Showing posts from March, 2014

A Blended Learning Approach to Teaching Social Studies

This past week the Grade 2s continued their work preparing presentations about countries using Google Drive. What really amazed me was the ability to use the comment feature to provide immediate feedback that was relevant and purposeful for the students. As they were working, I posed questions to direct their next steps. I was not sure how this would work, so I didn't let them know ahead of time that I would be doing this. To my delight, students replied to my comments and made additions to their slides in realtime. 
Afterwards, they remarked at how much it helped them "think about what's next". They also asked if they could comment on each others work! 

This caused me think more about the purpose of feedback and how informal feedback such as this helps students see learning as a journey. 
Here is a great read that speaks to this:
Learning Dispositions blog post - from MindShift

Next week, we will be sharing our work with another Grade 2 class who also used Google Drive t…

Integrated Learning

The Power of Integrated Learning
I have been curious about what integrated learning might look like in a primary classroom and the impact it may have on student engagement and learning.
The Olympics seemed to be a perfect opportunity to give it a try.
Relinquishing control over the what and how of learning enabled the students to explore topics that interested them. Their own "wonderings" guided our daily activities. These included researching how Olympians train for various sports, the meaning of symbols such as the Olympic rings, and Sochi Olympic mascots. We also agreed that tracking Olympics metals was very important. Using the Sochi iPad app, we translated raw data into pictographs and bar graphs. Towards the end of the Olympics during a classroom community circle, a student shared how they felt they had learned a lot but it was never boring and they liked doing the same 'kind of stuff' throughout the day. It wasn't just doing math, or reading, or writing ... th…

On being a connected educator

My journey in the world of education has always been rich with professional development opportunities. Just as we ask students to connect their learning, I believe educators need to do the same. As a new teacher I was surrounded by skilled and talented mentors who highlighted for me the importance of developing positive relationships with students and creating a learning atmosphere where students feel they are valued, respected, and free to take risks. As a young educator I also registered for multiple additional qualification courses which helped solidify my understanding of content and pedagogy. Since this time I have been fortunate to be a part of collaborative learning teams at the school and board level that have challenged me to be a more reflective educator- adapting best practice to meet the changing needs of students. It has been through collaborative learning teams that I have begun to adopt an inquiry stance with my own teaching practice. This has allowed me to dig deeper i…