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Category Archives: Communicates to Inspire

Don’t be Wasteful!

In Alberta, students in grade four study Waste and Our World where they look at their local, national and international environments and see how they can make a difference in being eco-friendly.

There are a variety of resources available for this unit for teachers and students to interact with. What I’d like to point out is how teachers can structure this unit so that students not only consume the pertinent information but that they also have time to collaborate and then create/demonstrate their learning.

Background information

The village of Kamikatsu in Japan has taken their commitment to sustainability to a new level. While the rest of the country has a recycling rate of around 20 percent, Kamikatsu surpasses its neighbors with a staggering 80 percent. After becoming aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide associated with burning garbage, the town instated the Zero Waste Declaration with the goal of being completely waste-free by 2020.

Possible Tasks

  • 7 Day Household Waste Challenge and then make a copy of this Google Form to tally the results. How can your home, classroom or school become a Zero Waste environment like Kamikatsu? Post your findings and ideas in an online environment to get feedback from other experts and/or classrooms around the world.
  • Make A Difference Presentation template – create a Zero Waste proposal for your teacher, your Principal, the Superintendent, the Mayor or even a local community store. Post this to a classroom blog or other online environment.
  • Videoconference with various Waste Management experts, other schools who have or close to Zero Waste
  • Waste and Our World Action Plan
  • Waste Reduction Challenge

 

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Spotlight on Strategy: Make It Concrete

SOS: Make It Concrete is a teaching strategy that uses concrete, or shape, poems to allow students to demonstrate understanding. Students reflect on their learning and create a visual to represent something they have learned from a media resource.

NOTE: the link above is available for any Discovery Ed account users.

 

Ideas for your own classroom:

If you do not have access, you can have students create a list of keywords/expressions that tie in with a video, audio or an image that you have presented to them. Students may create this list individually or in small groups.

Students then take their keywords and input it into a word cloud curator. There are several available online such as:

  • Using a Google Doc, the keywords are typed or dictated onto the document. Install the Word Cloud Generator add-on and run it. Drag or screenshot the word cloud and insert into the Google Doc. Students may want to either do a Gallery Walk to check each other’s word clouds OR all word clouds could be put onto the same Google Doc or even Google Slide.
  • Tagxedo where word clouds can be put into specific shapes. Students would type their generated list of words right into the Tagxedo text box.
  • Wordle is one of the original word cloud generators and works similar to Tagxedo except with no specific shape choices.
  • Wordclouds, Word It OutABCYa! Word Clouds are all great generators

For fun, these word clouds could be printed off and then students could draw images around their word clouds. As well, they could either create a short video or audio explaining their word cloud. This video/audio would then be linked to the original word cloud via a QR code and hung up on a hallway bulletin board for others to view and scan.

Samples for you to check out:

Social Studies examples

125 Ways to use Wordle in the Classroom

Above all, let students have fun collecting content knowledge and giving it an artistic spin!
 

Google in the Classroom: GSuite for Early Learners

Our Early Years students can utilize the Google Suite Apps for Education just as well as our Middle Years and High School students. We want them to not only use the tools but also to CREATE!

Check out this fantastic introductory-level session that shares fantastic examples of Early Years students using various online resources. While you are watching I’d love to have you think about: what do you wonder? what is exciting for you?

 

Tools shared:

  • Google Classroom
  • Screencastify chrome extension
  • ViewPure for YouTube videos
  • Google Slides
  • Google Docs
  • MyMaps
  • Kids Wordsmyth
  • iPad annotation
  • Google Forms
  • Google Sheets
  • Google Drawings

Here is a copy of @TechCoachSusan’s slide deck for Using GSuite in the Early Years Classroom at https://goo.gl/izeT8K.

 

Spotlight on Strategy: Instragram-in

Instagram-in is a teaching strategy that leverages a popular social media tool that focus on imagery and prompts summarization and generalization through short comments and hashtags. Using this strategy, students think critically about what images best represent their understanding and then create accompanying statements to communicate that understanding.

I used a variety of media and applications – sort of “smashing” them –  in order to complete this visual summarization. Not all teachers are using Instagram but they can use other resources.

  1. Find and save images (I used Discovery Ed images). You can use https://search.creativecommons.org/ or Explore in GSlides/Docs.
  2. Open up iPiccy chrome app (or another photo editor app) and add your images. Then add some text and choose a Bitmoji image to make it fun (I used Bitmoji chrome extension).
  3. Save the image and share it online via a blog, on Twitter or even on a GSlide.

 

Classroom uses:

  • The teacher could create a GSlide to share with all students. Individually or in small groups students could be visually summarize a topic/unit/lesson. Students would then share their final summary image on a specific GSlide. All students could then view the class summaries. A virtual visual gallery!
  • For older students (13+) Instagram and Twitter could be used with a specific hashtag so that images could be found easily. Or the teacher could post them through a class Social Media account.
 

Google in the Classroom: Science, Menus and Videos

 

Photo Credit: Exile on Ontario St Flickr via Compfight cc
These items below are not only time-savers for teachers, they are also offer students different ways to engage with content and each other.

Opportunities for teachers to learn more about GSuite for Edu. The Computer Science hub has a variety of programs such as Made with Code, Science Fair, Student volunteers, CS opportunities for students. They also have teacher training and prep programs such as Applied CS skills curriculum, Applied Digital Skills, CS First, and grants.

Google is constantly updating features for any of the GDrive apps.

Incorporate student choice, variety of content, etc. to differentiate student learning experiences. Created by Kasey Bell.

There are many ways to incorporate media within a Google Doc. Although not an actual feature, that of adding video directly into a GDoc (one can hope is a future item), this is an easy work around with a few options to choose from. Shared via Eric Curts

Who doesn’t want to check out templates? It’s always great when teachers share their formats and ideas. Well, Christine Pinto has the early years teachers excited about these templates.

 

 

Caution: Hot Water

Our Planet Earth offers many interesting, unique and unbelievable opportunities for students to learn, question and form new ideas from. Scientific and project-based lessons allow students time to explore some of these. For example, check out the video below that is a great hook for students to look into geothermal challenges and possibilities.

Ask students to watch the video and pull out any specific keywords and/or ideas. They can post them on a collaborative Google Doc, AnswerGarden, or even Padlet.

In small groups, students could search out for other unique places on the Planet to present to their classmates. Teachers could provide a template for what students should be looking for. Students could also use a Greenscreen application like Do Ink or Touchcast and have their found video clip playing in the background while they provide a summary, an overarching question and/or information.

 

How do I know that my support, research, and information is having an impact on staff/student learning?

Throughout the school year I will share on this blog:

1) my evidence from school sites

2) and how I am moving the learning forward for colleagues

I’ve already spoken briefly about it earlier this month in Got How? You Also Need to Know Your Why?.

Based on draft TQS July 2016, I have chosen the following competencies and indicators:

 

Demonstrating a Professional Body of Knowledge

A teacher applies a current and comprehensive repertoire of effective planning, instruction, and assessment practices to meet the learning needs of every student.

  • incorporate a range of instructional strategies, including the appropriate use(s) of digital technology, according to the context, content, desired outcomes and the learning needs of students;
  • incorporate digital technology and resources, as appropriate, to build student capacity for: – acquiring, applying and creating new knowledge; – communicating and collaborating with others, – critical-thinking; and – accessing, interpreting and evaluating information from diverse sources;
  • provide a variety of methods through which students can demonstrate their achievement of the learning outcomes;
  • provide accurate, constructive and timely feedback on student learning;

Establishing Inclusive Learning Environments

A teacher establishes, promotes and sustains inclusive learning environments where diversity is embraced and every student is welcomed, cared for, respected and safe.

  • using appropriate universal and targeted strategies and supports to address students’ strengths, learning challenges and areas for growth;
  • recognizing and responding to specific learning needs of individual or small groups of students and, when needed, collaborating with service providers and other specialists to design and provide targeted and specialized supports to enable achievement of the learning outcomes;
  • providing opportunities for student leadership.

 

For both competencies, my…

Actions/Strategies

  • Acknowledge the diverse needs and contributions of all
  • Access resources, services, information and collaboration opportunities
  • Hone academic, social/emotional and physical skills through knowledge-building, creativity and innovation
  • Utilize a variety of resources, technologies and spaces to support learning for teachers, leaders and students through thoughtful instructional design and collaboration as well as effective assessment of learning
  • Model and share learning experiences to empower real-world and relevant learning experiences
  • Refine instruction for essential digital literacy, research and inquiry and communication skills
  • Develop opportunities for staff learning and innovation to be demonstrated, shared and showcased
  • Build staff capacity to ensure sustainability and attainment of PSD/School Ed Plan/Tech goals
  • Advocate for the essential and effective uses of technology
  • Explore and connect personalized learning while embracing the use of digital literacies and skills to empower independent learners
  • Assist staff in taking ownership of their digital rights and responsibilities in building their digital skills

Resources

  • Learning Services  and IT Teams
  • Senior Exec
  • Admin Teams
  • Inclusive Education Leads
  • Collaborative Teaching Partners
  • Frameworks: Fierce Conversations, Cognitive Coaching, Bucket Filling, Cooperative Learning, Critical Thinking, Universal Design for Learning
  • Listservs: QIAT, ATLE, ORC
  • Alberta Education, School Technology Branch
  • PLN
  • ERLC Advisory Committees
  • ETCATA
  • ATLE and ATLE ProLearn
  • ISTE and TCEA
  • Frameworks: TPACK, SAMR, UDL, DI, RTI, SETT, LTPF
  • Twitter feeds and weekly chats (#edchat, #atchat, #edtech)
  • Blogs
  • 2Learn
  • GSuite Apps for Education

Timeline

  • Ongoing
  • Monthly meetings: Lead Team, ERLC CoP, Inclusive Education Leads, Learning Services Team

 

Indicators of Success

  • Contribution to Learning Services work is recognized
  • Learning Services Team work plan is moving PSD Vision, Mission and Commitment Statements forward as per Admin meetings, PSD Voice, Student Advisory Committee
  • Learning Services Team incorporate the LTPF throughout their work with staff
  • Staff utilizing, documenting success and sharing how they are using technology in learning, for efficiency, etc.
  • Marked improvement between Fall 2016 and Fall 2017 ET/IT survey with Admin
  • Well attended training, PL and PD sessions with follow up work with staff

 

 

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