Our first Edcamp

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one of three workshops put on for our first Edcamp

How can we possibly find the time to give teachers opportunities to learn about new technology?  There is no question that we need to find a way to change the way we deliver PD.  Teacher learning needs to be embedded and easily accessible so that everyone can keep up with all the changes being brought on through Google, Apple, chromebooks and apps apps apps!

We are experimenting with a version of the edcamp model. To do this, I gave over our regular meeting time (once per month) and allowed teachers to sign up for three 20 minute workshops.  Fortunately, we had three staff members who were willing to present.

I don’t think this is how a regular edcamp would work, but we were dealing with limited time and no more than 15 staff.

The model needs some work, but based on the staff comments (below) I am already convinced that it is a good idea to give up staff meeting time on a regular basis so that we can build a stronger learning culture here at our school.

Really enjoyed the round robin of activities. Small groups work well

Snacks were amazing. Time was perfect.

IEP info was very useful. Symbaloo was interesting. Vine was neat but 7seconds is very short for a video.

Love the idea of these mini workshops as a staff meeting. It doesn’t even have to necessarily be technology related. Could grade partner meeting time be part of it?

Sometimes we get so busy and we’re communicating in a rush, so extra time would be great. 

Very good. Just enough time.Timing good, more specific programs, eg, great spelling or writing app. Went smoothly. Time frame was sufficient: quick, to the point and gave us enough info to understand program/ app should we decide to explore further. Thanks to presenters

Timing good, more specific programs, eg, great spelling or writing app. Went smoothly.

Time frame was sufficient: quick, to the point and gave us enough info to understand program/ app should we decide to explore further.

Thanks to presenters

 

here is the original google form we used to get ideas from the teachers

and… here are some of the learning needs we still need to work on – based on teacher response.

  • Kid Blog Edmodo
  • top 5 math apps –
  • top 5 reading apps –
  • top 5 presentation apps
  • symbaloo
  • Interesting apps or software.
  • Technology for non-readers
  • How to be more interactive with Smartboard
  • Not sure How to effectively use twitter in the classroom.
  • Time to explore google/apple apps.
  • how to integrate technology when you don’t have enough computers/ipads for the whole class
  • making mini-movies using the imovie app (I think that’s what it is called)
  • how to save youtube videos to use off-line
  • Using Lucid Chart, Read Write for Google

What a terrific list!  Time to plan our next edcamp

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Celebrating Student Voice

imagineTheFuture

“If we don’t tell the story of what is going on in our district who will.”

How do we work to enhance student voice in our school and what evidence can we look to for.

I am interested in exploring the ways we give our students a voice in our school.  More and more this seems to mean connecting our students to social media.

This past week has been pretty amazing at our school.  Our juniors were involved in two regional competitions – The Engineering Challenge and Destination Imagination.  Our teams placed first and second in both competitions.  They won because of their creativity, innovative skills and their ability to work as a team – no mean feat for kids in grades 5 and 6!

They were assisted by their teachers, an incredible group of volunteer engineers and parents.  All these adults worked selflessly for weeks to prepare the students for these events.  They really allowed the creative voices of their students come forward.

I can’t say enough about how important this is.  Our students have shown themselves to be incredibly creative.  Their voice really needs to be heard.  Because of the work of teachers, parents and volunteers their voice is out there.  What an incredible experience for our students!

Social media here plays a bit of a secondary role.  Social media basically gets the word out – actually it gives the students the audience that they deserve.  Here are some of the pieces put out by our teachers this week celebrating student voice.

Our first place team at Destination Imagination – students and parent volunteers

Student Voice – an excerpt from one of our student blogs – using kidblog- including responses from classmates and a’pen pal’ from Nebraska
The grade 4 teacher writes about their blogging project here:

Our classroom blogging community

February9

The Primary Blogging Community (PBC) was started by a primary teacher, Mrs. Wideen, here in Ontario last year.  It is a community of primary teachers  that want to share their students’ learning through the students’ personal blogs.  For the next 3 weeks (and the past three!), we are blogging with 3 other classrooms from around the world.  Our blogging community happens to be right here in North America.  They are  primary classes from Alberta, Nebraska, and Indiana.  You can imagine the enthusiasm when students receive comments to their blog posts from someone new!   This blogging experience provides them with a real audience that gives them authentic feedback about what they are writing on their blogs.  It gives them a voice and lets them teach their peers about something they know or feel passionately about.  And above all, it provides them with reading and writing opportunities (how to write a good blog post/comment) that they actually look forward to.  If you have not visited your son’s or daughter’s blog, please do.  If you would like to leave a comment, just let me know and I will sign you up!

7 random facts about me

Categories: Blog February 27, 2014 @ 11:00 AM 10 Comments 

1.  I am Russian.

2. I lived in Moscow until I was 8.

3. I like to draw pictures.

4. I go skiing every year.

5. I have  many sisters and brothers and my mother is expecting a baby.

6.  I have 1 friend in Russia and lots of friends here.

7. I am happy in Canada.

10 Comments

  1. Cole Cole
    February 27, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    What is your friend’s name? Is your friend a boy or a girl? What do you like about Canada?

  2. Dylan Dylan
    February 27, 2014 at 11:14 AM

    Sofiya,
    I am glad you are happy in Canada. Is Moscow the capital of Russia? What is your friend’s name that is in Russia ?
    From,
    Dylan

  3. Madison Madison
    February 27, 2014 at 11:16 AM

    You have an awesome life

  4. Chiara Chiara
    February 27, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    Hi Sofiya, it’s Chiara. Good job. I like it. I want to go to Russia. Am I your friend?

    • Sofiya Sofiya
      February 28, 2014 at 11:21 AM

      Yes,you are:}

  5. Matteo Matteo
    February 27, 2014 at 11:22 AM

    Cool and why did you move to Canada and not the states or do you have any relation with Canada? Or did you accidentally move to Canada like my grandparents.

  6. Allyssia Allyssia
    February 28, 2014 at 10:53 AM

    I’m glad you like Canada.Is there something you don’t like about Canada?

    • Sofiya Sofiya
      February 28, 2014 at 4:31 PM

      Yes,I don’t like that you guys don’t speak Russian because it’s hard to learn English.

  7. Austin (Mrs. Keene's Class) Austin (Mrs. Keene’s Class)
    March 3, 2014 at 9:35 AM

    Hi Sofiya, my favorite foods are pizza, pears, mashed potatoes, and blue jolly ranchers. I have one brother and one sister. I am the middle child. I have broken three bones in my body. They were both of my arms and my hip. When I broke my left arm, it was crooked. My favorite sport is basketball. I play football, baseball, and basketball. Those are some facts about me.

    • Sofiya Sofiya
      March 4, 2014 at 1:55 PM

      Hi Austin,
      How did you break your arms?:0

     

another student voice project from the junior kindergarten students 

Each morning upon entry, students have quiet reading time at the carpet. A few weeks ago I noticed Ally enthusiastically telling a story to a friend using the pictures of a book. I encouraged her to take my chair and share it with the whole class. This way the start of more student voice in our classroom as many others have asked for their turn as the storyteller! We all sit up close as the storyteller creates a tale inspired by pictures. It has been an exciting way to start our class and the tradition shall most definitely continue!

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