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.)

Hip Hip Hooray!

hip hip horray

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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!

Who Has Amazing Students In Their Class??? This Teacher Does!!!!


  Photo Credit: Camdiluv ♥ via Compfight cc

I have EIGHTEEN AMAZING Secret Agents Students in my grade two classroom!  I am so proud of each of my students.  They never cease to amaze me each and everyday.  Lots of people do not know how capable young students are!  Some people were nervous about me starting blogging with my young students.  Some people commented…Will they be able to log on?  Won’t it take a while for them to type out their posts? Will students be able to follow the directions on what to do on the blog?  When students are younger they are more confident because they are not as a afraid of trying something new.  Everything is so exciting in their eyes!  Blogging has been very exciting in my classroom! I am so thankful for having supportive parents and staff.  They have made this project very enjoyable so far and I am looking forward to seeing where blogging takes us in our grade two learning and blogging journey.

Please check out my screencast!  You will get a chance to see a tour of four of my student’s individual learning blogs!  An extra special shout out to those students and their families for signing off and giving me permission to screencast their individual blogs.  In this screencast you will get to see some examples of posts that they students have wrote, pictures that have been added as well as some student work that has been posted.

Please let me know what you think! If you have any ideas of what I could do or suggestions that would mean a lot to me.  Thanks so much!

**My student’s would also love it if you leave a comment on our classroom blog or on their individual learning blogs! 🙂

So….What’s Next?

grade 2

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It has been a very busy few weeks in my Grade Two Classroom! My Secret Agents have been learning so much!  I am so proud of their growth and I am excited to continue to watch them expand their thinking and explore the world.

In my last post “Who’s Excited For This Week??? This Teacher Is!!!” I spent time reflecting what I have done so far in my classroom blog.  Since my previous post we have added some posts onto our Classroom Blog and my student’s individual blogs.

class blog

My Classroom Blog:

On our classroom blog we have posted a few more posts as a class.  One post we discussed learning about what good commenters do on a blog.  I got the idea from my EC&I831 classmate Danielle Degelman.  On our discussion page for the Google Plus Community for our #eci831 class she posted a picture and commented that she gave the students sentence starters to help them when they are giving a compliment, creating a comment, making a connection, and asking a question on other people’s blogs.

In another post we talked about even and odd numbers.  My students learned a song called “Odd Todd and Even Steven.”  They enjoyed singing that song so much that we decided to video them singing and posted the video of them singing on the blog.  I was very happy with how easy it was to upload the video onto the blog.  I will continue to add videos onto our classroom blog!

We also posted a blog that discussed my student’s learning projects.  My students and I are looking forward to begin creating their animal projects starting on Tuesday! They have been busy bringing materials from home after I sent a note home explaining the project to my student’s families.  I have not seen so much positive energy from my students this year.  I am hoping to try #GeniusHour sometime later on in the year with my class during learning buddy time.  I think Genius Hour ignites student’s imagination, creativity, and curiosity to explore topic that they want to learn about.

Finally on our classroom blog we posted a brief post showcasing what we have been learning about numbers.  My students have been busy exploring place value, describing numbers, and representing numbers in many different ways.  On Twitter I saw that Sue Waters @suewaters tweeted about being able to add in a picture gallery onto a blog post.  I wanted to try to insert a picture gallery onto one of our classroom blog posts.  One day I went around with my camera and I took some pictures of my students representing numbers using number tiles and base ten blocks on form two part mats.  I followed the steps that were listed on the link and inserted the picture gallery rather easily.  Sue also tweeted about being able to add in tiled galleries onto a blog post.  I am going to follow the instructions on that link and try out the different examples of tiled galleries another time on our classroom blog.

Here is a tour of our classroom blog:


My Student’s Individual Blogs:

Most of my students only had an about me page and only a few had art work for the header at the top of their blog.

about me blog page 1

Now my student’s individual blogs are starting to show growth that allows visitors to get to know each of my secret agents a little better.


I created a to do list in my previous blog post about my major digital project.  I am very proud that I was able to check everything off of the list and also did a few more things as well!

1. I did upload my student’s self portraits onto their individual blogs.  Their self portrait also became their avatar for their blog as well.  My students are very excited to have their very own avatar on their blog.  They have an avatar on their Mathletics account so they were thrilled to have one for this account too!

self portait
2.  I uploaded pictures of my student’s math increasing pattern work onto their blog. Then student’s added a comment of a description of their pattern explaining the pattern rule.

linking cubes
3.  My secret agents had the opportunity to create a blog post on the topic of their choice.  So many students choose different topics so I encourage you to check it out!  I also had my students blog about what they like about blogging so I was aware of what my students liked about this project.  Then I could get some ideas of what I should do again with my class.

kids posts
4.  This past week my students have been busy beginning their animal project.  They were able to choose an animal or two animals to create their project.  My students will get three afternoons to create their animal.  If my students chose two animals they had to be from the same animal family.  Once they choose their topic my students created a plan for their project.  They drew a picture of what they wanted their animal to look like and then labeled what they were going to use for each part of their project.  Along the side of the plan my students listed what materials they were going to use to create their project.

animal plan
5. Once my students were finished creating their plan they were given time to blog about their project.  Later on I added their plan onto their page.  I was able to copy my students work on the photocopier and email my students work to myself through the photocopier.  When I sent the work to myself I turned the files into PDFs which allowed it to be easier to add the work onto my student’s individual blogs.

animal blog post

6. Some of my students completed some artwork during center time.  After they were finished I help them choose what part of the artwork they wanted to go onto their header of the blog and then we posted it.

art work for blog

7.  Last week after going through what good bloggers do when commenting I modeled to my students what to do.  We went on some different teacher’s classroom blogs and left a comment on their page.  After lots of practice I gave my students time to write their first comment on a friend’s blog.  To make it fair I handed out secret agent number popsicle  sticks from a jar to my students.  Then they went on that friends blog and chose what post to comment on.  It helped out a lot when I gave my student’s sentence starters for the 3 C’s and Q.  (Thanks Danielle for the fabulous idea!!!).  Also one day I gave my students the opportunity to read the comment I left on a post that they wrote.  I wanted each student to have at least one comment on their blog page!  Before the Christmas break I am going to get students commented back to each other and the chance to reply back to me too.   We are still taking baby steps in this area, but we are starting to make progress! Slow and steady wins the race!

Here is a tour highlighting a few of my student’s individual blogs and some of the things that I just talked about in this post:

Blogging is one time of the day that I never hear complaints from my students about having to write.  My students ask about when they get to blog next if it is not on our schedule for the day.  My student’s favourite part is looking at our clusters map on our blog to see who as looked at our classroom blog.  Then we go on a journey on Google Maps to explore what city/town/country that person is from.  I am thrilled to have my students blogging about their animal projects this month.  I think it will allow my students to truly showcase what they know about animals!

My digital project maybe ending for this class, but this is a life long project for me with my students.  I am excited to continue this journey!! I am glad that I took this class so I actually started something that I always wanted to do, but did not have the support or the know how in what to do to get this process started. Through blogging now I am able to see my student’s growth in just a short period of time! Please continue to explore and read our classroom blog! My class would love to hear from you!

But before I go please tell me….How’s Our Blogging??

colourful blog

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