blogging


It has been a long time since I last blogged and when I checked my blog I realized that that last time I wrote on this page was in 2010! Where did the time go and what happened???? At the time I was busy in my classroom of grade fives and sixes, had many collaborative projects running and was actively using technology in my classroom. I think I got wrapped up in my little world and started to forget about the world around me.

Since my last blog post I have changed schools and changed roles within the school. Last year I moved to George Lee School and started working as a Learning Resource Teacher. My school environment is quite different. My previous school had about 100 students and was a community school with a high First Nations population. My current school has just under 400 students and has a high EAL population. I am fortunate to hear a multitude of languages and accents along with learning about many cultures. This year I have taken on the role as acting vice-principal  along with continuing to work as a Learning Resource Teacher.

I have also traveled to Kenya and Tanzania the last three summers to work with Education Beyond Borders.   

EBB Workshops in Tanzania

EBB Workshops in Tanzania

I was fortunate to work with many wonderful teachers as we shared ideas about project based and inquiry learning, differentiation, collaboration and working with professional learning clusters. During my first summer I worked in the GIlgil area about 100 kilometers northwest of Nairobi, the second year I worked in the Mount Kilimanjaro area of Tanzania along with the GIlgil area while the third year I concentrated my work with EBB in Tanzania. All of my experiences were extremely rewarding and taught me so many things about myself as a teacher, person and world citizen.

http://www.educationbeyondborders.org/photo/albums/naivasha-gilgil-2011

I am starting to feel the need to re-connect to my professional colleagues that I have worked with around the world through blogging and twitter. As well, I am considering planning some collaborative learning projects for students this year. With the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi it might be time to start planning on project for that.

It’s good to be back and I’m looking forward to reading blog posts, tweets and articles from my many colleagues around the world.

Great new video from New Brunswick, Canada!

This morning I was checking my daily updates from one of my Diigo Groups and I was excited when I checked out this Myths and Legends Story Creator site. I can already imagine how I can use this with my students. In a myths and legends unit or integrate it into some project based learning this would be a fabulous way for the students to create stories. I can think about the discussions and planning that will happen then once the students start using the story creator their stories will come alive.

The site has free membership which is a bonus. Each year I create a class email account for my students to use for sites like this that allows me to create a class account on web sites. It’s so much easier if all of the students are using the same password. Occasionally this creates a problem if the site has difficulty managing so many users on the same account but then we adapt. I would want to see if we could embed the story on our blogs but if not we could probably using screen shots to post the story. I could also envision using the screen shot pictures and using iMovie to create a movie. I think I might be getting ahead of myself here. I’ll have to play around with the site then introduce it to my students. We could have used it for our Solar System unit to tell stories about the constellations, hmmm…maybe I can incorporate it into my current project “Oh, The Places You’ll Go.” I’ll let you know how it turns out.

Welcome to the Sandbox is the welcome to my most recent, and last, grad class. The class is officially EC&I 832 Computers in the Classroom and is being offered on-line during the winter semester at the University of Regina.

I’m  on Block 1 and making my way through the course readings and activities for the week.

This week you will:
1. Familiarize yourself with the course overview and the course evaluation
2. Explore who you are as a learner in an online space and reflect on who you are as a learner and educator in a digital world
3. Share your introductory biography so others can get to know you

My first adventure in this course will be to take an on-line learning styles quiz and looking at who I am as a learner. Stay tuned for how that works out for me. The second task is to read Karl Fisch’s blog post “Is It Okay To Be A Technologically Illiterate Teacher?” . I’ll be curious to see how I fit in to his definition of technologically literate or illiterate. The third challenge for the week is to complete an introduction to the rest of the class so that we can try and put faces to names as we work through the semester.

In a brief story format (written, audio or audio/visual), please share:

  1. An introduction of yourself
  2. Where you are in your Graduate Studies program and what route you have chosen to take (course route or thesis; Curriculum and Instruction or other area)
  3. Your professional background and current assignment or position
  4. Your background/experience with technology on a personal level as well as within your current role
  5. Who are you as a learner and what makes your “learning curve go off the chart”?
  6. Any interests/hobbies/talents/achievements that would help others get to know you better

Wish me luck as I complete the tasks, particularly reflecting on who I am as a learner. I think as with every class that I’ve taken on the way to completing my Master’s program I’m going to grow, learn and be challenged to look at the world in a different way.

(more…)

We’ve just finished working on a collaborative project following the Iditarod Trail Dog Race. The project was tied to our Social Studies, Science and Language Arts curriculum. This is the second year of the collaboration with the project beginning in early February . Students worked with partners in classrooms in the United States and Canada. There were around 150 students working together in ten groups. The students worked on background assignments: history, weather, geography and musher information for four weeks prior to the race starting. Once the race began, the first Saturday in March, the students followed their mushers and wrote blog posts about their mushers progress in the race.

Last of the Iditarod <!– 03/18 –>
Lance Mackey won the Iditarod race. And he has a six to 8 houre lead.Our guy Mitch Seavey is at Shaktoolik and so far he is in 5th.

Iditarod <!– 03/10 –>
Today for the Iditarod my musher Ken Anderson and he is now in 18th place and he now has 15 dogs on his sled.He is at acheckpoint his average speed is 6.05.Stay tuned for more info.

The feedback from the project was great.

What I really liked in the 2009 Iditarod sled dog race was that I learned about Alaska. Did you know that the biggest volcano in Alaska is called Redoubt? Jeff King came in 12th place and has had better runs. What was your favourite part of the 2009 Iditarod sled dog race? 0kiwifruit0
In this year`s iditarod project I learned that you have to look after your dogs.Also you have to look after your sleds because when Dede broke her sled.I also learned that Lance Mackey won 3 times in a row. googlyeyes

In this years Iditarod project I learned about Balto.I also learned about the weather in Alaska.Then I learned about the trail in Alaska . I learned about that it takes a long time from Anchorage to Nome.This is what I learned about the IditarodBabyBash

What I learned from the Iditarod race is that you all was have to feed your dogs first before you eat. The musher get water by digging a hole in the snow so you keen put a barole in the hole. Then they put snow in the barole to make the snow melt and they made water. When the musher gets close the the other musher they have to say “trale”. When a musher sees a moose in there way they can kill the moose or scare it away. What I like about the Iditarod is the place’s that the musher are in because when a musher is in 40th place and two days go by and that musher is in 3th place it so neat how fast they can go.

what I learned about the iditarod

What I learned about the iditarod was that its not all about who comes in first. It’s out having fun,doing something you and old friends can do together. The iditarod is alot about sportsmanship. What thrilled me the most was how helpful the people of the iditarod are when something happens out on the trail. The most thrilling thing I saw on the iditarod was how everyone helped each other like when some one fell asleep on the trail when they were still moving and fell off there sled, they woke up when they hit but there dogs werent stopping, they ran to catch them but endead up catching a ride with another racer. This is what I learned about the iditarod.

I’m already looking forward to working on the project next year. I’m glad the students enjoyed working on and learning about the Iditarod Trail Dog Race.



Redefining Literacy with David Warlick March 24th, 2009

http://davidwarlick.com/wordpress/

How do we prepare students for a world and future we don’t know about. We need to stop integrating technology but integrate literacy. If students are literate “in terms of their information landscape” they will ask questions and challenge information. Students must be willing and encouraged to ask questions. In fact, we want students to become digital detectives; look for clues and evidence about where their information is coming from. We want literacy to go beyond reading text on paper and answering questions about the text. Students are reading in a global electronic highway where anyone can publish which means that the demands for literacy are changing. Today literacy means that students need to “expose what’s true: find, critically evaluate, organize and apply.”

We also need to teach students to communicate their ideas in a compelling way that moves beoynd text to videos, photos, digital storytelling, music and art.

Contemporary Literacy:

Exposing What’s True

Employing the Information

Expressing Ideas Compellingly

Do it all within an Ethical Context

Redefine Literacy, so that it reflects today’s information.

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