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Category Archives: Student Learning and Creativity

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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The Power of Yet

First grade reading - small group breakoutPhoto: Flickr by woodleywonderworks

As a fan of Carol Dweck, especially her research and books on Growth Mindset, I really enjoyed getting know who C.J. Luckey was via an e-newsletter. (Love his last name!) What a great experience to have a hip-hop artist and teacher (C.J.’s wife) combine their perspectives on growth mindsets and develop a down to earth musical extravaganza as way to reach students (and even teachers).

I had never heard of C.J., but to read about his experiences (see Mindset Works’ blog) just drew me in to his new E.P. entitled C.A.P.S. (Celebrating All Persevering Students).

The growth mindset has been a blessing to me. In many ways it has inspired me to change my perspective in life. The capacity to learn is a gift, the ability to learn is a skill, the willingness to learn is a choice. Learning is a choice I want to be intentional about making every day. 

~ C.J. Luckey

Using his gift of music, C.J. is teaching students some powerful growth mindset concepts in the learning environment. I especially like the simplicity of the message in the first song – The Power of Yet.

 

What do you think of C.J.’s message? How do you think students would react to this video? Do you think that they could come up with a multimedia message themselves (audio, video, poster, GSlide presentation, dance, meme, etc.) to share what they know about a growth mindset?

 

Get Techy w/Projects, Edits, Notes, NASA and Prompts

Below are five different ways to engage students in an online environment with any grade level and almost any subject area.

Not sure what kind of projects to start on? Check out this curated list to get some great ideas for your yearly plans.

  • Daily editing builds students’ skills! With Every-Day Edit exercises, challenge students to find and fix errors in spelling, capitalization, punctuation, or grammar.

I like the challenge that this presents to students. Easy and fun yet relevant to literacy skill development.

Who doesn’t like to use a crayon? Note taking is a skill that is developed over time. This is just one way to try it out. If you want to delve further into the phenomenon of Sketchnoting, I suggest to check out Kathy Schrock’s page.

Science teachers rejoice! NASA has always provided some spectacular photos and video and now they are also sharing content and lesson plans. Your Science classes will be astounding.

A variety of writing prompts help students to get started. I also show students, especially from grades 3-12 that they can write in four different ways based on the access to technology in our schools. We have a divisional license for RW4GC and use it extensively. So the four ways are: using a pen/pencil, typing on a keyboard, RW4GC Talk&Type (or GDocs > Tools > Voice Typing) and RW4GC Voice Note. It is amazing what students can “write” about when they are shown the different ways that they can demonstrate their learning through their writing.

 

Google in the Classroom: Holiday drawings, Whisper and Choice Boards

No matter what season, content area or grade level, Google Suite Apps for Education have a variety of supports and resources for students to use in the learning environment.

  • Whisper is a free Chrome extension that lets teachers message their class as whole or individual students without interrupting the work. Notifications show up on the student machine as a browser notification that can be viewed in the moment or any time later.

                                          OR

 

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.