was able to help add their self portrait onto their individual blog pages and create their blog avatar.  We talked about why they were using a drawing for their avatar on their blog instead of using a photograph. It led to a good discussion about posting pictures onto the Internet.  For the header of their blog my students decided that they wanted to use their Dot Day art work that they created.  During Dot Day  my students rotated around to different stations and were able to create a variety of artwork pieces using different mediums.  Each student choose their favourite piece from Dot Day to become the header artwork for their blog page and I helped them post their art onto their blog as well.  My students were really excited to see their work posted onto their blogs.  Please explore our classroom blog and check out my students art work!  A lot as been added onto our blogs this week!  I know my students would be excited to see that more people have visited our blog and their own blog.  If you have time please leave a comment on my students individual blogs as well.  My students would be thrilled to read your thoughts!

oct 23 blog

Photo Credit: Picture Taken By Mrs. Kyle

On Thursday my students brainstormed ideas of what they wanted to write for their about me page as a class.  During our class discussion I wrote down their ideas of what they wanted to share on their about me.  After the brainstorming was over students recorded their ideas in their journals.  On Friday I taught my students how to log onto their blog so they could create and type their about me page.  I am very thankful that I have a Smartboard in my classroom because it made it easier for my students to follow along and for me to model what to do.  I was also lucky that I had another adult in the room during blogging time.  She was able to help my students as well if they had any problems.  I had a few students away Friday and some had to leave class a bit early for Missoula Children’s Theatre practice since they performed Friday evening.  Check out Secret Agent #15s about me page and all my other fabulous Secret Agents in my class! This coming week students will be given the opportunity to finish or create their about me page on their own blog!

I was away from school for a few days so we did not have time to co-create criteria together on what they think a good blog post looks like.  I plan on co-creating criteria for a blog post on Tuesday. Then later in the week when students create a blog post about their community project they will have a guideline of expectations to follow.  Since I was away we did not have a lot of time to blog during the week.  I did have a few students who typed out their about me pages fast and wanted to continue blogging so they created their first blog post discussing what they have been learning about in school.  Last year I found so many of the students who struggled with writing and did not want to write, but loved blogging using Edublogs.  I am not sure if it was the novelty of being able to type on the computer or having an larger audience of people reading their ideas and seeing pictures of their work, but I enjoyed last year seeing their faces light up while they were blogging.  I looking forward to seeing my students reactions while they are blogging and hearing their opinions about blogging as they begin to understand more what a blog is and what they can post.

This past week my students did a great job remembering safety online when reviewing the going places safely lesson.  On Wednesday I will introduce my class to the common sense education lesson about ABC Searching.  As a class we will talk about the proper way to search online and I will introduce to them to a picture dictionary.  I will have students go onto the websites that was suggested on lesson plan and have students work together to create an ABC book.  I am looking forward to continuing to reflect on the safety topic as students work on their searching skills.

Please check back later in the week to read about how my major digital project is progressing with my students!